“Athletes take your mark.”
The crowd silences while the athletes crouch down into their starter stance. For the brief seconds of pause you can sense the nervous tension in the stadium air.
Then the gun shoots and they’re off.
And he’s gone.
One of the greatest sprinters and track athletes of all time has just won another gold medal. He made it look easy, but that wasn’t always the case. Everyone was cheering for him, but that wasn’t always the case.
Usain Bolt had his naysayers throughout the early stages of his career. After winning a race he commented, “To all my doubters, thank you very much because you guys have also pushed me.”
You see no one is immune to people who doubt us. We all have people on the outside that think our dream is too big, too crazy, and that we can’t get it done. We all also have a voice in our head which will sometimes tell us we can’t do it.
It’s like the hungry wolf metaphor. We have a voice that believes and says it’s possible, and we have a voice that says we’re crazy and it can’t be done. We must decide which voice lives, and which one gets ignored.
I believe it comes down to making a choice of who we want to prove “right.” Do we want to validate the people and the voice who believes in us, or do we want to validate those who say we can’t do it?
As athletes the people who matter most are the one’s we share a locker room with. The opinions of those on the outside don’t matter. We have teammates and coaches who believe in us. We have goals in our heads we want to reach. So each day we go to training or practice we must decide to prove someone right? Who’s it going to be?
As a coach it’s easy to get lost in comparing yourself to others. We’re all guilty of comparing our win-loss records. When this happens we begin to give in to things outside of our control. As soon as this happens we begin to give in to voices of doubt. Don’t do it! Hold true to your calling, mission, and vision! As coaches the only voice we should aim to prove right is the one who got us into coaching, and the one who says it’s possible.
It’s so easy to get distracted as a working professional. There is a constant tug against you. You’ll face envy within your office, jealousy from competitors, and doubt from all over. In order to stay sane and continue to achieve at a high level it really comes down to one question: who’s right? Which voice do I believe in the most? Once you have your answer, prove them right every day.
No matter who we are or what stage of life we’re in we can’t let our dreams die. If we died today, what dreams would die with us? What leadership skills and gifts would go to the grave with us that no one else could bring to the world?
There are times when I feel like I’m not making any progress. Sometimes it seems as if I’m just spinning my wheels and I’m not sure if it’s worth it. I question myself? I question my goals? Are they too big? Are they too unrealistic?
But then I remember if someone else was able to turn their vision into reality, why can’t I? Why not me? I remember that I have a story to tell and that it’s worth telling. I remember I was given the visions and dreams I have for a reason; to see them become reality. Most of all, I remind myself that it’s possible.
So I challenge you to join me in proving your dreams right.
Everything we do matters. How we see ourselves matters. We must be intentional about what we allow into our minds and how it affects our beliefs.
The challenge for us all is to ignore the voices of doubt and live full. My goal is to die on empty.
If someone else achieved their dream, why can’t you and I do the same?
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!
Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.