Identity: Siobhan-Marie O'Connor

Life Lessons: From Sport and Beyond

Jun 20 2021 • 1 hr 2 mins

The importance of separating our self-worth and sense of who we are from what we do.

As one of Britain's best swimmers, Siobhan-Marie's sense of self-worth was often bound up with her performance in the pool. When she recorded the third fastest time in history at Rio 2016, she was on cloud nine, but when her times slipped she felt like she was a failure. This isn't an issue only related to sport; lots of us confuse who we are for what we do.

Siobhan-Marie was forced to retire from swimming last week aged just twenty-five after struggling with ulcerative colitis - a painful and debilitating bowel disease. She was diagnosed aged sixteen, shortly after competing at London 2012. Since coming to terms with her enforced retirement and need to focus on her health and wellbeing, Siobhan-Marie has taken the time to reflect on the lessons she learnt over the course of her ten-year elite career.

In this episode, she talks about learning to appreciate the power of the mind - and qualifying for the Olympics as a teenager despite ill-health. She shares how she learnt to pick herself up after disappointment, why preparation equals confidence and the power of recording your progress, as well as the importance of acceptance and much more besides.

It was a pleasure chatting to Siobhan-Marie who provides some great DTMTS nuggets, and I hope you enjoy our conversation.


A big thank you to the sponsors of this week's show I recommend the unwind oil for when you want to relax, and the clarity oil for when you need an energising boost.

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