Over the last four years as I have had the opportunity to work with numerous teams, individuals, and businesses it’s evident to me that those that are most successful compete with courage. Courage is one of the five fundamentals of building a TRIBE. Courage is not an absence/lack of fear, or not acknowledging fear. Courage is looking that fear in face and utilizing that fear as a passenger on our journey.
Many people say that we should live without fear and I take a little issue with this because we will experience fear or that little doubt that creeps into our mind. Fear might pop up in the form of things that we do not like to do or things that really do scare us. When we compete from the heart and build our Competitor’s heart we are taking those small things that we might struggle with and might place doubt in our mind and we are using them to propel us to great things. We have the ability to create the competitive life that we desire and quite frankly we deserve.
As we work with teams to move to a TRIBE and become something bigger than just a team, we must demonstrate and live out a competitive life of courage. This courage we are referencing does not mean that we will be saving someone’s life by the way we compete and play in a competition, but great competitors put their self on the line in every competitive situation we encounter. When I say competitive situation I do not mean every game, you see everyday is a competitive situation and it takes courage to go out and embark on the unexpected.
Being a great competitor means utilizing the fear that comes with the uniqueness and unexpectedness of every day as a welcomed passenger on your journey to excellence.
As you give more of your heart, you get more in return.
As you give more of your heart, your influence expands.
As you give more of your heart, you are called to give more.
As you give more of your heart, you develop strength.
As you give more of your heart, you have the courage to COMPETE.
Competing takes courage. The courage to test your limits. The courage to step outside of your comfort zone and place your abilities to the test. The courage to fight the societal pressure of wins and losses. The courage to compete with yourself instead of comparing yourself to others.
The Heart of the Competitor is a courageously driven machine to become the best it can become. You have the Heart of a Competitor and are driven to create and use every possible situation as a learning opportunity.
In his book Choke, Sian Beilock details the need to prepare for performance in stressful moments by training with stressful situations. Police officers that are trained to be able to shoot and hit a target while being fired upon are much more successful than those that have only ever practiced without return fire. This is a must for the Heart of a Competitor, training in mentally and physically stressful situations. For the Heart of a Competitor, the number one way to create stressful situations in practice is to keep track of your progress in an area and that is done by keeping score. If you want to get better at something in a competitive situation, keep score of it in a practice situation and hold yourself accountable.
As you give more of your heart and focus in practice, you will get more of your heart and focus in a competition.
Question of the Day:
What are you going to measure in practice that will increase your competitive performance?
Barnacle geese need to nest their eggs high up on a cliff, so they are protected from predators, specifically the Arctic Fox. Shortly after birth, hatching form the comfort of the eggshell, these newly hatched goslings are called upon to take a nearly 4oo foot plunge.
Their parents, specifically the mother, urge these newborn goslings on to take the “Leap of Faith.”
These young goslings inherit a trait to follow their mother anywhere, but they are still reluctant to jump of this cliff. The filmmakers noted the goslings may take 30 minutes to half a day to muster up the courage to take their Leap of Faith.
What can we learn from the Barnacle Geese?
Encourage our offspring to take the Leap of Faith.
As a parent of two young boys, we are always concerned about their safety and this is warranted, however, they need to be pushed to take the Leap of Faith and jump at opportunity when it arises. The Leap of Faith is where the great experiences occur in our lives.
When you take the Leap of Faith, how you land decides your fate.
The Barnacle gosling is unable to fly, but they can glide. This gliding allows them to land on their bellies and absorb the impact. The courage to take a Leap of Faith allows new experiences, new learning for all of us. When taking the Leap of Faith, like the Barnacle gosling, we will fall, but is how we land that will decide our fate.
Staying put allows your predators will gobble you up.
Arctic foxes will eat the Barnacle goslings that do not take a Leap of Faith. Waiting around to do something allows others to get ahead, to surpass you. Someday is not a deadline for accomplishing or doing something, someday is not a date on the calendar.