‘Putting into places strategies that enable you to feel at all times what you want to feel.’

To push yourself beyond the envelope of social norms and expectations, it takes a certain level of resilience and brilliance and Sally Kettle falls under that umbrella, she is no ordinary woman. An ocean rower and the First Woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean twice from East to West. She made one of these extraordinary journeys with her mum. We interviewed Sally, as we uncovered the building blocks that have enabled her to carry out such bold moves in life, along with her thoughts on well being, motivation and resilience.

This interview serves as a sneak peek to all this extraordinary woman has to offer, you’ll have to join us at the upcoming Coaching and Mentoring conference, to delve deeper with her on this year’s subject matter.

Enjoy the read…

The sweet spot of motivation…

I’ve been lucky enough to have chosen a career I enjoy, pursuing something I am passionate about, as an individual I’ve always been all out to achieve and a self-motivator, and that is something that is a part of my personality. If I am in role that I don’t enjoy I tend to grind to a natural stop. My advice would be to find things you are passionate about and motivation will come naturally.

A significant Mentor experience…

I’ve had several Mentors that have stood out to me. One being: In the past I went through a tough period I was going though IVF to conceive my daughter and I’d undergone some surgery and the aftercare was so awful I came out of the experience with PTSD. Unfortunately it left me with a great deal of anxiety, especially around the medical profession, and I had to go through several months of counselling. Importance of a mentor: Things at home can muddle into work, you carry who you are to everywhere you go. I was looking for a mentor, so I put in an application at my old school, (they run an alumnus mentoring programme) funnily enough my mentor turned out to be a doctor! She was amazing and we developed a good relationship because she allowed me to explain my previous situation, but I also told her what I wanted to get out of our mentor/mentee dynamic. I really wanted it to be business focused, she was so supportive and it also helped with the healing.

The first woman to row the Atlantic Ocean twice from East to West, and once with your mother! Motivation?

I wanted to prove something to myself and other people. I didn’t have the best relationship with my family and I was desperate for their approval, I wanted to show them that I am capable. The irony is I ended up going with my mum! I found out on the row that she had the same motivation! It proved to be the right challenge with the right person. This type of opportunity doesn’t just happen, so be able to do it at all was a huge privilege. We wanted to do something that would change our lives, and it did!

Resilience. Resilience. Resilience.

I’m at my best when things are at their worst, so you can rely on me when events go array! I think I’m pretty resilient too. Over the years I’ve learnt that leadership can be a lonely place. I always felt like I was getting things wrong. It taught me that a leadership mindset isn’t necessarily an innate skill set, it’s a learning process. I know now that I’m also terribly impatient! I’m lucky, because I’ve done monumental things, so I get asked how did I do it, and people are often impressed by how resilient I must be to achieve these things. I believe we all have a level of resilience within us, unfortunately when we’re stuck focusing on the mundane tasks or our every day lives we forget what we’ve been through.The reason why we don’t think we are resilient is because we don’t get the opportunity to be mindful of what I’ve learnt along the way. Sometimes just stopping and looking at how far we’re come helps us to realise how much we’ve been through.

What does well being mean to me?

On my Podcast, The Well Beginners, our first podcast guest and psychologist, Tadhg O’Seaghdha said,Well being is enabling you to feel how you want to feel all the time more of the time”. This really made sense to me, the idea of putting into place strategies that enable you manage the downs, whilst appreciating the ups.

Celebrate your wins, it’s important.

I’m setting up a new charity called The Active Pregnancy Foundation. It’s funny, because whilst I’m going through the scary ‘set up phase’ I’m appreciating for the first time that I’m on the right path. When I was preparing for my first row everything seemed to come together really easily, however other challenges have not been like that. From what I’ve learnt maybe the reason why it feels like you’re banging your head against a brick wall, is because it’s not the right thing for you.  It’s important to acknowledge this, let it go and move on. It’s important to take a step back and process that journey… Taking risks allows you to learn new things and develop new skillsets, but you don’t become resilient to the knockbacks if you’re not prepare to stop, look back, learn from the mistakes and appreciate the wins… however small.