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Naomi Simson saxton

Sometimes life presents us with rare gems, people who are put in our path, that with a few quite words speak so loudly to what you need to hear in that moment.

This week my great friends at Saxtons hosted a few of their speakers at an ‘open house’ for the event industry. And I had the chance to chat with Nadine Champion. I had not met or heard Nadine’s story before, but from the first moment I was spell bound by her deep conviction; her courage and gratitude.

I have since watched her recently published TEDx Sydney talk for which she received a standing ovation. Her story was deeply authentic…. and vulnerable. A woman able to sit comfortably with how she would make her self appear (as a world champion kick boxer) versus how she really felt on the inside….

It is not the ‘what happened’ in her story that makes it riveting, nor even the lessons that she shares so eloquently. It is who she is ‘being’, who she is for others – her contribution as a role model, teacher and guide. Her ability to show up, and deeply know that 10 seconds of courage is what it takes to get started on the toughest battle – and we all have them.

She says “It does not hurt any less if you close your eyes.” Quite frankly, facing fear and pain straight on with deep conviction will deliver the greatest outcome. I spend a considerable time in my book ‘Live What you Love’ arguing what stops us most from achieving what we really want, living with passion and conviction – is our fear. Nadine’s story is a powerful demonstration of just that.

So at this session on Tuesday I was asked if I wanted to break a board … I had done it some years ago…. this gave Nadine and I some time to work together, on focus, courage and leadership. I was prepared for the challenge and happy to take it on. A few people began to gather around to watch, a photographer arrived. None of this phased me – I was focused on the board, on Nadine’s words. As I said in my first sentence ‘Sometimes life presents you with rare gems’ and this was one of them.

The outcome was exactly as it should have been. Because I am always ‘Ms Achiever’ – and I don’t always bring people with me on the journey. So whilst my personal motto is “if it is meant to be it is up to me’. This does not mean I have to do it all on my own. Thank you Nadine!

Here is the TEDx Sydney talk in full. Let me know what lesson you learned.

Reader Interactions


  1. I have in the past said those very words. Through some of my challenges (tough ones lately) I’ve found myself closing my eyes… and still hurting. I guess I could be missing the opportunities by doing so. Thank you for sharing this. I read it at just the right time… with my eyes open.

  2. Wow! That was one of the most inspirational Ted talks I have seen. We are all faced with times that are very trying in our lives. I am sure Nadine has inspired many to set goals and continue to reach for them and to overcome the obstacles in our path. On a personal note, this motivates me to continue to build relationships within my profession as well as continue to pursue designing resources and sessions to empower coaching and team leadership within our schools. Taking a different approach to reach a goal is a message that we should embrace.

  3. > who she is ‘being’
    Well put.

    Long ago I remember the phrase, “Who do you want to be, and what experiences do you want to create?”

    It’s a simple challenge, and a chance, to decide and design your way forward.


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