What keeps us from our desired outcomes? Why do we sometimes defeat the odds and successfully achieve something and at other times fall short? How do we break this pattern of up down and up down? How do we become consistent in our focus?
The answer is truly in the question. Becoming consistent in your focus. When we are clear on our target we bring that clarity to our commitment in hitting it. What happens far too often – we let other distractions keep us from our clarity which lessons our commitment. When I became number one in the 40 and over age group in tennis, my focus was very clear and precise and I didn’t let a bad point or two interfere with my clarity on my goal. I was able to achieve success through bold persistence.
Even though I’ve had such success through focus, I many times forget to connect the dots in other areas of my life and don’t use this same formula to achieve that which I desire. I let my conditions fog my clarity, which lessons my commitment, and I fall trap to a weakened committed state. I have let numbers stand in my way. As an example I owe $20,000.00 by such and such date, so instead of focusing on my commitment to generate $20,000.00 by a certain date, I would worry and the money would hinder my commitment to achieving. When it is really only a number. No different than being #1 in tennis. That was just a number, but a #1 was very clear I wanted to achieve. So if $20,000.00 is the number, the clearer I am and the more committed I am, then it doesn’t matter what my conditions are.
I create my results rather than letting the odds against it dictate my results.
Odds after all are made up of mass amount of people. If the odds are 2% success rate in something, that simply means that 2 people achieve that out of the 98 that don’t. I know nothing of the 98, so instead I study the 2 that do succeed. I follow that formula, so that my odds are completely in my favor. I also know that there will always be 98% that know nothing of this way of being. The more clarity I bring to my commitment, the more I create my very own odds.
My own son, throughout his college career in football, was always the backup quarterback. Even when he came into games, and many times played better than the starter, he remained the backup. So when he turned pro, the same pattern was there. His rookie season, even though he was the better quarterback coming out of camp, the other quarterback he was competing with had played in the National Championship game in college and played in the SEC Conference, so they “perceived” him as better. So he was once again in the same situation as college. When he came into games, he played better than the starter, but was always the backup. Frustrating situation? Yes, but also grateful to be still be playing football – a game he loved.
Most would say, well that was just the conditions or the cards he was dealt. Instead, we looked to see what he could do to break the pattern. In the off–season he started what I now call a “pattern buster.“ If there is something deep within the subconscious keeping him from achieving his desired outcome, then there has to be an “override“ that one can do to change the current or existing pattern. So, with conviction every morning, he would wake up and say “I am the MVP of the Arena Football League“ and every night would say “I am the MVP of the Arena Football League.“ Then, he realized that he also had to be the starter to achieve that desired outcome. So he added to the statements, “I am the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Gladiators.” The shift happened almost instantly. Even though he was always a hard worker, his off–season workouts took on a new level of commitment. Many times he had no one to throw to, so he would go out by himself and throw at targets and work on his footwork. With clarity of purpose, his commitment to achieve became stronger.
When he eventually went to Cleveland, he had the best camp he had ever had in his career, yet once again, he ended up being the backup to the returning starter. However, something was completely different. His attitude was not one of frustration, but one of achievement. He respected the starter, and said the player who won the job was a really good quarterback. He never lost focus on his commitment to play as the starter, even if it was going to be just in practice. He also kept saying he was the MVP of the entire league, so that is how he played at practice.
He didn’t let his conditions distract his attitude or goal. He would play as the MVP of the league, even if no one else knew because it was only at practice. Well the opening game came, and the starting quarterback had a great game and was voted MVP of the Week for the league. My son felt he played his part in lifting the starting QB’s game by being so strong at practice. In week 2, the offense was struggling and Cleveland was down 20 to 3 at halftime. I believe because of the shift that my son had created during the off season in shifting his mental approach, brought about a very unique opportunity. The head coach chose to switch quarterbacks – something not done very often for a coach to pull an MVP quarterback during the middle of a game. What my son had done during camp and practice, gave the coach the confidence to give him this chance. 34 unanswered points later and securing the big comeback, the coach’s hunch had paid off. My son had made the most of his opportunity. He replaced the week 1 League MVP and in fact was rewarded with the MVP title for week 2. I fully believe his off–season “pattern busting” mental practices created this remarkable result.
The next week his coach started the other quarterback again, which was only fair in the circumstance. But, he threw an interception the second play of the game, and the opposing team went up by 7. This time the coach didn’t hesitate and switched quarterbacks immediately. Again he was rewarded for his decision as the Gladiators went on to another big win.
My son went on to be the starter ever since, and went on to be voted MVP of the Week for Arena Football three times and picked as the offensive player of the league twice.
The Cleveland Gladiators were 4 and 14 the year beforehand, and this season they went 19-2, which was an Arena League record for most wins in a season ever. They won an amazing 6 games on the final play of the game, and were American League Champions.offensive player of the league twice.
There is a lot that goes into a Championship team and he is only one part of that success. Bold persistence and clarity of commitment will win every time. When you have clarity, you have strength. When you are foggy, you have weakness. Be clear and committed, no matter what your conditions show you in the moment.
A new moment is happening next, so seize it with conviction and gratitude, and watch your conditions shift to your focused desire.
The Weekly Current
Bringing you Zone Zingers on a consistent basis
I have been a mental performance coach for over 20 years. The mind is fascinating and becoming aware of your thoughts and your patterns will help you create your conditions rather than reacting to your circumstances. My intention with the Weekly Current is to give you information to start your week off right and getting you into the flow on a more consistent basis. Professional athletes love it when they play in the zone. Well it is actually possible to train your mind to play there more often and for longer. So enjoy these Zone Zingers and stay plugged in.
Dave Austin is a best selling author and founder of Extreme Focus. As a mental performance coach, he works with many of our top college, pro, and Olympic athletes, as well as with businesses and entrepreneurs. His “Be a Beast” programs have brought championship form “from the locker room to the boardroom” worldwide.