I’m one of those people that likes to challenge myself.

I love learning, trying new things, and going outside my comfort zone (well… most of the time :)).

When you challenge yourself in different ways it keeps you on your toes, helps you stay sharp, and inspires you to grow in new ways.

Sometimes I take on too much at once – like in 2011 when I signed up to run the New York marathon and then enrolled in the MBA programme at the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development.

Thankfully I’ve learned from that experience.

Challenging yourself does not mean overworking yourself.

I’m learning to be more creative with my challenges like finding better ways to do things that I’ve done before, making myself think outside the box, letting go of conventions that I’ve lived by, and approaching old problems in new ways.

I’m also experimenting with changing my routines.

I used to get up at 6am every morning and workout.

I’ve changed my schedule to work out at times I don’t usually do, such as lunchtime and after work.

It feels unusual and awkward but I find freedom in the discovery of the new.

Last year I took on the challenge of enrolling in a karanga wānanga with Te Raina Ferris.

I had been wanting to do it for a while but something had always gotten in the way.

But last year I committed to doing it; wrote it down as one of my goals, told a few friends (some who joined me), told my whānau (because I would be away some weekends), blocked out the dates and times in my calendar, and arranged other commitments around the dates where I could.

I’m so pleased I did because I totally loved it (and I achieved my goal)!

So, this year I enrolled in level 2 and last week we completed the first of two 4-day wānanga at Kurawaka Retreat in Pōrangahau.

Here’s the thing – while it is a karanga wānanga where you get to compose your own karanga for different kaupapa, which is so very cool; you learn so much more – like te mana o te wahine!

One of the takeaways of the wānanga for me is to “Shine your light and be who you are” grounded in the knowledge that your mana comes from the Atua, your tūpuna, your people, and yourself.

Ka tū koe i to mana motuhake.

Powerful stuff!

When you have this knowing, this grounding in who you are, other peoples’ perspectives don’t change who you are.

And while I knew this, sometimes you have to be reminded over and over again.

This is where daily habits and practices such as karakia, waiata, meditation, yoga, affirmations etc are valuable.

By challenging yourself in different ways you will discover many things about yourself.

There is no better way to discover what you are capable of and what your weaknesses are than to always and constantly do something that tests you in a different way.

I observed this happening, not only with myself but also, with the other wāhine as we composed, practiced, and delivered our karanga for assessment.

I believe we are far more complex and far stronger than we imagine; through constant challenge, we can discover our great strengths and find a kind of self-confidence that would not be possible otherwise.

Life can become far more enjoyable if we are able to constantly challenge ourselves in new and interesting ways, and it’s even better if you are in a safe environment.

To constantly challenge yourself is the key to becoming better in all things.

It’s why I do the work that I do.

It’s not easy putting myself out there but I want to make a difference, to provide a service that I used to search for and couldn’t find when I held senior management roles.

It’s this kaupapa that drives me, stretches me, and calls me to rise to the challenge.

I want to be an example of what is possible so you too will follow your dreams!

Mana Motuhake!


P.S. Join Kia Tū Teitei Monthly now by clicking HERE! This month’s kaupapa is on building confidence.