Real Leaders

Being Fearlessly Authentic: A World Champion Triathlete’s Advice on How to Fail

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary of the Real Leaders Podcast

“What I’ve realized through my journey is that we are so much more powerful than we could ever imagine, as human beings. But we don’t want to believe that because it’s scary to think what we really are capable of. And I’m a believer, because I’m living proof that the impossible is really possible. I’m also a believer that you’re going to be afraid, but you’re going to do it anyway. And that’s what courage is, isn’t it?”

Siri Lindley is an author, keynote speaker, animal advocate, cancer survivor, 2x World Champion Triathlete, and now the world’s very best female triathlon coach.

The following is a summary of Episode 129 of the Real Leaders Podcast, a conversation with World Champion Triathlete Siri Lindley. Read or listen to the full conversation below.

Forgetting Fear of Failure

“I used to be one of those athletes, ‘Oh, I hope I have a good day, a good game today.’ And you know, the universe isn’t going to decide whether you have a good game or not, it’s up to you. You’re in charge of what happens in your life, how you respond to things, how you react, and you’re in charge of your entire experience of life. And once I realized that, that I was kind of the conductor of my own symphony of life, it was up to me to make it great.”

Siri shares that there were many failures along the journey to becoming a triathlete champion. From being the worst athlete in training camp, to coming dead last in her first race, to not making the Olympic tryouts her first time around. But these were instances that she didn’t let deter her. She assures that it is the fear of failure that is worse than failure itself, as it prevents us from taking the first step.

“I failed over and over again. But every time I got myself back up, and I dusted myself off, and I thought, ‘Okay, what do I need to change so that I can become better?’ So really, if you’re not willing to fail, you’re actually not willing to succeed. Because failure is just a part of the process of getting to success and facing those fears.” 

Listen to Episode 129 on Spotify, Anchor, Crowdcast, and Apple Podcasts

Being Fearlessly Authentic to Win from Within

“I really do believe that you don’t have to go win a World Championship to deserve your own love. But for me, for whatever reason, that’s what it took for me. To believe in myself, not just love myself, but to believe in myself. And to believe that I am worthy, and I can make a difference in this world. That was the gift and it was the most beautiful gift I’ve ever received. And I gave it to myself. And we all have the opportunity to do that in our lives.”

Beyond the physical obstacles that came with building her athletic career, Siri has faced many personal ones as well. Training as a triathlete, mind, body, and soul, brought her to look deeper within and to realize that she was gay. While this new identity was not initially accepted by family or sponsors, it pushed her to stay true to herself. Knowing who she was fostered the fortitude that would empower her to thrive when later faced with an even bigger obstacle: a leukemia diagnosis with a 10% chance of surviving. Having beat the odds, she remains devout to her personal creed:

“I made a decision when I retired from triathlon [that] I will never ever push my own self aside. I need to be fearlessly authentically me in every moment, because when we are fearlessly authentically ourselves, we are most powerful, that’s when we can truly give from all our heart and have deeper, richer relationships and have a greater impact on the world.”

A Greater Impact

Siri shares that she has lately taken on a new endeavor inspired by her rescue horse, Savannah, who helped Siri through recovery. Horses In Our Hands is Siri’s organization to end horse slaughter, and her nonprofit, Believe Ranch and Rescue, saves horses from abuse, extreme neglect, kill shelters and feed lots. Believe Ranch rehabilitates these horses to give them a new home, and has rescued 116 horses so far.

But Siri is on a greater mission to save all horses that might otherwise be sent to slaughter: she urges us to vote in favor of the SAFE Act, which will ban horse slaughter altogether.



Find more of Siri’s insights here:

Most Recent Articles