One word keeps catching my attention as I watch the coverage of the Olympics, and that word is ‘Focus’.
Time and time again in post-winning interviews, we hear of athletes who have focussed their attention, through their training and preparation over the last four years, on competing in the games. Years of daily training, often with punishing schedules and personal sacrifices, with one end in sight, even though that may have seemed like a distant dream to some.
Amongst the training schedule may have been other competitions, maybe some not going as well as they’d wanted. Learning not to let disappointment get in the way of the longer term focus on their dream has been an important part of getting to where they are now. Focussing on the future, not the past. Understanding that it’s all part of the bigger picture and contributes to the learning.
Then once at the Games, focussing on the job in hand. Concentrating on their event, not letting themselves be distracted by anything or anyone else. Complete concentration on what they want to achieve. Focussing on what they can do now, what their strengths are and the knowledge that they have what it takes.
During the race or event, focussing on their strategy and the finish line. Focussing on the dream.
What lessons are there here for the rest of us? What are you focussing on? Yesterday’s disappointment or today’s promise? Who you are now, or who you were yesterday?
One failure, or event that didn’t go according to plan, does not make us a failure. One mistake does not make us someone who always makes mistakes. One rejection does not make us someone who always get rejected.
Learning to accept life’s uncertainties, our own fallibility, and maintain the focus on our longer term goals, dreams and plans, will help us to develop Olympic-sized confidence.
It’s a strategy for success.
Have you got a story about maintaining your own focus, and what it’s helped you to achieve? I’d love you to share it here
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