Competing to Win- Part 2

When competing for more than a participation trophy, you have to be willing to fight for that spot on the podium. The first important strategy we discussed was coping with a bad event.

It’s not the most exciting aspect of competing, but it’s crucial to handle it well in order to be able to move on and improve. How you handle the aftermath will directly effect your future performances.

Here is a recap on the best way to cope with a bad event: Take a few minutes to remember the great athletes that have also experienced FAILURE during the pursuit of success, GRIEVE the event to help you move on, EVALUATE the event to find things within your control that you can improve upon, and go into THE NEXT EVENT with a clean slate.

Taking Risks

Now that you can move on past a bad event, the next important strategy is taking risks. It sounds simple, but so often we let fear stop us in our tracks and dictate where we go and where we don’t. I want to help you look fear in the eye and keep going.


The first time I saw a 10 meter platform (translation- 33 feet or the roof of a three story building), I didn’t think it looked that high. So I ran right up for my first jump. But once I stepped from the ladder onto the platform, it literally took my breath away. It was so much higher looking down from the top than it was looking up from the ground! One glance over the edge way down there to the water, and all I could think of was how badly I was going to hurt myself.

But the truth is: I had already made up my mind, before I ever stepped foot on that ladder- I was jumping off.

It’s normal to freeze up and get scared before a big, important moment. That lets you know just how important it is to you. Our problem comes when we take the easy way out saying things like, “I’ll try my best.” I know that seems like a harmless statement, even one with good intentions. But it’s not a commitment; it’s a cop-out. That’s a statement that gives you an out, not one that will allow you to actually DO your best. My coach, Kenny Armstrong, likes to say that “You can’t dip your toe in from 10 meter to see if the water feels nice.”  You have to commit to take that step, that leap. You have to jump in with both feet.

You have to commit to taking that step, that leap, even when you can’t see where you’re going to land.

Be courageous

It’s completely normal to feel fear in those intense moments where a serious commitment is required to move forward. I even believe that if your goal doesn’t scare you, it’s probably not big enough.

Remember that your goal should be significant. A goal should be something that is currently out of your reach. If your goal is something you already know you can do, then it’s not a goal. It’s just another box to check on your to-do list.

But sometimes we find ourselves trying something that scares us beyond a healthy fear. To the point where we let that fear stop us dead in our tracks. We let fear dictate where we go and where we don’t.  My point here is that while fear is normal, it should NOT be greater than your desire to accomplish your goal. If fear is dominating your thoughts or paralyzing you from moving forward, then I recommend using this process here to reevaluate your goal.

If you find yourself standing on the edge, wanting desperately to take that leap, but fear has you glued to the platform, let me give you a push. You don’t need to dip your toe in to feel the water. The leap is scary, yes, but it’s the most exciting, exhilarating feeling on earth! And once you’ve taken that first jump, you’ll feel more alive, invigorated, rejuvenated. You’ll want to do it again. You might still be nervous the next time, but you’ll know with confidence now that it’s worth it.

And remember: without fear, you cannot be brave. You can only become courageous if you face fear head on.

Positive side effects

We often focus on the fear and the negative side of risk taking. We dwell on why we shouldn’t take risks at all, why we should play it safe instead. To help you understand why it is important to take risks, I want to share with you just a few of the awesome positive side effects that taking risks will give you:

  • You will become greater than you currently are.
  • You will be stretched and grow beyond your comfort zone.
  • You will discover new things about yourself and the world that will help you develop your strengths and talents.
  • You will strengthen your weaknesses, making you more well-rounded.
  • You will learn new skills and ideas.
  • You will have new opportunities and experiences because the risk usually involves doing something you’ve never done before or in a way you’ve never previously tried.
  •  You will conquer your fears because to overcome fear, you have to face it head on.
  •  You will feel truly alive as your heart pumps with adrenaline.

Energy drinks and other supplements may claim to give you wings, but the only way you’ll ever really learn how to fly is by taking that leap of faith- jumping in with both feet.

I was scared that first time I climbed up on the platform, but I chose to jump in with both feet and look where it took me.

If you cannot see video, click here.


In the next post we’ll talk about different types of Routines and the role they play in getting to the top of the podium.

Read the other posts in this series:

Post 1   Post 2     Post 3     Post 4     Post 5

No Comments

Post A Comment