Holly Bradshaw: 5 Tips for Women In Sport From An Olympian
To celebrate Internationals Women's Day on 8th March, we've dedicated an entire week to hearing from some of the most influential and inspiring female voices that we've been fortunate to work with.
Celebrating their sports, their training and their unique takes on the wellness industry, with advice and practical tips for both the current crop and future generations of women in fitness.
Holly Bradshaw is a three time Olympian, Olympic medalist and European champion who holds a British record in athletics.
Here Holly shares with us some of her tips for health, happiness and success in sport.
REGULARLY SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX
“I’m a big believer in the importance of taking a ‘social media detox’. I think it shouldn't be underestimated how toxic social media can be. That’s not to say it can’t be great, especially as an influencer or an athlete to get your profile out there, but it can be very toxic. I’ve definitely suffered abuse over body image and other issues via social media, so I think having a detox from that can be very important. It's so easy to get wrapped up in looking at ‘how good everyone else has it’ and how bad you have it and get bogged down in that. So regularly take a break to keep some perspective.”
DON’T BE AFRAID TO STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU THINK IS RIGHT
“It’s so important to make a stand on issues you believe in and just generally what you think is right. When you are an athlete, an influencer or a celebrity; or in any position where you may have a voice- it can very easily be suppressed. I found that the start of my career. That’s why I think it's very important to stand up for what you think is right and try and be heard and use your platform for good. That’s what I did around The Olympics and the lack of kit options we had as female athletes, I found it so frustrating and I'm really proud of myself standing up for what I believed in and pushing for change. Not everyone agreed with me and that can be hard, but I think it is really important to stay true to yourself and make yourself heard when you feel passionate about something.”
“On a similar note to standing up for what you think is right, I think it’s just generally important that you’re not afraid to be yourself.
At the start of my career I would be really scared to portray who I really was, I’d worry myself thinking ‘what if people didn't like me?’. One thing I've learnt is just be yourself; be who you are, be true to yourself because that's how you’re going to get the best out of yourself. Now I have no filter on things like interviews- I’m northern and down to earth, so I just say whatever is on my mind, and sometimes people might think ‘she's so ditzy!’ But you know what? That’s who I am and if people don't like it then that's fine, it’s up to them.
As long as I’m being true to myself, I know I’m going to perform the best I can.”
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
“I’m a big believer in surrounding yourself with like-minded people. There's nothing worse than having people around you who are the complete opposite to you, or people who don't share your values.
I'm very motivated and driven, I like training hard and I like to be intrinsically motivated, when I'm surrounded by people who aren't like that , people who are ego driven, all about the heights, all about the money; or people who don't like to train, complain a lot and who are just generally negative, it bogs me down and can leave me in a really bad headspace.
I think it's really important in life to surround yourself and make friends with people who are like-minded and share your values, that’s how you’re going to get the best out of yourself.”
NEVER STOP HAVING FUN
“Last but definitely not least- never stop having fun. As you get older it’s so easy to lose sight of this and think ‘oh I’m an adult, I’ve got to do adult stuff!’ But I’ve never lost the fun of life; never stopped making fun of myself, having a laugh at training, having a laugh during a competition and for me it brings out the best in me, when I'm having fun and enjoying myself I can relax and truly get the best out of myself.
I'm absolutely not afraid to take the mick out of myself and I think once you get into that kind of headspace it does bring out the best in you. Whether it's sport or in the workplace, having fun is super, super important. You have to enjoy life, you have to take everything with a pinch of salt and just kind of go with the flow, and I think always ensuring I’m having fun has been so important for me.”
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