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All. In.

How are we going "All in" as we PLAY BIG in our lives? What does it even mean to go "All in?" When committing ourselves fully to our careers, relationships, training, and competing, it comes down to our relationship with vulnerability while in pursuit of how we want to be. If we are concerned about taking a risk and putting ourselves out there (being vulnerable), then we will never PLAY BIG and reach the vision we have for ourselves. Theodore Roosevelt knew this when he said -

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

One way to think about vulnerability is through the equation 100 - x. 100 is giving full effort and commitment and "x" is how much we are holding back or reserving from going all in. Maybe it's a training session where we decide to mail in the final reps and hold back because we don't want to give 100% effort and come up short compared to others or our previous best. It may be an opportunity to talk about how we really feel with a significant other, and we keep ourselves from being fully honest because we do not want to feel vulnerable or hurt in that moment. What about the moments when we can share our thoughts and ideas with the world, but instead, we never post or share because we do not want to open ourselves up to feedback and criticism.

In all of these situations, our "x" value is greater than 0. We are holding back. Maybe we're giving 85% effort in our training, 92% in our relationships, and 75% in our career. What is keeping us from going all in? Anytime we commit 100% of ourselves to something, we open ourselves up to experience accomplishment, pride, joy, excitement, and success. We also open ourselves up to anxiety, stress, fear, failure, and hurt. Is it better to hold back and protect ourselves from experiencing these emotions?

It all comes back to vulnerability and PLAYING BIG. We can't PLAY BIG without being vulnerable. In order to go all in, we have to be ready to experience all of the emotions that come with fully committing to that moment. We can't know the full extent of what we are capable of unless "we err and come up short again and again, and if we fail, we fail while daring greatly."

Our mental challenge for this week is to assess our relationship with vulnerability. Let's assess the different areas of our lives by giving a number to "x" for what we are holding back in our work, relationships, training, and competing. Choose one area and see what it feels like to be vulnerable while going all in even for just one day.

Missed last week's post about PLAYING BIG? Check it out here.

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