E65: I Won 11 World Titles Because They Said I Couldn't - Anna Hemmings MBE

E65: I Won 11 World Titles Because They Said I Couldn't - Anna Hemmings MBE

By Steven Bartlett

The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett

Tuesday, 19 January

My guest this week is kayaking legend Anna Hemmings MBE. Anna is Britain’s most successful female marathon kayaker with a staggering eleven World and European Championship medals, 9 of them gold. By the age of 24 she had been a World Champion 3 times and competed at the Olympic Games. In 2010 she was awarded an MBE for her services to sport.

Hemmings achieved this success against all the odds. She was told by the British head coach that she was not big enough or strong enough to be a great kayaker. She proved him wrong. At the peak of her career, Anna was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome  and was told by medical experts she might never race again. She battled her way to full recovery and went on to win a further 3 world titles and compete at her second Olympic Games in Beijing 2008. She has become an expert in the field of resilience and high performance. Anna is now an Executive coach and founded Beyond the Barriers, a high performance training consultancy which works globally with leaders and teams giving them practical tools and strategies to enable them to thrive under pressure, build resilience, be mentally tough in challenging environments and deliver world class performance.

Anna’s sporting achievements were recognised at the Sunday Times Sports Woman of the Year Awards, where she won the 2005 Champions Award and then again in 2007 when she was voted BBC London Sports Personality of the Year.

This week's podcast gave me more realisations than I’ve ever had from a guest before. We spoke about the multiple challenges she faced throughout her career and how despite all of the hardships, she was able to keep going when all the signs were there to give-up. We also delved into her expertise in resilience and high performance, discussing the steps she takes to help people become the greatest version of themselves. 

This weeks topics:

- Why Kayaking?
- Why you?
- Healthy conflict within teams
- Key lessons from your psychologist 
- How do people overcome their limiting beliefs?
- What do you think about this idea of labels?
- Your process of visualisation
- Your discipline and how to apply it  
- How do you find what drives other people 
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 
- Benefits of being vulnerable 
- Overcoming your disorder
- The importance of connection
- What’s next for you?


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