Sport doesn’t lie!
And it’s also a great teacher.
Competitive sport in particular, tells you just how good (or not so good!) you are and how much behind-the-scenes work you have put in, and your results your provide invaluable feedback of how you might improve.
Having spent a bit of time watching the tennis here in Australia for the past few weeks, and having been a high performance athlete myself a few years back, it reminded me that competitive sport (or even the pursuit of great fitness) is a wonderful teacher of life, because you are brought face to face with your inner world, both during the arduous training and competition. You are regularly getting out of your comfort zone, both during your daily training, then at a more intense level during competition.
You are forced to become intimate with your inner dialogue, both your inner passion and inner protests! And if you want to be successful, whether its for a competition, an event such as a fun run, or you simply want to get fit or lose weight, you must learn to harmonise and work with BOTH.
The thing I love about sports competition is that you can’t hide, the results speak for themselves. They don’t lie! The top athletes aren’t necessary “physically” the best, but especially in sports like tennis, are equally ‘gifted’ in their focus and discipline that keep them at the top of their game.
And it’s a great reminder of what focus, effort, and discipline is required to be successful in any area of your life, whether career, entrepreneurship, optimal health, or cultivating fulfilling relationships.
Whether you are a person who overtrains because of self-doubt, or you cut corners during training sessions then fall short on competition day, or perhaps you have no control of your nerves at all and get sick or injured prior to competition, or perhaps you throw a little tanti during competition (or even your training)…if you are willing to observe, sport can provide you valued feedback and give you an opportunity to course-correct your actions and tweak your mindset and preparation to help you produce your intended results. And how you are in sport, is quite often, how you are in other areas of your life. I know I was your classic over-trainer, which converted in me putting A LOT of hours into my business, which essentially led to burn-out. This experience really forced me to look within and become an authority in my gifts, my uniqueness, my work, what I stand for, and what I put out to the world as “me”.
However, while I took the necessary time to recover and re-evaluate from my burn-out, for a while there, I did get a little side tracked with my inner world and let my insatiable thirst for information consumption run away from me without the appropriate integration of my new found knowledge. As a result, I became out of practice of getting out of my comfort zone and wasn’t really producing new results. Of course, I took the necessary action to correct this.
But what I have noticed particularly in a lot of entrepreneurial communities is that getting out of your comfort zone seems to be a forgotten value of attaining success. There seems to be a trend emerging that if you do enough ‘inner work’ and ‘positive thinking’ that success will just show up, as if there is some type of “bypass” of fear and discomfort. And especially where there are many teachings weaving popular topics that include ‘law of attraction’ and ‘abundance mindset’, there’s this attitude of entitlement and magical thinking occurring that is leaving many new entrepreneurs very disempowered when their business has not become an instant 6-figure-income business, or that they were not able to maintain their initial in-flow of success beyond three to six months.
I know this because a year or so ago, I started attracting quite a few clients who had been through this experience, because they realised inner work and a bunch of daily affirmations alone don’t work. I’ve also lost a lot of potential clients because they simply weren’t interested in getting out of their comfort-zone or claim their inner-authority to the extent they needed to, to get them where they wanted.
Claim inner authority?
Well, this in itself is interesting and is a big theme for whether or not you will create success in 2018.
It’s got me thinking, does anyone actually know how to do this anymore?
Yes, we are in the ‘Information Age’. Yes, we are insatiable consumers of information 24/7. Yes, we are addicted to knowing what we want to know NOW…regardless if it adds value to our lives, and in fact, we have created a lot of “noise” in our lives, no wonder it’s so hard to focus and remain disciplined for many people!
However, many have also given their power away and have become dependant on those they perceive as “authority”, that we have kind of forgotten how to tap into our own inner authority…and even in my work (in which I teach self-mastery), some people just want to be ’told’ what to do!
Are you guilty of this?
Have you noticed the large number of “Likes” on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. for inspirational quotes that have been re-hashed many many times, often for years?
I hardly see an original ‘inspiration’ quote these days. And yet, many “experts” regularly share quotes from someone else.
And… do you agree with me that many of these are what I would consider “common sense”, and yet, many react as if it is the most profound earth shattering message they have received for a long time?
Have we become a culture numbed by the overwhelm of excess information where our uniqueness and our ability to think for ourselves has diminished?
We have more freedom and opportunities to express ourselves than ever before, yet much of it is re-hashed content? (or just plain vitriol towards others)
Have we become reluctant to speak our true voice because of the political-correctness-gone-mad might get us into trouble?
And certainly in personal development, are we too afraid to say anything perceived as “negative” from a fear of losing our credibility?
We are at risk at creating a society of sanitised dispassionate people!
Funnily, every time I find myself in a rut, are flat-lining, or are getting bored or uncreative, I’ll “do” something that scares me, start a new exercise program, and/or make a significant adjustment to my nutrition (e.g. eliminate yeast)…it sounds so simple, but something as simple as eliminating yeast from your diet for a month can really challenge your discipline!
In the world of the “Information Age”, many people are hiding behind the realm of student or knowledge seeker, and are not actually implementing this knowledge and transforming it into their own creation…which of course over time, develops wisdom.
If you want to create sustainable results in your life, and especially in your business or career, you have to be willing to claim your authority and own your unique individuality in your work. But more importantly, you have to balance focus, effort, and discipline, and be willing to get out of your comfort zone…there is no other way!
Are you ready to step up?