I have been studying the Olympic athletes and here’s my very unofficial and cursory findings:
The ones who are present, in the flow, relaxed, and happy to be there tend to do better that the ones who are serious, nervous, and tense. The ones in the latter group sometimes succeed too but at what cost?
Take snowboarders Red Gerard and Chloe Kim for example. They genuinely looked relaxed and happy and seemed to be having fun. They both took golds.
Compare them to Nathan Chen who was favored to medal in ice skating but finished 17th during his first routine. He said this during an interview:
“As much as I tried to deny it, I felt the pressure a lot before the short program, especially thinking about scores and placement and all that. And that was completely out of my control. That just tightened me up and made me really cautious on the ice. I just had to completely forget about expectations and allow myself to be myself.”
After that first performance he got mad, got out of his head, and made history by being the first skater to land six quads. He finished 5th overall.
His conscious mind cost him a medal.
Your mind is fascinating and knowing how it works turns you into a powerful force.
Here’s a few mind cliff notes to help you see what’s going on up there because it impacts you every day:
- Your mind is approximately 5% conscious and 95% subconscious yet we mistakenly rely a lot on our conscious analytical, controlling, and ridged mind to get us through life. This is not effective and in fact hinders success exponentially.
- When you learn a skill your subconscious mind internalizes it. Think about driving a car — you do this primarily subconsciously which is why you can sing, plan your day, chew gum, and smile nicely at the driver who cut you off, all at the same time.
- When your conscious mind butts into your subconscious mind's business it's trying to control something it has no business controlling.
These Olympic athletes know what they’re doing. It’s all in their subconscious and they could do their routines in their sleep.
What trips them up is their conscious mind (a lot of Inner Critic B.S.). It gets loud and…
- Evaluates the magnitude of their performance and what the Olympics mean
- Scrutinizes their every move
- Plays ‘what if’ scenarios about not getting their routine perfect
- Pressures them to bring home the gold so they don’t let down their hometown
I too have experience with this and wrote about my own interesting findings after running a race relaxed and happy vs stressed and filled with self-imposed pressure (Results of Life Experiment #1057 = Success!)
How much of your conscious mind are you allowing to sabotage your [easier] success with life?
You absolutely can be successful in your relationships, career, or athletic endeavors by relying on your conscious mind's ridged control over your every move and function. I know. I did it for years.
But let me tell you, it sucks and there’s a much easier way.
Learning how to connect your conscious and subconscious minds might not sound sexy or interesting but it sure makes your life happier and healthier! Give me a shout if you want to chat about it. My clients learn that easy and success are better together :)
Like this post? Then I'd love for you to be part of the Motivation Monday Tribe.
It's hardcore motivation on the day you need it most (and so much more).
Sign up now and when you do you’ll also receive an essential tool that moves you through life calmer, happier, empowered, and fully present. Guaranteed.