“FEARLESS…is much more than just being UNAFRAID…it means that you’re WEAK and acknowledge it, it means you’re STRONG enough to get back up and MOVE ON. Fearless means you are READY to FACE whatever is headed your way.”
“But what if I’m NOT ready to face whatever is headed my way? I’m just so sick of feeling like a failure.”
Danielle was a world-class gymnast, who was feeling like her dreams were slipping away. She’d put in years of hard work, and now her coach wasn’t even sure she should keep competing.
-Feeling like a failure
“I’m sick of disappointing my parents.
I’m tired of not being good enough.
I just want to be happy.”
It’s the refrain of thousands of student athletes. But honestly, it’s also the cry of many adults.
“What if I’m not good enough?”
The fear of finding out can be unbearable. Placing your identity all in your game can be a setup for disaster.
No matter how long you’ve felt stuck in a spiral of defeat, you can change your perspective and compete like a champion.
1. Know what you truly want.
Ultimately the athlete or any other competitor wants to be happy.
The mistake is thinking that happiness is the result of success.
In reality, happiness is an inside job. Playing for the joy of the game improves your performance.
So if happiness is what you truly want, start there! The battle is for the peace and joy and composure that is yours all along.
2. Release what you can’t control
Stress hormones kick in the minute you fight things beyond your control. Stress and anxiety diminish your performance. So let go of the past disappointments and future fears. Right now the present moment is your friend. Tune into it.
Take several deep breaths and acknowledge your disappointment saying, “I release it and let it go.”
Now focus on what you can control – choosing new challenges, your relationships with your team, your breathing, your attitude. You are powerful!
3. Remind yourself how good you have it.
Maybe you are still in the best shape of your life. Maybe you are actually doing that thing you dreamed of for years. Maybe you still love the smells, the sounds, the sensations, and challenges that come with your game. You have just as many great memories as frustrating ones. Focus on those.
Choose something you truly enjoy about your game and ask yourself, “Why do I feel so great?”
4. Take the very next step
You don’t know what the outcome will be of any season, let alone your next competition. So instead of being stuck in fear and dread, take the steps above and then just take the next step…and then the next.
What you achieve when you win is not as important as who you become along the way.
Danielle took all these keys to heart when she was at a low point, and was thrilled with how quickly her state and her performance changed.
“I feel like myself again!”
THAT’S the ultimate goal; to feel like your real self again – happy to compete with passion.
You’ve got this.
I’m in your corner.
Now go play.
Gina Parris is internationally sought-after for her work on turning stress into strength. To find out more about bringing her to your campus or workplace for a speaking engagement, click here.