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Sports and daily life have a lot more in common than you may have thought. Maintaining a sports mindset could even help you achieve your dream goals faster!
By: Chloe Persichetti
Pivot, pivot – quick backspin then you’re driving down the court. With momentum on your side and a poorly guarded basket, you can’t help but smile knowing what you’re about to do. The confident spark you get when a situation that you created and cultivated comes to fruition can be the same spark you come across in your daily life. Creating a “fast break” to complete your goals faster doesn’t have to be a buzzer-beating fantasy.
In sports, plays can be useful because they prime you for future events and give you an instinctual reaction that allows you to employ a best technique or move. Knowing what you’re going to be up against, thinking ahead and putting that knowledge into practice is how opportunities start to open up. Those who once were blocking your dream are suddenly leaving it open for you to take.
Imagery works at the beginning; to visualize something means letting your subconscious mind get a peek. When your thought process can align itself with your desires, it creates a little more space between you and your opponent. In this case, your opponent can also be inanimate. Space is created because your mentality differs from others. This is a step many skip and is a reason why thinking ahead is fundamental.
Visualize yourself already having achieved the goal of your dreams. Pay attention to details in this visual – how do you feel, where are you and who is around you? Imagine minor, seemingly insubstantial scenarios, such as you at your dream job accidentally ordering two coffees, or on a date with the person of your dreams, watching two squirrels fight over an acorn. Details such as these allow the mind to believe even more in the experience, thus bringing your dreams much closer to reality.
Unfortunately for us, it takes more than visualizing to achieve your goals. Before all of this, ask yourself if you are in love with that dream, since you’re going to be working extremely hard to maintain it. Remember those hours spent in practice? It’s going to have to happen all over again. Find supportive or similarly driven people to help you focus on what’s important. Break down the goal you want into as many small pieces as you can and begin mastering each segment. Hours must be spent on this part of the process. Repetition and diligence create the open court that leads you to your goals – anyone in an elite position will reaffirm this. That’s why what you’re striving toward must be something you love doing – you’ll be doing it a lot.
Knowing what you’re going to be up against is the type of strategic thinking that needs to take place. Preparing for what’s to come gives you the advantage of understanding how to react in a manner that suits you. Being caught off guard leaves one open and vulnerable; neither will work in your favor when something as important as your dream is on the line. As you are progressing, others will take notice and want to put you down. If people doubt you, simply let them.
Something to think about: A traveler was walking after it had rained and saw something shiny half buried in the ground. He picked it up to find a mud-covered watch, assessed it, then threw it back on the ground. Little did he know there was a small crown insignia the mud was hiding – the watch was worth more than what he had.
You don’t have to base your worth off other’s opinions. What the traveler didn’t see was that watch he threw back down, though worth a lot, worked better than any other watch he’d ever owned. The outside was dirty but the inner-workings were undeniably special. Not everyone has the wherewithal or tools to notice your genuine ability, so never feel like you have to give anyone the time of day.
Boiling it down to the smallest piece, this journey is all about mindset. If your mind isn’t perceiving things and you’re getting down on yourself, it’s a waste to try what’s explained above. Scrap the playbook and focus on your perception of the world. Once that’s honed, you’ll be able to jump back on track with your goals faster and have some extra skills tucked away.
Believing in yourself is the biggest part of this process. Inner confidence will allow you to ignore external forces that would rather see you fail than reach a level of success that surpasses their own. The voice that convinces you that you aren’t good enough is the same voice that will lead you on the path of unfulfillment and personal stagnation. This voice stems from fear and you must be confident enough to tell it to go away. You can take a safe job you don’t particularly like, yet still fail at it – why not try a career you love?
As you begin to drive closer to your dreams, remember the next game is going to come with a whole new set of challenges. Implementing new counter moves while keeping the old ones in mind might be a valuable avenue to explore. Keep relentlessly pushing toward that goal, and if you’re closer than where you once were, don’t give up! You’re moving in the right direction.
After working toward that dream, there’s no way a “fast break” opportunity isn’t going to arise. All that hard work is bound to pay off, setting you far ahead of the competition and on your way to an easy score. All your sacrifices, time spent getting fundamentally solidified and betting everything on yourself; enjoy this feeling of getting what you wanted, because you’re the chief reason that it all worked out in the end. Now, visualize yourself before you achieved your dreams. The blessing of hitting your goal didn’t have to come but it did, so be thankful and grateful, and keep moving forward.
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