How do you feel your confidence has changed over the past 10 years?

My confidence is completely transformed.

If you met me 10 years ago, you’d see someone who looked outwardly very confident, with a sleek brunette bob and a power outfit on, but it was all a mask. I hid behind what I could control and didn’t let anyone know what a mess I was.

Now, I let my insides match my outsides, pink hair and all! 

Why do you think that is?

Honestly, a LOT of personal development work!

I’ve been coached and had therapy to get me to the point where I can embrace all the aspects of myself, even the messy ones.

I think we’re taught that improvement means eliminating the “flaws” but I’ve chosen to love them instead and it’s done wonders for my confidence.

Do you feel invisible in some aspects of your life? How does that show up?

I think my disability is still pretty invisible. When you’re disabled but not in a wheelchair or using obvious aids, people assume you are healthy.

I’ve had several experiences recently where people have been pretty unkind about my need for accommodations or the amount of time I need resting. 

Tell me about a woman who is older than you, inspires you and why? Describe how she makes you feel.

My big sister definitely inspires me. There’s nearly a 17 year age gap between us, so I’ve always had her guiding the way for me and showing me how to age with style. She makes me feel like there’s always something exciting round the corner.

At the moment she’s doing a masters alongside her work as a deputy headteacher – total badass right there. 

What worries you about ageing?

My health. I worry about whether my disabilities will have a bigger impact on me, and whether I will be supported by society long term.

I think a lot of people my age worry about the future of pensions, but as a disabled person that fear kind of multiplies. 

What excites you about ageing?

I have always wanted to be an outrageous old lady!

I worked in a residential home as a teenager and my favourite ladies were the ones who spoke their mind and didn’t care for appearances. I try to embrace that now, and I’m definitely going to lean into that as I age! 

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?


But seriously, it would be to learn how to make choices for myself, rather than to please the people around me. No matter what kind of relationship it is, you should never sacrifice yourself to keep someone else happy. Be selfish. 

Question from Lou…
How do you carry on when the pressure of your past defines your choices in life?

That’s a great question!

I try to ground myself in the now. If I let the past define my current choices, I’d never move under that weight. So I remind myself that the past is now a story in my head and all that I can actually influence is right now.

Does the thing I’m trying to do now feel like a “hell yeah” or a “OMG no”? I listen to my gut and I act accordingly. 

Thank you Anna for answering my questions.
You can find out more about Anna’s work here and she has recently had her work published in the book ‘Impact’ which can be purchased here