1. Trust your ability, you have to believe in yourself even if others doubt you. It’s your belief that counts!!

2. Don’t talk about failure. If anyone asks you how you feel about the swim dismiss any negatives and say ‘I know I will make it’ It is human nature to protect ourselves from disappointment. I found that being positive, even when at times in reality I wasn’t quite as confident as I made out, I could almost trick my brain to shut out any demons.

3. Surround yourself with only positive people. A good friend of mine who is a hypnotherapist always reminds me that negative people can be like emotional vampires and sap the life out of you and make you doubt yourself.

4. Never say negative words such as c*ld don’t make them real. I would constantly tell myself I was warm and comfortable. I once repeated hot/warm/hot for 6 hours thinking nothing else!! If you are thinking positive thoughts you can’t be thinking negative ones at the same time. There are thought stopping techniques you can use if you find you’re drifting into negative ones.

5. Think about why you are doing the swim i.e. charity or to challenge yourself, keep reminding yourself of those reasons and how much you want it!! I used to leave notes for myself by my bed ‘I am going to swim the channel!’ I would also listen to motivational CD’s.

6. Day dream about the feeling of achieving the swim, how accomplished you will feel and how proud everyone will be of you. Focus on the end goal!!

7. Always have a next swim planned, then the first swim isn’t the only challenge and is part of a process. After the Gibraltar 2 way I had 5 more swims to think about, so each individual one wasn’t the be all and end all as I had to progress to complete the 7. You could set yourself the challenge of achieving all the 'Great swims' in a season!

8. Laugh lots enjoy the experience!! It will be tough at times but if it was easy everyone would be doing it. No you are not alone others are feeling just the way you do. I always try and joke through any nerves and enjoy the moment. Be proud that you are different and unique. Remember this is your destiny and you are in full control of it!!