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The only limits you have are those you choose to believe...

When we first begin in sports, we are wrapped up in learning the game. Once we learn the basics we begin to strive for more, not just to learn but to be GOOD. We all want to stand out. We may even begin dreaming of how far we can go in the sport. The idea of reaching high levels is appealing therefore we strive even more. And even if you think back and remember playing sports as a child, getting kudos from coach, teammate or parent was a big deal. It made us feel good. We may even begin to pride ourselves on other's accolades of us. This can happen so much that we begin identifying with it, and thus the sport becomes part of our identity. So, then what happens when we fail? If our identity is tied to our success, then is our identity also tied to our failure too? When the success is tied to our self-worth, then so is the failure. It becomes nearly impossible to separate the two at this point. When this happens is when we may begin to adopt self-protection mechanisms. Because if success means we feel praised and accepted, then failure must mean we feel unworthy and rejected. So, in order to avoid feelings of rejection from failure, to protect our own self-worth, we will not even try in the first place. If there is any inkling of doubt in our mind that we cannot achieve the standard, or even the greatest, or to overcome the challenge, we will develop a belief that is limiting. These limits often sound like excuses, and reasons that indicate avoidance. If we don't try, then we can't fail.

So how do we overcome this? We have to reshape our view of failure. We have to separate our identity from the sport. Realize worth is not in your ability as an athlete but rather your character as a person. Then, if I fail, it becomes an opportunity to develop my character, and not a wound to my self-worth. By building your mental skills in this area, you can overcome. Failure is inevitable, however failure also means growth. And having a growth mindset will take you far as a competitor.

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