IF YOU CAN MEET WITH TRIUMPH AND DISASTER AND TREAT THOSE TWO IMPOSTORS JUST THE SAME…
“These very famous words from the poem “IF” by Rudyard Kipling can help you learn to become a consistent peak performer under pressure. Most athletes get far too hung up on winning and/or a fear of losing. However, when you go into any performance with this kind of “outcome focus” you will inadvertently set yourself up to fail over and over again.
As I’ve said many times, an outcome focus before or during a performance, (i.e. winning, losing, worrying about an opponent, what’s at stake or making a mistake) will put your concentration in the wrong place, send your nervousness into the red zone, tighten your muscles and insure that your performance will be a mere shadow of your potential.
As Kipling puts it, winning and losing, or triumph and disaster are really nothing more than two impostors! Their “song” is like that of the Sirens in Greek mythology. Listening to them would always lead to death and destruction.” (from the website Competitive Advantage)
This quote is a favorite. I think of it often and have revisited it and its meaning repeatedly over the last few days. Along with notes from friends these words have been lifesavers, keeping me afloat and for both I am grateful.
If I were to adopt an “outcome focus” today I might try listing here all the things I can and will do to right past wrongs and honor commitments made. But as the above post’s author suggests I would be setting myself up to fail.
Rather, I’m taking the advice shared with me by three different friends in three separate communications yesterday. Each said the same five words. These five words have become my new performance focus and will motivate, inform and energize every move I make:
Do the next right thing.