[private]Sometimes reading about world champions talking about their recipe for success becomes tiresome – train hard, focus, the support of friends, overcoming setbacks etc. There’s a well trodden path from being an elite sports man or woman to making speeches about leadership or achieving high performance.
However, this article about Gemma Spofforth, the GB swimmer shows something different. Her story talks about mental toughness, tackling depression and suicidal thoughts, coping with loss and still becoming the best in the world. All of this is inspirational in its own right.
What makes her story stand out is how she has used her life experiences to help understand her personal journey, to inform her personal narrative and motivate her to take a brave move away from one incredibly successful career to a completely new career. She shows insight, courage and self-belief. It’s also clear she’s valued the support of friends, family and professionals on her journey. There’s a lot to learn from this brief article. There’s a sense that Gemma is looking for personal fulfilment away from competitive sport and has looked inside herself and her experiences for the answers to the question – what next?
This is a fascinating exploration of one person’s understanding of their self and their place in the world. We always say this is the starting point for any career – understand your self first. We’ll be buying the autobiography once it’s published and cheering Gemma on at the Olympics. Good luck Gemma, in the Olympics and beyond.