Your Past Does Not Dictate Your Future

This disclaimer is usually tagged as a footnote to investment literature that touts how great a mutual fund’s returns and performance have been over the past year. I, however, am often called into situations where this quote plays a vital role in helping someone rebound from a period of underperforming below their elite talent level. It’s amazing to me how the past often haunts us as we dismiss the progress that we have made and selectively frame the pictures of poor performance.

For example, many of the golfers that I work with as a peak performance coach are haunted by the past. Past rounds, past holes, and past shots. They are seeking perfection, and when they do not hit the perfect shot, doubt often creeps in. If they are not careful, they begin a pattern of spiraling downward in performance allowing the past shot to dictate their future opportunities for success. In other words, a bad shot leads to a bad hole which leads to a bad round. This pattern can also happen to you in the roles you play in life. For example, how does a woman go from moments of incredible impact in the lives of her children to feeling that she is a horrible mother – just because of one imperfect moment?confused-signs

The key to breaking through this vicious downward spiral is what I call “Recovery Time©” defined as your ability to respond and rebound from moments you did not expect to happen and move into the next moment. Others might refer to this quality as “grit” or “resiliency,” and we believe that it can be developed and improved.  Using a golfer again as an example, I work with my athletes on thoughts, tools, and techniques that will help them play shot to shot, perform in the current moment, and respond when they miss shots they know they should have made. Part of this process involves developing “trigger/activating” phrases that help them to replace thoughts of fear and doubt with thoughts of trust and belief about them and their talent.

We must also learn from the past, not live in the past. The past must be an ally pushing us onward and forward, not an adversary rising up against us at every turn. Your past may not involve a missed 4-foot putt or a bad round of golf. Your past may include:

  • Being laid off at work
  • Feeling inadequate as a parent
  • Feeling disconnected to your spouse
  • Wondering if people even know you exist
  • Being rejected over and over again
  • Struggling to tap into your talent
  • Striving to pursue purpose and meaning in your life

Whatever you are going through today, know that you can recover from miserable moments. It begins with realizing that “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” Just because you have had a bad past doesn’t mean that you are destined to have a terrible future.

If we truly comprehend the meaning of this quote and conquer our doubts of past performance, we will learn to embrace the current moment with arms wide open. We will understand how opportunity and possibilities are waiting at the door if we will just relinquish the overwhelming memories of times where we did not perform at our best.

Strive today to “learn from the past, prepare for the future, and perform in the moment” (quote taken from my book Moments: Making Your Life Count For What Matters Most).

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Break Out Of The Box

I sat patiently as the student athlete in front on me desperately tried to figure out the solution to this puzzle. Using his competitive spirit, he worked through every scenario in his mind striving to accomplish the goal. Yet, with each possible course of action, he reached a dead end. He could connect most of the dots but not all. It was almost like an imaginary wall was keeping him from reaching an answer.

Dots Puzzle

Do you ever feel like this in your own life? Desperate to break through, but dogged by doubts and self-imposed limitations that keep you from reaching your potential and accomplishing your goals. In my work with high potential and high performing entrepreneurs, business leaders, and amateur and professional athletes, I find that they sometimes get locked into a certain way of thinking that restricts them from reaching the next level of performance. Many times, the walls that contain them are self-imposed and self-constructed in the form of limiting beliefs. A limiting belief is anything that limits you from reaching your potential or accomplishing your goal. Many times it comes in the form of negative thoughts, fear, and doubt such as:

  • “I’m can’t hit my 5 iron.”
  • “I’m not a good parent.”
  • “I always play bad in April.”
  • “January is always a slow sales month for me.”
  • “My best days are behind me.”
  • “I can do it in practice but not in the games.”

Limiting beliefs can also be a strength that becomes a liability. We think it is a positive thing, but it becomes negative when it limits our capacity to develop in our leadership and self-growth. These limiting beliefs take the form of statements such as:

  • “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!”
  • “If we are going to beat this team, I am going to have score almost all of the points tonight!”
  • “I’m the only one who can do this task.”
  • “I never trust anyone.”

Limiting beliefs act as “definitive” statements that lock us into a certain way of thinking, which then translate into a pre-determined pattern of acting. The thoughts take root in our lives and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is like a cage that keeps us contained from ever breaking out to unleash our potential. The key question to ask yourself is this:

Once you have pondered this question and identified the “iron bar” limiting beliefs, work on changing the thoughts that led to these beliefs. Many times, we base our thoughts, and, ultimately, our beliefs and actions on the wrong things including false assumptions, one-time events, people’s perceptions of us, and performances that are not our best. You cannot let circumstances construct barriers that leave you powerless to discover the path forward. You must take time to consider the truths about your life including your strengths as well as past performances that reinforce your abilities and talent.

Dots Puzzle Solution

If you begin to see the problem from a different way of thinking, you can soon discover possibilities that lead to peak performance. Choose today to break out of the box of fear and doubt that is limiting you from unleashing trust, belief, and breakthrough performances in all aspects of your life!

We provide coaching, consulting, and leadership development programs focused on helping you, your team, and your organization or business create breakthrough performances and develop a culture of leadership. Browse our web site for more information.

Question: What are some beliefs that limit you from maximizing your potential and accomplishing your goals? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

 

Champions Sweat The Details

Champions sweat the details. They don’t just sit back and rely on their potential. They nurture and develop their talent. They work hard at being greater each day. Not all talented people take this approach. In fact, I have seen some very talented people sit back and let others – people who were not as naturally talented and gifted as them – outwork them and, therefore, surpass them in terms of accomplishments and impact. Kobe Bryant always relentlessly pursued being better than he was yesterday in a quest to be the best.

Kobe Doing Work

Steph Curry is another example in basketball becoming a back-to-back MVP and arguably the most improved player as well in the 2015-2016 NBA season, which included making 402 3-pointers shattering his own record of 286 made 3-pointers the previous season. Steph also goes through a rigorous off-season program and a very disciplined pre-game routine to keep taking his skills to the next level!

Steph Curry Dribbling

If you want to succeed in any area of life and become a true “champion,” here are at least 3 things you can learn from the mindset of a champion:

  • Champions expect and deliver great outcomes – Champions don’t settle for just “good enough” results. For a champion, “good enough” is not good enough. They go above and beyond to do things with excellence. The idea and concept of “good enough” to a champion is settling for a lesser result. Champions focus on doing things to the best of their ability and challenging themselves to be the best. You must be content but never satisfied and develop goals that take you beyond what you think is possible.
  • Champions are driven by the outcome and focused on the process – A champion knows that the journey is the key to a great outcome. They are driven by a big goal, and they rely on the process to get them there. Champions know that constantly thinking and stressing about the “success metric” they are trying so hard to accomplish is not the way to make it happen. They focus on doing things with excellence and trust the process to achieve the outcome they desire. You must consistently execute a plan for personal growth and stay focused on the process in order to achieve the outcomes you want.
  • Champions sweat the details – Champions take nothing for granted. They develop the right action plan to achieve their goals and then execute it in a determined and diligent manner. They do the big things as well as the small things that lead to success. They perform in the spotlight and produce in the background. They realize that the hard work they do in the gym when no one is looking allows them to reap the rewards when everyone is watching.

Greatness doesn’t just happen. It’s a process that requires hard work and perseverance. It demands focusing on the little things that will yield tremendous results. Whether you want to become a “champion” at work, at home, or in your community, the key question is:

Question: As it relates to your roles in life, what details do you need to ‘sweat,’ or focus on, to become better than you were yesterday and make the greatest impact? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

 

Go Bold!

Rarely do people admit they want to do something timidly.  Most people I know, talk to, and work with in the areas of sports, business, and life want to do things in a bold way.  They want to dream big dreams and accomplish incredible goals.  I have never heard someone say, “You know, when I do my work or compete in my match, I just want to be timid today.”

Snowboarder Jumping

Yet, if we are truly honest with ourselves, there are areas of life and moments in time when we become fearful and timid versus fearless and bold.  We don’t say it, but we show it through our lives and the approach we take to solve an issue or accomplish a goal.  What does this look like?

7 Leadership Lessons From Being An Undersized Point Guard

I was not created with incredible height; yet, I did not let that limit me in my pursuit of playing basketball and competing on the court.  I was a part of some incredible teams in high school including one that went 32-3 and made it to the state championship game at the highest level in the state of Tennessee.  As a 5’10 (or maybe 5’9”) point guard, I was not always the first pick based on appearance but definitely strived to make an impression based on my play.  The key was not letting a limiting belief like my lack of size compared to other people hold me back from competing and achieving my best.

Will, Drew, and me

Based on my experience, here are 7 leadership lessons that I learned from this journey:

Discover Your Identity

“Who am I?” It’s a question some people spend a lifetime trying to answer. Most people look for their identity in all the wrong places, leaving them empty and unfulfilled.

frustrated young business man

They obtain their self worth in their most recent performance and accolades from their peers. People who lack esteem and confidence often chase meaning and fulfillment using this misleading equation:

Identity Equation

Champions Always See Possibilities

The year was 1987.  Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers were locked in a classic NBA Championship showdown against Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics.  Seven seconds remained in a pivotal Game 4.  The Lakers were down 106-105, and the home Celtic fans were rabid.  What happened next would become one of the top moments in NBA history.

Magic and Riley

Quote Card-Compete