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One of the most critical opportunities we miss everyday that holds the key to our happiness, excitement, and success is Owning our Space! Owning your space can be a critical step in progressing forward in any area of your life. So many times in our lives, we look back on an outcome or response that we’ve experienced and view them as a direct product of the event that preceded it. Event-response, event-response, over and over, everyday. The thought may even cross your mind that you don’t have control over this cycle. The truth is that you have MUCH more control than you realize.

What is this space and how does it help us progress forward?

Between an event and a response lies a “-”; a “space” where your thoughts, perceptions, and interpretations exist. What you do or don’t do in this space will directly influence your response, namely your emotions and physiology. This space can be an instant, a couple of seconds, or even a few minutes. What’s also true is that regardless of your age, experience, or skill level, you can train and influence the space. The difference between good, great, and “all-time” is what people choose to do with the space throughout each day. Are you filling your space with thought, perceptions, and images that set you up to succeed and grow, or does your space force you to rely on hope and chance in order to be successful? Take this example below how the space can influence your response.

Event: The big game starts in 5 minutes. Space: I’m not ready; I’m nervous and jittery. Response: Butterflies increase, a lack of confidence sets in, and uncertainty arises about the upcoming performance.

Event: I turned the ball over. Space: It’s all downhill from here. I let my teammates down, and I hope I’m not put in that situation again. Response: Decreased confidence and poise, tentativeness, and hesitation during the next play.

So, how do you “Own Your Space?”

It starts with awareness. Are you aware of the current thoughts, perceptions, and images you have and how they impact your responses? Are you a bystander as your thoughts take control, or do you shape and put thoughts and images in your head to own your performance? Owning your space means you are maximizing the time between event and response. It means that you don’t sit on the sideline as your brain takes you places you don’t want to go. You call the shots. You deliberately and intentionally put yourself on the path to success. Owning your space isn’t just putting positive thoughts in your head. It’s making your mind the strongest weapon you have to face down whatever life throws your way. It’s having the mental tools to overcome challenges and the ability to grow. It’s a skill that you have to train every single day. Others may try and affect what is going on in your space, but you have the final say. If your space is filled with thoughts, perceptions, and images that are not leading to a desirable outcome, then work on it. Now! We are all a product of the thought patterns we allow to cross our mind. You can either be a bystander of your thought process, or you can own your space and become unstoppable. This is an example of someone who is owning their space –

Event: The big game starts in 5 minutes Space: I’ve trained and prepared for this moment, and I’m going to crush it. Response: Confidence, ideal energy level, and focus on the upcoming event.

Event: I turned the ball over. Space: I learned from that mistake, I’m letting it go, and I’m focusing on what I need to do next to help my team succeed. Response: Present focus, emotional regulation, and feeling ready for the next play.

Owning your space includes your mind and body. Start with your mind and take complete ownership of what happens between the events and response so you can “Own Your Space!”

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