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#001 Peter Francis | 7 Questions to Highly Creative People

‘7 Questions to Highly Creative People’ is a series of blog interviews with inspiring high performers who proved that living a creative life means choosing curiosity over fear and embracing our power to co-create the reality.

About Peter Francis

Peter Francis is a sport scientist, physical therapist, coach and mentor. Peter’s main interest is in human potential; understanding how teams and individuals can be the best that they can be. Peter has a BSc. Sport and Exercise Science, BSc. Physical Therapy and a PhD in Exercise Science. Peter has worked with teams and individuals at amateur, European and Olympic level.  An established researcher, Peter lectures in sport, exercise and rehabilitation science and conducts research into the prevention and treatment of running injuries. Specifically, Peter studies the role of foot development with and without shoes and the implications for movement skills and injury risk.
 
Outside of sport, Peter is passionate about the power of (free) education to transform the health and well-being of societies. Peter enjoys leadership roles that help others realise their individual and collective potential. He has been described as a transformational leader for his work in creating cultures whereby productivity and well-being increase among groups. Examples include generating a 5-fold increase in research output at a University department, creating a winning culture on the sporting field and helping individuals accomplish physical challenges for the first time.

 

#1 What makes your heart sing?

My heart sings when I get to be involved with a group of people who come together to achieve something of meaningful importance. Examples in my own life include working with sports teams, creating research teams or helping a group of people train for an event. My heart also sings with running, music and romance.

#2 When did you feel truly in charge of your life for the first time?

Difficult question. In one sense, I’ve always felt in charge of my life. I had a clear vision for what I would study by the age of 16. I’ve been earning a wage since the age of 22 and lived abroad for 7 of the last 10-years before moving home. In a practical sense, I have been largely self-sufficient for most of the last 10-years.

Emotionally, I have felt more in charge of my life probably only in the last 6 – 12 months.

#3 What has been your biggest challenge in life? How have you grown from that experience?

I had various experiences associated with social and emotional uncertainty growing up, as most of us do. I also have a deep and sensitive personality which means I can be prone to anxiety sometimes especially in relationship with others i.e. over analysing my own behaviour or taking too much responsibility for somebody else’s feelings. Sometimes I struggle with setting firm boundaries.

Due to some of these characteristics and experiences I built up an armour composed of athletic achievement, education and always knowing the answer. Due to being in a number of leadership roles, I was emotionally isolated at times.

I grew from these experiences by doing a lot of personal development work and reconnecting with myself and who I was before I’d built up an armour to cope with the world. All of my family, personal, professional and romantic relationships have improved and become less stressful for me. I still get triggered sometimes, but it is easier to manage when you know what it is and what strategies to use to reset.

#4 If your life would be the title of a book, what would it be called? If the last 12 months of your life was the title of a chapter, what would it be called?

Book: The Pursuit of Excellence

Chapter: Running from myself no-more

#5 If you could turn back time and talk to your 18-year old self, what would you tell him?

You’re enough.

#6 What was the most impactful book that you’ve read and why?

Daring Greatly – Bréne Brown. I read it at a time when I was learning to become less emotionally isolated. Brene talks about how vulnerability is the key to human connection. I learned the more I dared to share my story (drop my guard) with others the more they opened up to me and we could support each other.

#7  What or who has been the biggest influence in your life so far?

Outside of my mother’s enduring unconditional love, my first running coach, Gerry Deegan has had the biggest influence on my life. I met Gerry at the age of 15 and he became a coach and a mentor in life. He was the first adult male I really felt believed in me and made me feel as though all my dreams were possible. We went on to become great friends and these days we mentor each other.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to be featured - please send your answers and short bio to hello@dominikastoppa.com. Alternatively, nominate someone you know using the contact form below.

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