If you’ve ever stepped up and gone after a goal you’ll know what I’m talking about.
That feeling when all you can do is HOPE….
You’ve done all the preparation.
And now, everything lies in the balance for whatever happens in the next 90 seconds.
It happens a lot in sports.
But even more in business… far more often than you perhaps realise.
The Most *Powerful* Lessons Happen When You Compete
For me it happened a few weekends ago. It was in the hours before I stepped on the mats of a Tae Kwando tournament.
I’d prepared and planned for months: eating, training, getting out for a run when all I really wanted to do was snuggle up in front of the telly; the sparring practice, the bruises, the injuries, the pain….
I had paid my dues.
Now it was crunch time.
And normally I would have been fairly confident… expect, I saw my opponent – and knew I was beaten before I even stepped out on the mat.
Winning And Losing Happens In The Mind First
Here’s what happened…
I had hours of waiting around between realising who I was going to have to fight at some point and actually getting to the fight: hours of knowing deep-down that I was already beaten. I know all the theory about “believing” that you can win even against the odds. But these weren’t odds. I was facing a cold, hard reality.
I bet you’ve had times like this too…
So I pulled out all my best mind-programming knowledge and exercises, and set to work grappling with myself to find the way to cast this that would allow me to do a few things (in order of priority), namely:
- avoid injury and
- get through it with the least amount of emotional discomfort…
I set to work. After all – this is what I teach when I’m helping business owners to get their inner game right for business.
I tried emotional clearing.
I used belief clearing.
I tried visualisation.
None of it seemed to be scratching the surface.
Anyway, after several hours of mental gymnastics I figured – why don’t I just accept that I’m not going to win, and focus on getting the points and staying relatively safe?
After all, I’d been visualising two gold medals for months – a bit more work on that in the last few hours isn’t going to make much difference, right.
So I did.
I Accepted Defeat
I let go of all desire to win… and focussed just on getting my head in the sport for the enjoyment of it.
“After all, it’s 90 seconds of kicking and punching. I can do that – so why worry about anything else” I mused. I might even enjoy it 😉
I started to play the sport…
Well, the result was that I did get beaten in that one fight… but I didn’t do badly. In fact, after the fight, she and another girl the same size and ability asked me to join tag team with them… where three of us would take on another team of three.
Long story short, we went on to annihilate another two tag teams, and won the gold in the tag team division.
Adding in the gold medal I had won that morning for my pattern (a sequence of movements we have to perform to demonstrate strength and technique)… I ended up taking home two gold medals.
This was the exact thing I’d been training for and visualising for months: TWO GOLD MEDALS.
Sometimes there are deviations in the plan which mean course-correction.
Sometimes you get your ass kicked.
Sometimes things go wrong and you don’t know how you’re going to possibly get the result you need.
Mental gymnastics and emotional work, and laying intentions does work… if you do it far enough in advance.
But when you’re in the heat of the moment, the best thing you can do, as I proved to myself, is to let go and trust the work you’ve done up to that point. Accept whatever comes up, stay in the moment, keep your head in the game, and you will prevail.
I accepted that I was going to have to fight someone who would probably beat me. I let go of trying to “think positively” and worked with what was in front of me. My outcome for that tournament was two gold medals… which was exactly what I got – despite losing a fight, and despite it not being exactly as I had expected.
Focus on the outcome.
Put your power there. And don’t worry about the *how*.
You can have everything you choose to have.
To your success!
Laura Leigh Clarke
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