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The Olympics and Facing Fears!

Updated: Jan 31, 2023


Mindset Made Simple Tip #56


The Olympics are AWESOME!


I love watching victories…true victories…moral victories


I also love watching reactions to failure.


I also love listening to athletes talk about their performance.


If you didn’t think mental performance was an integral part of overall performance prior to the 2020 Tokyo Games, I hope you are now a believer!


Gold medalist, Sydney McLaughlin talked about TRUSTING THE PROCESS!


Gold medalist Caeleb Dressel talked about the fact that HE GETS TO DECIDE how much his life will change after winning 5 gold medals!


Simone Biles fought through physical and mental barriers to add to her medal count!


And, finally, the most decorated female track athlete in US history, Allyson Felix, talked about FEAR! (How about wrapping up a decades-long career with one last gold medal!)


YES! Even the WORLD’S BEST athletes have some FEAR!


How could they not??? The WHOLE WORLD is watching…literally!


Click HERE to see what Allyson had to say about FEAR! You’ll appreciate the rest of what you are going to read a little bit more (or I hope that is the case).


If the WORLD’S BEST deal with fear, we mere mortals must be paralyzed with fear at times, knowing our skills will never match theirs!


Some of the best athletes ever have had their careers derailed by fear – pick a sport, you’ll find one!


As we have mentioned before, fear is False Evidence Appearing Real!


Who presents the false evidence to us? WE DO!


Fear is a mental state…that changes our physical state (if we let it!).


Fear is our mind helping us avoid PAIN…emotional and physical.


We fear REJECTION (as Allyson mentions in her Facebook post), RUIN, REGRET and RESPONSIBILITY (and other stuff, like being up really high if you are like me 😊).


All of these are based on things that may or may not happen. In fact, it is said the 85% of what we fear or worry about never happens!


Note: Nothing we fear is happening in the present…while we are supposed to be working our process!


As we worry about failing to meet the expectations of others, that our careers or opportunities will be dashed if we don’t succeed or fearing we will fall off a ladder, these things ARE NOT ACTUALLY HAPPENING.


We are assuming they will happen…and you know what happens when we assume!


If we think “what if”, we are not focused on the task at hand.


Since it is impossible to think two thoughts at once, we have lost focus.


Losing focus means losing control.


Losing control means loss of performance control.


Loss of performance control generally means undesired outcomes.


If Allyson Felix was worried about letting people down as she lined up in the blocks for her final 400m or as she prepared for her leg of the 4x400, her chances of producing a medal-winning performance would have dropped significantly.


Great. Even the best face fear…now what?


Here are the facts: WE GET TO CHOOSE what we think about as we perform…or do anything, for that matter.


We can choose to think about what might happen – if we will be REJECTED, RUINED, face REGRET or be held RESPONSIBLE!


Or we can choose to FOCUS ON THE TASK AT HAND – TO FOCUS ON OUR PLAN or our NEXT BEST MOVE!


This sounds so simple. But as you know, simple isn’t always easy!


Having a routine. Having a “GO-TO” thought. Having a PLAN… all help us feel more comfortable.


Visualizing what we WANT TO HAPPEN can also help us stay in the moment and feel more prepared.


Lastly, understanding that failure is not fatal and remembering that even Allyson Felix lost more races than she won (all of her medals aren’t gold, and she seems to be pretty pumped about all of them in the end).


Being aware of our fear. Acknowledging it and putting it in its place by focusing on the present. Using our routines to keep us focused and understanding that we will not always win can help set the stage for better performance.


Fear is a part of growth. If we never fear, we are probably not growing.


How we deal with fear is up to us!


Thank you, Allyson Felix, for reminding us that even the VERY BEST deal with fear…and we, too, can overcome it to do amazing things!


Here’s to facing fear and moving forward anyway!


Have a great week!


Julie


P.S. As you plan for 2021-22, don’t leave mental performance to chance. Let me help you implement a plan as detailed as your daily practice plan. Let’s set up a time to talk about how we can build your team’s mental toughness. Give me a call or text at 234-206-0946 or send me an email at juliej@ssbperformance.com

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