Athletes fail when they stop pushing their limits and become stagnant in their training. This can happen to anyone, at any time, and it’s not always because of bad habits or lack of discipline. As athletes, it’s our responsibility to make sure we don’t allow this to happen to us. Here are some ways you can avoid the psychology of athlete failure and continue to push your own limits so that you can reach your full potential as an athlete.
What makes you unique?
Everyone has a competitive advantage, whether it be talent, effort, drive or some combination. But where do you fall on that spectrum? Are you a role model that works hard and never gives up? Or are you someone who gives up at first sign of failure and is more focused on being talented than putting in work? No matter what your story is, always be motivated and try not to let anything stop you from achieving greatness.
Keep your mind fit
When I talk about fitness, I don’t mean just your body. Your mind is just as important as your body when it comes to excelling in athletics, so you need to keep both fit. If you give up when times get tough or start blaming others instead of working harder, then I promise that you won’t be around for long. Find a way to stay motivated and committed, even in hard times—by never giving up on yourself.
Surround yourself with successful people
Sure, it’s easy to surround yourself with people who are going nowhere in life. But why would you want to? Instead, focus on surrounding yourself with successful people who you can learn from and who can help keep you motivated and on track when times get tough. Surrounding yourself with negativity is going to pull you down and make it that much harder for you to succeed. Get rid of any negative influences in your life and start making space for positive ones!
Motivation vs Inspiration
To accomplish your goals you have to be motivated. There’s a big difference between motivation and inspiration, though. As an athlete, it can be easy to confuse them and assume they are one in the same, but that’s not necessarily true. Motivation is something external like a coach or parent telling you to work harder! Inspiration is more internal and comes from within yourself (I think I can…I think I can…). Another way of understanding that difference is motivation comes from outside yourself and moves you forward; inspiration comes from inside yourself and motivates you even further. If it sounds confusing, don’t worry about it too much—just remember that motivation is necessary for success but inspiration will help you overcome failure.
Focus on consistent progress, not goal achievement
The most successful athletes understand that focusing on consistent progress is far more important than achieving certain goals. Whether you’re trying to stay in shape or build a business, focusing on reaching your final destination can be paralyzing; instead, it’s important to focus on moving forward consistently. Constantly ask yourself what steps you need to take next and trust that you are always moving in a positive direction. Remember, even if you don’t achieve certain results right away, there is always value in moving forward with your head held high.
Get professional help when needed
No matter how hard you work or how strong your self-belief, at some point in your career you’re going to need help. At first, it will seem strange, because you’ve worked alone so long. But if you want to reach a new level of success, there will come a time when you have to ask for help.
When that time comes, don’t be afraid—just do it! After all, it’s not like asking for help is a sign of weakness; quite the opposite—it’s a sign that you’re confident enough in yourself and your abilities that you know when and where assistance is needed. Plus, reaching out for advice from someone who has already been there can save you years of trial and error as well as avoidable mistakes.
Use affirmations effectively
Affirmations are powerful tools for reprogramming your subconscious mind. At first, however, it can be hard to figure out what kind of affirmations will help you reach your goals. In fact, there are a lot of affirmations that can actually work against you if you’re not careful—they’re either too general or they don’t directly align with your goals and values.
So how do you know which ones will work? Start by writing down three things that truly represent who you want to be; visualize them vividly in your mind and really get clear on what they would look like in real life.
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