‘The Woman I am Becoming’; International Women’s Day UK + Book Launch

I am really excited to say that today, alongside some other inspirational women, have launched a book to help inspire young women as part of this years International Women’s Day UK campaign #balanceforbetter.

The book has already become an Amazon best seller!

Here is a video with some alarming stats about the struggles that some young women are presented with.

‘The Woman I’m Becoming’ is a celebration of World Book Day and International Women’s Day UK.

This collaboration book is now available to buy today.

I work to help other women to improve their relationship with money as I believe that money is still such a taboo subject. Elements of my story that I share include how I struggled with bullying and eating disorders as a teenager and how these caused me to have an emotional relationship with money.

I also talk about my struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder after my son Thomas at 5 weeks old had meningitis.  I offer advice on these subjects with my key message being about resilience.  Being a teenage girl today is hard and a little support can go a long way, especially when faced with statistics such as these.

A sneaky peek of my chapter

“I am the girl who always strives for perfection. I often feel like I have to justify my actions to others because I want to be perfect. Like when I brought yet another dress to hang in my overfilled wardrobe for that ‘special occasion’ that rarely appears or buying the latest on-trend handbag or shoes. I am always ‘that friend’ who finds the best deals and the money off vouchers. Buying things just always made me feel better. I am very led by my emotions and I guess you could call me the ‘emotional spender!’

You may think that because I am the ‘money expert’ that I am great with numbers, love spreadsheets, technical jargon and am naturally good at making financial decisions. Quite the opposite. I hate spreadsheets! I have spent years going through those ‘I wish I had done this 10 years ago’ moments and beating myself up for poor decisions. Some of my very earliest memories had a huge influence on my life and particularly how I dealt with money.”

Alarming facts

·       1 in 4 girls will self-harm before they leave school. There has been a 70% increase in 10-14 tear olds attending A&E for self-harm. (www.nice.org.uk and www.hacic.gov.uk)

·       Girls as young as 5 are worrying about their weight. By the age of 10, 80% of girls will be on a diet to change their body shape. (APPG Report 2012 and Common Sense Media 21/1/15)

·       47% of girls feel the pressure to look attractive is a disadvantage to being a girl – this figure rises to 76% for 15/16 year olds. (APPG Report 2012) 

·       Teenage girls are now more likely to suffer partner abuse than any other age group. 12.7% of girls aged 16-19 have experienced domestic abuse in the last year alone. (British Crime Survey 2010)

·       33% of girls aged 13-17 have experienced some from of sexual abuse. (NSPCC 2009)

·       68% of female university students experience sexual harassment on campus. (NUS Hidden Marks Survey 2010)

·       Girls are now 3x more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than boys and on any give day up to 5% of girls aged 12-17 will be prescribed anti-depressants. (Nuffield Foundations, Social Trends in Adolescent Mental Health 2013)

This passion project was spearheaded by 31 year old Abigail Horne, Founder of Authors&Co which helps women leave a legacy through creating bestselling books. Abi felt compelled to show young women how to be kinder to themselves, love and value themselves and feel empowered to create the futures they desire after recently having a baby girl. Passionate to support her, I also want to make an impact on future generations.

The collaboration book ‘The Woman I’m Becoming’ (available on Amazon) is a celebration of both World Book Day and International Women’s Day in one. It brings together female entrepreneurs from across the globe, all of whom are experts in their field, to share their stories, reflections, advice and guidance on subjects from money, health, and relationships to self-worth, wellbeing and authenticity.

3 things I know now, that I wish my teenage self knew:

1. Appreciate your Mum

If you are fortunate to still have your mum in your life, treat her like your best friend. Let her know what you have learned from her. Know that she did her best for you and she too had to learn as she went along. Nobody gives you a book on how to be a parent! 

2. Don’t compare yourself to others

Instead, compare yourself to who you were yesterday. There is only one you. Know your worth and be true to yourself.

3. Learn as you go

Sometimes it can be frustrating when you have to wait for things to happen, or you can’t quite find the right career first time. “Learn as you go” is one of my mantras. If you aren’t sure, try it anyway! Be grateful for everything that happens, it is really for a reason. 

Leaving a legacy

I really hope that this book will leave a legacy for future generations. I’m dedicating my chapter to my Mum and my two cheeky boys.

I never appreciated my Mum as much as I do today, now being a mother myself. A mum nourishes you in every way she can and will go to the end of the earth to keep you happy and healthy. My mum has been all of these things in my life and her resilience and kindness have supported me at times when I thought there was no hope.

She also showed me how one person could manage four children on her own and still find the time to find her own love again.

Life throws some pretty awful things at you at times, and she has shown me through her own life how resilient a woman can be.

Helping young adults

Following the launch of the International Women’s Day book, Authors & Co hosted a charity meet and greet event with some of the authors. Money raised at this event will be donated to “Your Future Self Academy” to fund scholarship places for young adults to attend self-development retreats. Alison Goodwin, Founder of Your Future Self, said: 

“We are delighted to be supported by this book launch event. We help young adults with: Mindset, Team Building, Sports, Employability Skills, Leadership, Goals and Money Management. Our retreats are pioneering, transformative, guaranteed to be fun, and will help young adults authentically connect with their peers. The retreats are an opportunity for young people to feel empowered when making career choices; this will be achieved by helping them explore extracurricular activities in a stimulating learning environment.”

I hope that I can help my boys to be resilient in their own lives as they grow up to be the fantastic little men that I know they will be. I also hope that this book can help young women to step into their own power.

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