I remember back when I wrestled, there would be times where I would be in a match with nothing to lose. It would be against someone that was ranked higher than I was, was stronger than me, faster than me, on paper was just better than me and so technically, I was supposed to lose. The chips were against me. These ended up being my best performances. Even though I wanted to win badly, there wasn't any pressure to because I wasn't supposed to win. I usually performed better here than when I was in a match where I wanted to win so bad, it was against someone I was supposed to beat, and if I lost then my whole year of training would have been "a waste". In the last situation, I would be wrestling "not to lose". Or if you put that in regular everyday terms, I'm performing "afraid to fail". When this happens, it doesn't matter the situation or the task, you get so consumed on all the bad things that WILL happen (or even the thoughts of what MIGHT happen), that you aren't ever to reach any state of FLOW. Flow is when you are able to perform at your most efficient and most confident. When you don't feel any pressure, it's much easier to perform in this state. Fear of failing, fear of what people will think, fear of how bad it will be to lose, fear how you have wasted your time preparing, fear of not feeling like you're a success, fear of embarrassment, fear of ....(fill in the blanks), these are all the things that will actually keep you from performing at your best and have the best chance of success! It took me many many years to try to wrap my head around not letting myself worry about the result of a competition, or event. Since I can ONLY do the best job I can, THAT has to be what I'm shooting for. Sure I want to win, but it might not happen for whatever reason. That can't be my concern. My ONLY concern is to give it all I have and do my best. When I focus on that, then all my energy gets put to the right places. If I think of anything else, literally anything else, then I am competing NOT TO LOSE, and my percentage of success drops. This is much easier said than done but the more you are able to do it in ALL areas of your life, the more you will reach those state of FLOW, you will perform in much better in all areas, and have much more success in your life. Compete in life to WIN (which means to do your best), not to LOSE! :)
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