For this blog post I decided to take on a topic that has affected all of us at sometime in our lives: impostor syndrome. How many times have we found ourselves in the company of our peers but do not see ourselves as equals to them? Even if we have enjoyed some success relative to the folks we are surrounded by, we have a tough time believing that the success was not the result of a lucky bounce of the ball.
As was covered in the previous blog post (http://utmostperformance.org/blog/2017/1/23/better-vs-best), comparing ourselves to others is a dangerous game. Unfortunately many of us choose to play this game. This leads us to always having the measuring stick out and analyzing where we stack up.
We know ourselves and what we have done in preparation for our competition (or at least we should). We honestly have no idea, however, what our competitors (peers) have done in preparation. This leads to that ugly word...assumptions. We now delve into the realm of assuming that we know every minute detail of our competitors, and quite frankly this is impossible.
If you are prone to this tendency, think about the time that you spend involved in these kinds of behaviors. How many times do you look at the list of competitors at your next competition and attempt to predict where you will finish or how well you might do. I would consider this a huge waste of time and the ramifications will rear its ugly head when we least want it around.
Now let's fast forward to the competition. It's time to sort out the result. Here come those assumptions that we made days and maybe even weeks earlier. All of a sudden we see ourselves as inferior to those against whom we are competing. Our focus is now on others instead of where it needs to be; ourselves.
Here is what I propose as a healthy alternative to this mindset. When training and competing, focus on doing your able-bodied best. We can control that. We will know with no doubt whether we achieved giving our best or not. This leads to peace of mind and satisfaction with our performance.
I'd like to end with an example that might resonate with you. Let's say that you compete and lost to a team. You know however that you and your teammates gave their absolute all. Could you have given 110%? Contrary to popular belief there is no such thing. The buck stops at 100%. Therefore there is nothing that you could have done that would have changed the outcome of that competition. This kind of mindset leads to satisfaction with every performance, not just the ones that go the way you would like them to.