Last night, during OSU women’s gymnastics practice one and grappler practice 28, fear and frustration took a hit. Here’s how I know – we talked about it. Players asked coaches what they would do over if given the chance. Truth was told. Nothing crazy. Nothing mind blowing. Truth. Antiseptic truth. You could see the young women’s minds begin to change. Over time we’re gonna learn there will always be fear and frustration in the gym, office, presidents suite, and even the boardroom (boredroom, really). Fear and frustration are everywhere, friend. Remember, the untrained brain when given one of its biggest fears (quiet) defaults to FUD – Fear, Uneasiness, and Doubt. This is called your survival wiring. If you simply want to survive, let your brain do what it does naturally.
If, however, your aim is to become elite, to master your craft, and become a master in the art of living, you will build a second nature. You see, the elite do not default to their hard wiring – they rewire the brain to take risk, push the envelope, try new moves, and change the meaning of the word that weakens knees the world over – the word fail. Elite, fueled by love, reach and fail, learn and fail, attempt and fail, shoot and fail, start and fail, and are hard on self without getting down on self. In other words, elite fail a lot. This is hard for many of you to believe, just as it was for the gymnasts and grapplers. The fact is we “level up” in video games by how well we learn from our fails. Same is true in work/life. It’s not about you or I aimlessly flailing around and failing again and again. It’s about you and I having a clear aim for our work, a big dream that’s a stretch and keeping our eye on that prize, deciding to take appropriate risks out of love instead of playing it safe out of fear. Fact.
So, last night when one of the grapplers shared his PA coming out of practice. I helped him with a word change. You see your brain likes certain words more than other ones. Your brain doesn’t respond well to the word “need.” Think about how many times you’ve heard people state that they “need” to lose weight, eat better, drink less, workout more, write, listen, learn, stop some kinda bad habit, or start some kinda good one. Humans don’t respond well when they tell themselves what they need to do. The brain hears “should” and shouts back all kinda negative Nellie words to allow the untrained brain to do nothing. You see, the natural brain is lazy by default too. The natural brain operates in perpetual “energy save” mode. So, you’ve got to jolt it.
Next time you learn something that you want to put into action write down why you want to do whatever your newfound learning is calling you to reach toward. Once you’re clear on why it’s worth working on “getting better on bottom” (wrestling term), tell yourself what, specifically, you are going to do to build this skill. Finish the thought with the exclamation “I will.” The elite do not tell themselves what they need to do. Elite tell themselves what they want and will do. You see, fear paralyzes. Love does.
Love does. Good…