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TRIUMPH Fest Workshop: Change the big things first

Hi, I’m Alice, one of the members of the TRIUMPH team that attended TRIUMPH Fest. Saturday morning at TRIUMPH Fest kicked off with a series of workshops that aimed to develop training and skills among the young people attending the festival, and give them confidence in speaking about and leading mental health projects. I started the day in a workshop led by Brian Costello from Headstrong. Headstrong’s mission is to help people build their confidence and self-esteem by changing themselves from the inside out – Headstrong believe that the simplest change starts by changing the way we think.

The workshop was titled “Change the Big Things First”, which sounded like quite a big mission for 9.30am on a Saturday morning! But I was keen to hear how Brian was going to get us all to tackle this. I knew it was going to be an engaging presentation when Brian bounded up on stage in a bright patterned jumper and started speaking with such enthusiasm. The workshop started off by discussing what we see as normal, as how normal doesn’t always meet our expectations, often leading to disappointment. I particularly resonated with his example of a Big Mac, which is just never a satisfying as it looks on the adverts! Brian then went on the discuss the different normal mistakes that many people make, and which can lead to poor mental health. He spoke about things like how we try to change the world, how we often do what we think we should do rather than what we want to do, and how many people end up settling for second best. Brian brought in different examples from everyday life, and I found myself relating to a lot of what he was saying.

Photo of Brain presenting for HeadStrong Minds

The second part of the Headstrong workshop focussed on the gears of change: the things we can change in our thinking to bring about a positive change in our own wellbeing. Brian emphasised the need to know your own standards for what you will accept in life, the need to be yourself and be comfortable with this, and the importance of finding your mission that will push you to be the best version of yourself. His personal example showed just how much you can change when you have a mission you are passionate about. Looking around the room at all of the young people there who have already started on their mission to support other young people to improve their mental health, I really hoped that the insights from Brian’s talk would help them to reach this goal.

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