The summer Olympics are here and I’ve been avidly watching. We excitedly wait—at least I do—a full four years to see these athletes give their best, and over those years they train their hardest to just be able to make it there.
So, here are six lessons I’ve pulled from watching the Olympics that I want to share with you:
- Nothing takes the place of proper preparation – I think it’s fairly safe to say that you don’t get to the Olympics by wishing yourself there. It takes years and years of practice, which includes entering into competitions on a smaller stage than the world stage that is the Olympics. The same thing goes for your goals, whether it’s the major one you’ve been dreaming about forever, or smaller, interim goals. Whichever it is, that brings me to the next lesson…
- Show up – Obviously you’ve got to be in the game to win. If you don’t show up, you don’t stand a chance. Hopefully your day to day life isn’t all about competition, and to be clear, working on fulfilling your dream is not a competition because your dream is yours alone. Showing up in day-to-day life means giving the best you can give at that particular moment. One caveat though: Know that your “best” can change from day-to-day and each day brings new possibilities, so there’s no point in judging yourself based on your past. Learn from it, yes, but don’t let it dictate what happens next. You have the ability to choose what you want from moment to moment.
- Celebrate your wins every step of the way – In the lead-up to the final races—the races where the athletes try to win gold, silver, or bronze—there are trial, qualifying races. No medals are given out in those races, but the athletes still give the best they’ve got in that race. When you have a chance, take a look at the games to see what I’m talking about. Or maybe you’ve already seen it happen. These athletes cheer themselves and get completely excited about the race. This, I think is an excellent reminder for all of us that in life and in business it’s important to celebrate every single one of your wins—big or small–along the way to your overall goal. Your confidence builds when you acknowledge what you’ve accomplished. The more you do it, the higher your confidence in your ability to reach the bigger goals.
- Keep your eye on the prize – One of the things that happened in one of the swimming races last week was that the U.S. competitor bumped into the lane markers and it slowed her down. When the interviewer asked her afterward about what happened, she said ‘I took my eyes off the flags (placed in the ceiling above the lanes) and let my eyes wander.’ She didn’t come in first and part of that was due to the fact that she lost focus of the guide markers that would keep her on her path and lead her successfully to the end point. To focus on the end point, you need to know what it is you want. Do you know with crystal clarity what you want? Think about it, and write it down in detail where you can see it every day. Claim it, own it, and share it because what you share grows.
- Learn from your missteps – …But don’t beat yourself up over them. Whether it’s the Olympics or football, basketball, etc., after the game everybody goes back to look at the tape. Not to beat themselves up over what they could’ve, would’ve or should’ve done, but to see what they can do differently next time to bring them closer to winning. It’s important for us too to go back and “roll the tape” so that we can learn where we can improve. It’s an empowering thing to do because it doesn’t give fear and misconception room to grow. It’s also a great way to see and reinforce what you do do well.
- Get a coach – Not a single athlete in the Olympics gets there by him/herself. They have a huge support system, with one of the most important people in that support system being their coach. Clearly the athlete has raw talent. What the coach helps them to do is bring it out in it’s purest, strongest form of their gift so that they can reach their full potential. It’s important for you to get one too. As a coach, that’s exactly what I do for my clients and what I can do for you. To talk with me about how I can help you, schedule a “Get Acquainted” call with me.