My goal with this podcast is to explore the question: how do you find the courage and bravery to chase your dreams?
The flippant answer is to say - just do it.
But you and I both know it’s much easier said than done. You can’t “just do it” when your fear, insecurity and self-doubt is front and centre in your mind and it’s hard to give yourself permission to “try” and impossible to believe you can actually achieve it.
There have been so many times in my life - and yours too I’m sure - when I haven’t felt “brave enough” to chase my goals and instead I’ve felt stuck, paralysed or scared.
However, this interview - the first on our podcast - reminded me that chasing my dreams and pursuing what excites and interests me (or what even just makes me think “I’d love to…” or ask "I wonder if I could…”) is far more important than any shame, embarrassment or "failure" will ever be.
This is why I thought (I knew!) Siri Lindley would be the perfect person to help me start to explore this question.
From her first (highly embarrassing) triathlon and deep-seated insecurity that sabotaged her races early in her career and forced her to hide her sexuality, Siri went on to become the #1 ranked triathlete in the world twice and the 2002 ITU World Champion.
Now retired, she is one of the most successful coaches in the sport.
Throughout, she has been on an ongoing and life-long journey to understand self-belief and bring out the best in herself, her athletes and anyone she comes into contact with.
We begin by talking about her first (embarrassing - her words) triathlon and how the decision to follow her love of the sport and her triathlon dreams - instead of listening to the shame and embarrassment she felt - has changed the trajectory of her life.
As I reflect on the interview and write these notes, I can see in each of us a “sliding doors” style decision each time we make a choice between listening to our fear, shame and embarrassment as opposed to listening to our dreams, curiosity and interests.
Sure, no single decision will change your life.
But it’s the culmination of your decisions - the doors you choose and the path you take - that slowly shapes your life and (perhaps most importantly) your perception of who you are and what you are capable of.
I know every time I’ve felt shit scared and yet chose to open the door marked “goals and dreams”, it has led to the achievements I’m most proud of.
Siri and I then discuss how being clear on what “success” means for you is the key to being satisfied with your results (both in sport and in life) and how important it is to understand and explore your fears then “dance” with them.
A few of my favourite quotes from Siri in this interview:
- Don’t let your shame or embarrassment outweigh your goals and your dreams.
- Your first triathlon - or any single race - is no indication of your potential or capacity to achieve; it’s just one point on your journey and there is no way you can possibly know where that journey will lead you.
- There is always a lesson in the tough times.
- Dance with your fear, rather than resisting it. Live from a place of love, curiosity and open-mindedness rather than fear
Siri has been a tremendous mentor and inspiration for me as a coach, athlete and woman. She is a remarkable, passionate and joyful woman. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I loved talking with her.
Notes and resources: