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High Performance Tip: Feel Your Strength

My High performance tip of the day is this… Feel Your Strength!

Have you ever fallen flat on your face, repeatedly, and its something that you really have mastered, but for some reason, you keep failing anyway?

Don’t know how to visualize success? Don’t worry, neither did my 7 year old.

You see, she’s been struggling to do her round-off back handspring on the floor. She does it beautifully on the mat and the padded red-runway. She does them flawlessly. But when it comes to doing on the gymnastics floor, she collapses on her head. (Don’t we all fall flat on our head sometimes?)

After dealing with her tantrums, crying-screaming fits and paying for private lessons, I just melted down and told her its all in her head. OK, so you can guess that this was not a productive conversation.

Eventually our conversation turned good and she lit up like a light bulb and could hardly sleep she was so excited. It was as if someone finally turned on the lights. I think she’s a different person. Seriously, it was that impactful.I had to share it with you.

Our conversation went like this…

Me: “Honey, what’s different when you try to do it on the floor?”

Her: “I dunno.”

Me: “Are you nervous?”

Her: “A little bit”

Me: “Well your not nervous on the red runway are you?”

Her: “No”

Me: “And your not nervous on the crash mat, are you?”

Her: “No.”

Me: “And you do a really, really good back handspring on the mat and the red runway don’t you?”

Her: “Yeah.”

Me: “So do me a favor. remember how you felt when you got home tonight? Screaming and crying I want you to remember what that felt like.”

Her: Sad face.

Me: “Now can you sense how weak you feel? Do you think you could do a back handspring now without falling on your face?”

Her: Scrunched up frowning face.

Me: “Now when you do it on the red carpet, don’t you feel all strong and powerful? Lets think of words that make us feel strong and powerful. Happy, Smiley, Strong, Powerful, Capable, Confident. Think of friends that make you feel this way. I want you to feel these feelings. You need to feel the strength. Now can you do your back handspring on the floor?”

Her: Smiley face. “Can I try it on your bed mom?”

Me: “OK, but first I want you to feel sad, angry, mad, crying. Now do your back handspring.”

Her: She lands on her head.

Me: “OK now feel strong, powerful, capable, confident, happy, talented. Now do your back handspring.”

Her: She lands on her feet for the first time in weeks.

We repeat this 5 or so times until she is so excited she bounces her way all the way to bed.

Me: “Remember that one meet that you had your back handspring? Remember how excited you were? Remember how will you did in that meet? All those medals you won? How strong and powerful you felt? How no one could stop you? And you did great didn’t you?

She’s so excited she can’t contain herself. She’s nodding and giggling and radiant.

“Now you know how to get anything you want in life. You can turn on success or failure by simply changing how you think and feel. You are so lucky to learn this so young in life.”

“How old were you mom when you learned this?”

“Well, since I still respond to your yelling at me by yelling back, I’d say I’m still learning.”

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