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Learning lessons of the past to drive the future

business learning business learning
Reporter 4 minute read

Performance coach and author Rhiannon Rees has worked with businesspeople, TV stars, elite athletes through to small business operators and farmers. Her experiences, both professional and personal, provide great insight into the human psyche and what stops us achieving our goals

When you hit rock bottom, the only way is up – yet the choice is entirely yours about whether that involves climbing up or giving up. Rhiannon Rees knows this better than most.

Her early life reads like a disaster novel, with seemingly every possible tragedy and defeat a person could suffer – abused as a child; dealing with the suicide of her brother; the surprise dissolution of her marriage after her husband confided that he wanted to become a woman; bankruptcy; finding herself homeless and living in a tent with her young son. Yet still she refused to give up.

Instead, Ms Rees spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and many years studying human behaviour to understand how people think and what makes us act the way we do.


Just like the old saying about not seeing the forest for the trees, Ms Rees says she has learnt that the biggest inhibitor of success – both in life and in business – is focusing too much on yourself.

“We are all our own worst critics, and you need to get rid of that little voice inside which says ‘You can’t do that’,” she expl ains. “Stop focusing on you. Stop making this about you. Think about what the people who will hear you will take away. Think about how you can serve them, what the benefit to them is. Start to see things from outside yourself. It produces better results.”

Ms Rees believes that we all tend to overthink things, rather than invest in searching our feelings and our instincts.

“Aboriginal people talk about the body having the three brains: it has the gut brain, the heart brain and the brain brain. But the [word for] brain brain translates to tangled fishing net,” she says.

“Why would you use a tangled fishing net to think and not use your gut and your heart as well?”


Rhiannon Rees is an internationally renowned performance coach, presenter and author of several books, including How to Climb Mount Everest in Sandals and Life is a Choice and the Choice is Yours.

Learning lessons of the past to drive the future
business learning
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