Friday, 16 March 2018

Inspired by... / 09 Sas Petherick and the My Courageous Selfie project

Sas Petherick is a coach, mentor, writer and podcaster whose work is all about helping people to transcend self-doubt. Sas and I first met earlier this year after she moved to Bristol. Although we haven't known each other long, we instantly clicked and I'm thrilled to share her work here on my blog, including her new charity venture.

Over to Sas... Introduce yourself!

I’ve spent most of my life in the grip of self-doubt even though on the outside, things probably looked pretty sweet and successful. I went from having a massive job as a management consultant (where I was annoyingly ambitious and drank my feelings) to having a breakdown in my mid-30s. After I emerged from the rubble, I found my dreams for corporate stardom had vanished.

As I put myself back together I began to explore the root causes of why my life felt so rubbish. Eventually, I completed a masters degree in coaching and mentoring, and my dissertation was a deep study into self-doubt. I am fascinated by the tentacles it weaves into our lives. These days I run group programmes and workshops to help you cultivate self-belief, and I have a podcast called Courage & Spice.

Can you share some unusual facts about yourself?

Everyone in my family is an immigrant: my folks emmigrated from the North East of England to a tiny village in the South Island of New Zealand and I returned to England in 2002.

I spent the first 4 years of my life in and out of hospital before having open heart surgery aged 4. Mum taught me to read so I could entertain myself while I was recovering.

My parents and all their friends worked at the psychiatric hospital a couple of miles from our house. Consequently, I am pretty much unembarrassable.

A few years ago, I spent some time in California with a spiritual mentor and I learnt how to bend spoons (you have to ask them to play with you ‘energetically’).

How are you finding Bristol life?

I am shocked at how at home we both feel! Bristol reminds us both so much of Wellington in NZ where Ash and I met and fell in love. Both are harbour cities with lots of hills and colourful homes. There is a huge arts and creative community in Welly too, lots of self-employed folks and a healthy respect for excellent coffee.

We have fallen in love with the Everyman Cinema and we are loving exploring the cafes and dog walks. We didn’t really know Bristol at all, so we decided to go for the right house for us and figure the rest out. We now own a Grand Old Lady house in Westbury-on-Trym. She is in need of substantial renovation and has excellent bones.

What inspired you to pursue this charity venture and how does it fit with the rest of your work?

The #mycourageousselfie project is a t-shirt store. You can buy a tee (for less than £20!) and then post a pic of you with a love note to your younger self using the hashtag. 100% of profits are going to two fabulous organisations who help kids build self-esteem: The Self-esteem Team (the UK’s leading mental health schools programme) and The Graeme Dingle Foundation back home in NZ.

My own research and much of the studies around the psychology of self-doubt have found that the seeds of our sense of self, are sown in our childhood. Self-esteem grown organically in relationships with caring adults produces the feeling that someone believes in you - this is everything! So while my work is with adults, I wanted to do something to support the work of young people.

We can all help to heal our younger selves by offering a love note to ourselves and creating this wave of compassion and encouragement.

Do you have any future plans for more charitable ventures?

Yes! Some of my research on self-doubt is being taught at Sydney University and this has led to me beginning the process of licensing my work for use in non-profits and charities. I’m chuffed to bits to be creating a body of work that is helping others.


Thank you Sas!

I love the work Sas is doing - self esteem in young people is a massive area both generally and one we are really aware of at home - so I'm really pleased to be able to share her charity project here.

If you fancy getting involved, then head to the Courage & Spice shop to buy your tee, take a selfie and share on Instagram using the #mycourageousselfie hashtag.

Want more Sas? Sign up for her monthly newsletters and listen to the Courage & Spice podcast.
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