One of the best moments in sports is when someone has his/her back up against a wall. Faced with a do or die moment, what happens next?
We love to watch athletes do something incredible in those moments.
The last second shot to win the game.
The two minute drill in the 4th quarter.
The bottom on the 9th inning.
Stepping to the platform for the 3rd lift.
What is it about these moments that brings the best out athletes and captivates viewers? It's a perfect concoction of challenge, confidence, stress, trust, and present focus. We can't possibly perform our best or do something we have never done before without having all of these factors present.
How often are we putting ourselves in a situation with our backs against the wall? A competition where we have the chance to put all of our training to the test. A triathlon where all of the hard work and effort comes down to one day and opportunity. A class or degree that we want to pass to push our career and development to the next level. All of these moments provide the ingredients for us to do something great and express something we've never done before.
If we haven't had that feeling of having our backs against the wall and wanting to do something we have never done before, then the first step is to find an opportunity to do just that! Seek out a challenge that puts you into a competitive frame of mind where how you perform matters to you. If we truly want to push the edge of our capacity, then we have to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations that call on our physical and mental skills to overcome. This is where the magic happens and the ingredients are present to do something special.
Once we find ourselves in the moment when it's put up or shut up, it's the perfect time to trust our training, ride the wave of adrenaline we feel in that moment, and let it rip. This is what the best in the world do consistently, which is why it is so captivating to watch. There is a risk and something meaningful on the line, and still, they can focus so deeply on the present moment. We can learn and train the mental skills of deep focus, trust, and commitment to the moment to put ourselves in the best possible position to be successful.
In our own way, we can be clutch and do something incredible with our backs against the wall. Over the next month, let's put ourselves in more moments where our backs are against the wall and we have to come out swinging!