Trust The Process
In all walks off life individuals have aims and aspirations that they place great importance upon. One aspect of being an athlete is that often times these goals are public knowledge, and your efforts open to be scrutinised. Something that is constant, regardless of the nature of your focus, is that the path to success is very rarely plain sailing. Even if everyone had the same targets I’m willing to bet there would be immense variation in how we would each apply ourselves, and that’s wonderful! It’s because we’re all unique, and come with our own respective strengths and weaknesses.
Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve, and a basic plan of what you can do to improve your likelihood of success are highly valuable assets. I read a fantastic book, The One Thing by Gary Keller, that is really useful at helping hone goal-setting skills, I would highly recommend it. In most cases however, fulfilling your ambition will require the ability to work effectively with others. Surrounding yourself with the right people on your path to success is paramount.
Personally, my life is all based around routine. My training setup would be viewed as very intense by many, but it’s the conditions that help me to thrive. I work with a small team who are heavily involved in helping me get the most out of myself on the track. I spend a lot of time with the people I work with, and they spend a lot of time with me. They get the lot, warts and all! My point is that when striving towards a long-term goal you can end up working very closely with others, and it is imperative that you both trust and respect your team. Questions regarding your understanding of something are healthy, but questioning what underpins your setup is toxic.
Often times people’s efforts do not lead to their desired outcome. The easy response to such setbacks is to point blame at various aspects of the process; this is a flaw I have definitely fallen foul of at points. However, it is these “failures” that provide you with opportunities to review. Clearly what you were doing was not helping you succeed, and to blindly plough on would be nonsensical. When something doesn’t go to plan I take stock of where I’m at. What could I have done differently? Why did the plan not lead to success? Inevitably we are all responsible for our own destiny, so we may as well give ourselves the greatest chance of success! I have found this reviewing process really helpful for building an understanding of what works well for me personally, and also to learn to deal with setbacks in a more positive manner. Furthermore, when a “problem” is broken down into its elements it becomes far more manageable, and easier to address. By applying these principles I can communicate far more effectively with my team, rather than feeling overwhelmed.
Life is not predictable, but that is not something to be viewed as a negative. There is no ceiling in place to cap our efforts, so what have we got to lose? Put your best foot forward and give it a go! Prolonged success does not happen overnight. In my case, skills need to develop, strength needs to improve, and self-belief at competing on the big stage must exist. I’m working every day to improve these things, and where will that take me? I don’t know, but I’m excited to find out! The process is part of the journey; enjoy it, trust it, and relish the rewards from it when they come.