My biggest dream in life has always been to compete in the Olympics for Great Britain, and now it's less than 100 days until Rio 2016 and I can't believe it! It's all starting to feel very real for me so I've been reflecting on my journey so far, and I want to start to encourage others to believe that they too can make their dreams a reality.
1. Dream big and believe that it's possible
When I was 12-years-old I was picked for the England senior women's team. I had only taken up shooting two years prior so I hadn't even dreamt it would be possible for me to be picked. It was at this moment that I realised anything is possible if you put your mind to it, so why not dream big. I started to feel like competing as an Olympian was an achievable goal for me to set my sights on and I'm now I'm on the road to Rio 2016!
2. Adopt a positive mental attitude
As an 18-year-old sportswomen there are many obstacles I have faced on my journey and sometimes it can be disheartening to feel like women have to prove themselves so much more, particularly in a sport like shooting which is considered very masculine. There are some incredible sportswomen out there and they really inspire me to achieve more on a day to day basis. Working out in the gym is also something that really helps improve my mindset as it gives me a great buzz and improves the way I take on challenges or obstacles I am facing.
3. Accept that sometimes things don't always go to plan
My Grandfather always tells people that he believes I have the capability to win gold at the Olympics, but no one can determine what will happen on the day. This attitude has very much rubbed off on me and I have accepted that sometimes the situation may be out of my control - as long as I give it my best that is all I can do.
4. Surround yourself with a supportive network
If you were to meet my Grandfather he would definitely tell you the story about when he first took me to the shooting range and how he saw something special in me that day! It's been his ongoing support, along with that of my family and sponsors, which has gotten me to where I am today. Non-traditional sponsorship programmes such as the Christopher Ward Challenger Programme, which aims to support sportsmen and women in helping them to achieve their dreams, is something that I was really excited to be a part of because it focuses on wanting to support up-and-coming athletes that may not already have made a name for themselves.
5. Build your self-confidence
It's so easy to dwell on things from the past which you felt you didn't do your best at but this will massively impact your confidence in a negative way. Instead celebrate the things you did do successfully and this will give you such a confidence boost. I definitely believe that being confident will only ever have a positive impact on my performance so I try to maintain a positive mental attitude at all times.
6. Channel your inspirations
I love music and part of my routine before a big competition is to sit and listen to my favourite music which helps me to get into the right mindset. It also helps me shut out the outside world for a bit, not to mention the fact it helps calm my nerves! Whenever there is a chance to absorb your inspirations, take it.