Choke or Triumph?

It happens more often to some than others, however we’ve all faced and will face a high-pressure situation at some point of our lives. Either we create that pressure ourselves in our heads, or others watching, testing, monitoring, maybe judging raise that pressure for us. It might be school, work, sport, even health related.  When such situation presents itself we might choke, blow up our chance of success, or we manage ourselves appropriately and triumph.

It got me wondering why is that, when one of my young athletes was in a pressured situation yesterday. Athletes learning new skills is a big deal in our gym and we like to share it with everyone. When an athlete gets a new skill, they have a privilege to “ring-a-bell”. The whole gym stops what they are doing and we all watch that one athlete perform their new skill. We all cheer them on and celebrate, congratulate them after. The video is taken and posted on our social media for everyone else to see.  Like I said RINGING THE BELL is a HUGE DEAL!

It’s definitely a very exciting moment for athletes. Everyone WANTS to ring that bell. But after the bell is rang, the pressure is on, all eyes are watching, and expectations are high. Instantly an exciting situations turns into a high-pressured one. What happens next its hard to predict. Will the bell-ringer choke and fail under pressure, or show off new skill and triumph?

When, one of my nine-year old athletes rang the bell yesterday and couldn’t perform her new tumbling pass in front of everyone watching, even though she did it in class multiple times, I started to wonder why is that so. Why do we choke? Why only sometimes? And, how do we avoid it?

The answer is US!

Something needs to CHANGE….

… and it’s probably ME!

People are creatures of habits. Good habits, bad habits, significant habits, useless, useful, smart, dumb, enjoyable, annoying,… ALL SORTS OF HABITS. Like it or not even the most spontaneous people in the world have habits – like being spontaneous. We are what we think, feel, say and do.

When we encounter situation that do not make us happy and pleased we naturally look for a change. We don’t like the restaurant that we walk into, we walk out and find a different one. We order a coffee that doesn’t taste the greatest and we ask barista for a different one. We try on a shirt that doesn’t fit right and we pick a different one.

We are surrounded by options. Changing our environment to feel comfortable has become extremely easy and convenient with millions and millions of options available out there. It became our habit to change everything around us to feel better. It became convenient to blame our discomfort on our surrounding. We became stiff and stuck. Our mind got molded into cozy shape and is getting rusty and dusty.

This becomes a big and unavoidable issue when the unpleasant is inside of us. When our body is the environment we would like to escape from. When our thoughts are the bitter tasting coffee and our dreams don’t fit. There is no other way, no other option but to change ourselves.

Yes I know, it’s awful to realize you are the reason things are not what you want them to be. It’s sort of shameful to admit it. It’s scary to step away from the familiar and just wander. It’s uncomfortable, unknown, and inconvenient.

However on the bright side remember that you are the easiest to change. Think about it - you are in complete control of yourself. Unlike your surroundings, your thoughts, your goals, your opinions and your doing is entirely and only up to you.

It is a lot more difficult to convince a stranger than youself to try a plant-based diet or a new type of workout. It only takes a simple decision for you to give it a try, while a stanger needs a persuasive “sale-pitch” to even consider it. You will most likely never be able to change restaurant’s menu, but you’re in complete control of what you order of that menu. You can’t control your competition and their actions, but you can control your own training and performance.

Know that when you feel like something has to change, yourself will be the easiest. well as the most worthwhile and rewarding. Because with change comes movement, with movement comes progress, with progress comes growth and with growth come success and reward. And the best thing about growth is that it’s indefinite. Therefore success and rewards can be indefinite as well.

So, focus on what you can control, which is your SELF and change you habits.  Develop new ones, get rid of unnecessary ones and better the old ones. Strive for SELF-CHANGE and enjoy YOUR SUCCESS.