Article and Photography by Joe Lenton – Commercial Photography & Photography Training
Last night Tracy Clark addressed local business leaders at the Norfolk Network. Tracy is a highly successful open water swimmer. She has completed various ocean swims including swimming the Channel to France. Such feats of endurance are not something that everyone accomplishes, so what did Tracy say helps her to literally go that extra mile? The answer is largely in the mind – it is about how we think.
When we hit the rough seas, when difficulties come our way, what will we do? To persevere when things are getting tough takes a strong mental attitude. Whether this is out to sea when the waves are growing larger and jellyfish are stinging Tracy’s arms, or those hurdles that threaten to block our way in business, we can’t avoid challenges coming our way.
Tracy has developed various techniques for helping her to keep going. One key idea is extremely simple in essence, but for many of us can take a lot of discipline to master: look for the positives. If you can find a positive angle in any situation then you don’t have to be mentally swamped by negativity. See obstacles as opportunities and adapt to overcome them.
Having successfully swum the Channel (a feat that 90% of those attempting it fail at) and completing a mile in freezing cold sub 5 degree water, you might be forgiven for thinking that Tracy would put her feet up, enjoy her achievements and keep herself well out of harm’s way from now on. Quite the contrary; she is now planning to complete the “Ocean’s 7” – a series of ocean swims around the world, each with its own unique challenges.
I wonder how many of us breathe a sigh of relief once our businesses have made strides forward – hoping for calm waters from now on? Do we embrace risk and push ourselves to new heights, or do we seek the easy path? Of course, to accomplish such things we need a strong team around us and Tracy is no exception. Not only does she have a team of experts that help her with the logistics and technical aspects of her swims, she has a loyal supportive family. Similarly, for our businesses to succeed, we need strong teams not just strong individuals. We need to support one another and find support from other businesses through opportunities such as networking.
(Tracy Clark with husband Andy and Lucy Marks of the Norfolk Network)