Feel Better or Get Better?
The "Not Good Enough" feeling" is the human condition.
It will never go away. But that is the good news, not the bad news.
God put this in our spirits and minds for a reason.
To give us the drive we need to grow and get better.
Unfortunately, most of us "feel" that perception of a negative feeling and then we run away from it.
(Cause that is our default pattern.)
And thus, we give up effort and application of skills and tools to do our ABSOLUTE best.
Because we demonize "not good enough" instead of embracing it.
Is it a bad thing that we are getting the feeling that we are not enough?
Because there are two possible responses, NOT one.
1. Feel better by using that uncomfortable feeling as leverge to push yourself to do better.
2. Or feel bad about yourself, and instead of moving away from that pain into growth ... we block or run away from that feeling all together.
(Usually we try to medicate ourselves from that "uncomfortable" feeling with excuses or substances.)
Some Excuses that trip us up and prevent us from our personal best:
1, "Well, it's not perfect (round in the ring)" or "nobody is perfect"
(From a decision or rule, "I don't have to be perfect.")
So with this, we are magically "healed" from that "negative" feeling by deciding to accept a lower standard.
Our Old Rider LOVES to throw around the "perfect" word because who can argue with that?
Of course we can't be perfect! So it gets us off the hook or responsibility, right?
But here's the next step down on that slippery slope ...
"So why even try that hard? I'm close enough."
If we do well, but not as well as we want, well ...
There is always the comfy chair of "that is the best I can do right now."
Not perfect becomes OK. Then lower standards and not trying our ABSOLUTE hardest becomes OK.
Then accepting and repeating our "bad habits" that are sabotaging us becomes OK.
So unfortunately, once we unlock the slippery path of "not perfect is OK" , it usually slides right down to ...
Not achieving what are actually attainable goals for me is OK!
So, accepting not pushing ourselves and being AS GOOD as we can be.
We'll just improve a little and be OK with that.
Less effort and frustration, right?
Welcome back home to stuck place of the comfy couch.
And this is the point at which peak performance will say ...
RAISE YOUR STANDARDS!
What is the goal here?
We CAN achieve high attainable goals ... but by labeling something we CAN do as "it's not perfect and that's OK"
Viola! Out the back door of excuses we go!
For most of us, the reason we do this is because we just want to FEEL better about ...
Everything. Anything. Always.
We just don't want to FEEL any negative or uncomfortable thoughts.
We block or avoid or runaway from uncomfortable feelings.
But here's the thing ...
Those "uncomfortable", or even negative (if you have demonized them) feelings, ...
Is the GIFT and MAGIC POTION God gives us to step up and maximize our game.
To prevent us from staying where we are, backing down or being less that we can be.
So yes, negative feelings (that happen, or that we cause to happen by labeling and demonizing them as negtative), IS going to be a game changer.
Question is; do you want to win the game or lose the game?
Or do you just want to show up and participate and do less than your best?
What is the mission? What is the new standard you would LIKe to have?
"It's OK where I am, how I show up, and how I perform less than my best ... "
(Cause no one is perfect ,,, which is an excuse so we will FEEL better at where we are ...)
Watch out! That is your Old Rider Identity speaking!
Or we can get excited and embrace that feeling by saying to ourselves,
"Wow, this embarrasment, frustration, and pain is an AMAZINGLY powerful leverage!
I'm using this "not good enough" feeling to push myself out of my comfort zone and to put MORE effort into become even better."
The Ultimate Stand Down/Turn Off Growth Button:
This is when we decide to have a global belief or truth that justifies lack of growth and staying in the comfy chair.
Basically, it is waving a white flag of defeat that we do ...
For many reason we have yet to discover about ourselves ...
We simply don't want to put forth the mental and physcial effort to change, to break bad habits, and to transform.
We thought we did ... we tried to believe we could ... and we did TRY.
Then when it all doesn't happen easily and IMMEDIATELY ...
(Triggered by instant gratification?)
We decide we really DON'T want to use the mental effort to focus on executing ALL the details for riding or showing up in life with accurate timing!
It's OK if I don't place or win; I just want to have fun."
Or, "I just want to be consistent." Or "I just want to do a solid round."
"OK, so I don't organize and plan well and sometimes overcommit with appointments ...
And therefore, I have a bad habit of not being on time and not being accountable to keeping my word and commitments. So be it."
"It is what it is. I don't have to be perfect."
So, to be OK with THAT decision ...
We have to make the Old Bridle path of bad habits and "less than peak performance" something we can swallow and live with.
So what is the self-talk that is ... basically giving up, right?
Waving the whilte flad and accepting defeat.
"No matter how much I try or improve, it will never be good enough for __________" Insert trainer, boss or significant other.
"No matter how much I try, I will never be good enough." (So why try ... is what your Old Identity is saying to you.)
The pressure to move forward and grow is off!
You mean we have now reframed everything to accept that defeat?
To except smaller growth or even staying stuck?
In our comfort chair ... all because hey, we can't be perfect?
Wow. And yet ...
We COULD have made a conscious decision to adopt a new, global belief that ...
If we EMBRACE not feeling good enough, and accept that we will always have that feeling no matter what ...
THAT this fact is the good news cause it keeps pushing us to be better and better.
To overcome self-sabotaging bad habits and to step up into our Equestrian Rockstar.
Then where will THAT bridle path lead to? What is THAT destination?
Becoming an Equestrian Rockstar and winning!
"But Nancy, why tell myself to aim for being perfect when that is not possible?"
Great question. So think of Olympians.
Do they go into competitions saying, "Oh well, it doesn't have to be perfect?"
Or do they end up performing at their best because they STRIVE to be perfect?
My husband, whose goals were ALWAYS to do a perfect 10 score ... which is what gymnasts strive for ...
Was never of the mindset, "Oh well, it's OK that it's not perfect, so why even have that as a goal? "
He understood how toxic and defeating that was ... that we never become our best with that kind of mindset!
And that we will, instead, make that lower standard a reality.
His mindset was the opposite ...
He put himself on a completely opposite bridle path;
"I am getting a perfect 10 score."
And learning from any "gems" I get and applying that new feedback to get closer to the perfect 10 next time!
This is how ALL top athletes think!
They want to WIN more than they want to prevent themselves from being dissapointed.
Every time they execute in a sport, it is with the goal of nailing it THAT time; not practicing being just OK THAT time.
(This is easily accomplished because they have resiliency skills and don't 'break", emotionally, under dissapointment or adversity.)
Or things not going their way.
They use "errors" and obstacles in life as a way to do apply the fix for the next round.
NOT to quit and run away.
So, there is NO down side to not being perfect.
They are "all in" with a mission of going for the GOLD.
Remember; when we have conflicting missions, like wanting to win and also not wanting to be dissapointed in ourselves ...
We can make that combo work for us to spur us forward ...
Or we can choose to perceive that conflict as a reason to choose the easier path ... not be the best we can be.
Here's the key:
All athletes have a human computer in their brain that KNOWS that no one is or can be perfect.
So some choose to not use that word (if it trigers shutting off the circuit breakers in their brain) ...
They will say the name of the win, like Champion. Or My Personal Best.
But in my husband's case, he always used the word perfect and embraced it and always used it as his goal.
He was AFRAID of NOT being perfect.
Therefore, he was not AFRAID of massive hard work to get better and better.
He was not afraid of high standards cause he didn't tell himself the story that he probably couldn't reach those standards.
Quite the opposite; He embraced it! And told himself he WOULD achieve it.
What he WAS afraid of ... was NOT achieving his goals of winning because of accepting lower standards for himself.
He HATED mediocrity and being "average."
He always went in to train and compete with the the highest standards and goals of doing the perfect 10 routines ...
And only because of that mindset and focus, he achieved it more times than not.
For all those accomplishments and victories, did his strategy work?
In his later years, when watching the Olympics, my husband was always amazed at the new tricks and routines the gymnasts can do today.
That wasn't even in the consciousness of the gymnasts back in his day.
It was always a "V8" mind bomb when he watched the Olympics in his later years.
"Wow, I can't believe what moves they are doing now! Back then, I thought my vision and metrics for a perfect routine and a 10 score ...
Was doing my personal best ...
But I see what these gymnasts are doing today, and I realize ...
I didn't dream high enough! DAMN!
I COULD have been better and excelled at these much higher levels these gymnasts are dong now ..
But I held myself back by believing that hitting a 10 with my routine, that it was actually the best I could do.
I see now, my vision, goals, and efforts back then weren't high enough. That wasn't perfection!
But I told myself a story that it was. My standards for "perfect" were too low. I put those limiting beliefs on myself.
I didn't get creative and think outside the box enough!"
What I thought was perfect actually wasn't!
So, what is interesting about this story is this:
In his 60, 70, 80, and 90's, he STILL believed, once it was demonstrated to him what was possible for a human being to do ...
That he COULD have nailed those tougher routines way back then!
How is that?
Because he ALWAYS chose to believe in himself and had already proved to himself that if focused hard enough on achieving ANY goal ...
If he kept his standards high and didn't allow himself excuses ...
That his mind was so powerful, and he had perfected disciplining himself with massive action and effort so thoughly ...
That he could actually make himself successful in any mission.
Which is why when he came down with Parkinsons, and it progressed to a point where he didn't have the chemicals in his brain to balance himself, ...
All the neurologists and physical therapists kept telling him he wouldn't be able to get out of wheelchair and walk ..
He called them out on their limiting beliefs about him.
He had a master's degree in kinisiology, so he figured out a hack for balancing himself.
And laid down NEW neuropathways in his brain!
He always had only one, SINGLE mission and kept raising his extremely high standards.
What is the motivation to always set goals and accomplish them?
Because winning is fun.
IT FEELS better! Striving to be our best every time .. makes us feel proud of ourselves.
"I can win! I can overcome these bad habits and behaviors that demonstrates to the world that I limiting beliefs and lower standards for myself."
THAT is belief in yourself.
And it is a choice to believe like that ... even if you don't in the beginning!
And the best part?
Whatever levels you decide to accept for yourself as being "OK" ...
Choosing higher standards or CHOOSING lower standards ... and practicing feeling good about lower standards instead of ...
Putting our minds and efforts towards achieving the higher standards ...
You WILL succeed at whatever standards you choose and talk yourself into.
Want the comfort of the lower standard?
Or do you want the unbelievable high and empowerment and joy that comes from ...
Setting high goals and achieving them?
If you choose not to believe in yourself ...
You will default with being OK with being less than you can be.
Unfortunately, we are on one bridle path or the other.
Breaking bad habits ...
Performing at our best ...
But it doesn't happen when we keep accepting the rule that it is OK to sometimes not change those bad habits.
Neuroscience; we will never rewire our brains onto the new Equestrian Rockstar bridle path if we keep running back to the old bridle path.
And make those old ruts in that path even deeper.
We are either pitiful or powerful.
We are either CONSISTENTLY practicing weakness and lower standards or we are practicing strength and higher standards.
Stay couragous ...
And choose the bridle path of higher standards.
Breakthrough, Equestrian Mental Skills Coach
Emotional strength and Resiliency Trainer