Today’s Mental Performance Strategy is inspired by a story that did not make it to the final edit of my book, Heart of a Champion. It concerns chasing down and achieving BOLD GOALS–which takes courage. So, where does courage come from? The Latin root of the word “courage” is “heart.” It takes a lot of heart to get what you are striving for, especially when you are scared.
Surely you have had moments where you were laser clear about your BOLD GOAL. You identified the next step to take, but the next step scared the “dickens” out of you. There are many ways you can experience fear. Physically, it may present symptoms like a faster heart rate, butterflies, tightening in the chest, or a flood of emotions. It may show up as a conversation, you have with yourself, or someone else, explaining all the reasons why you don’t need to take this next step. Your conversation may include some standard one-liners such as, “I’m not ready.” “I’ll do it, someday.” “I don’t have time.” “I’m scared.” “What if, I fail?” “This is a dumb idea.” “People like me don’t do things like this.” “I’m uncomfortable.” “What will other people think, say, or feel?” You may be really good at talking yourself into staying comfortable, even though you know you MUST do this thing, in order to reach the goal. I call these moments of being scared and totally outside my comfort zone my “Pink Polyester Queen Suit Moments.”
My first “Pink Polyester Queen Suit Moment” occurred when I was 13 years old. I had qualified to compete in the National Little Britches Rodeo Finals, in all my junior rodeo events, and the queen contest. The next year I would be competing in the Senior Division ages 14 –18 years, but I decided to go ahead and compete against the older girls in the queen contest. When I decided to compete in the queen contest, I’m sure my mom and grandma thought this would be “good experience” for me, but I was thinking, “I’m going to WIN this queen contest!”
I diligently prepared by studying the rule book, practicing my speech, taking modeling lessons and learning my modeling routine. When I got the horsemanship pattern down to a “tee,” I was ready! My grandma and I left early for the finals, since the queen contest was a couple of days before the rodeo. She helped me with final preparations and drove me to all the places I needed to be for the written test, one-on-one judge’s interview, and the big banquet that included modeling and giving my speech.
When the time came for the banquet, I had on a padded bra and girdle (mom’s idea) under my pink, polyester suit. My grandma had done her best work styling my hair and applying the makeup. It was then that I looked in a mirror and saw how different I looked. I got scared. I was way outside my comfort zone. The person looking back at me in the mirror was someone I had never seen before. With all the practicing I had done, I had never seen myself all made up, with my hair tightly curled. Instantly I reacted by crying off all my grandma’s best work and insisted she remove every curl from my hair. I started a negative, internal dialogue of, “This is not how I practiced.” “I’m not doing this.” “This isn’t what I do.” “I’m uncomfortable,” and “I don’t belong here.”
My sweet grandma talked me down off the ”ledge” and poured powerful words of wisdom into me, as to why I COULD do this, as she reapplied my makeup and restyled my hair. While she worked her magic, I was thinking about all the work I had done up to that point. My internal dialogue suddenly turned positive. “I have done the hard part.” “I have worked very hard.” “I’m prepared.” “I want to WIN this!” I realized that what I wanted was on the other side of those fear feelings. I needed to lean into the fear, and do something I had never done before.
Sometimes, you must put on your “Pink Polyester Queen Suit” and just do what scares the heck out of you. Period. There is no other way to say it, analyze it, or process it. Fear can be a great precursor for getting you to the next level. I have a sign hanging in my barn with a quote from John Wayne which says, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”As I look back on that time in my life, I’m proud of myself that I didn’t “turn-out” of the queen contest, though it did cross my mind. Even though I didn’t win, I did receive the honor of winning 2ndrunner-up. In retrospect, the queen contest wasn’t that bad, and I’m glad I ‘saddled up.’” Leaning into fear and discomfort grew me immensely, and it would serve me well, on down the road in life.
The mental performance strategy I am sharing with you today is the very strategy my sweet grandma used to help me. She didn’t push, pull, or drag me off the “ledge,” when I was scared and uncomfortable. She spoke powerful, confirming words of encouragement, positivity, and belief into me which rekindled my belief in myself and in my preparation. The faith I had in myself, all along, bubbled up, filling my confidence “fuel tank.” That’s what the power of positive words will do.
It is essential we speak positive, life-giving words to ourselves and others. With that in mind, every day I speak positive affirmations and confidence-conditioning statements to myself. I don’t do this to be cocky, arrogant, or to “one-up” anyone. I do it because it helps me to keep my confidence “fuel tank” full, so I can give more of myself to others. Should my “fuel tank” be half full, then I only have half as much to give daily, as I serve others and pursue what sets my soul on fire. Each morning, I fill up my fuel tank with affirmations that I need. It is a daily recommitment I make to myself, so I can present the best version of myself.
To help you in your pursuit of BOLD GOALS, I would love to share these powerful “I AM . . . posters“ that my Firebrand Marketing team and I designed to help remind you that you already have everything you need inside of you, so you can run down your BOLD GOALS. Setting and achieving BOLD GOALS is all about your journey and who you become in the process. It involves becoming the person you are capable of being– the best version of yourself. In my book, Heart of a Champion,I share a quote from motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, who said, “The ultimate reason for setting goals is to entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them.”
You may be blocking what is already inside of you, but I guarantee you are not lacking anything. You may need different strategies, or you may need to invest more time and effort on the task at hand, but I want you to know you CAN do it. A great first step to filling your confidence “fuel tank” is to include a daily mental practice of saying powerful affirmations to yourself. It will be time well invested to do the daily mental practice, and you will not regret doing it.
DEVELOP A HEART OF A CHAMPION
More strategies you can easily implement can be found in my book, Heart of a Champion, Proven Strategies to Help You Discover the Heart of a Champion That Beats Within You.
I can also help you develop your courage and tackle those BOLD GOALS. I would be honored to help you become the best you can be through one-on-one personally coaching sessions. If you would like to book a coaching session contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to email me for your free printable “I AM” poster that will help remind you that you are already equipped! Email me at email@example.com and I will send it to you.