Recently I gave a speech at a company on presentation skills, about 20 minutes into my speech I asked for volunteers to come up. It took a little coaxing but not surprisingly the majority preferred to fade into background. For the majority of the population it’s difficult to step out of front of an audience for fear of being judged. What breaks my heart the most is these people have so much more potential to go further in their careers. Unfortunately, past experiences of feeling embarrassed or fear of not being accepted by others holds many of us from reaching our full potential, the potential of personal excellence.
In the martial arts, everyday I encourage my students to continue to step out of their comfort zone. To be comfortable being uncomfortable brings many rewards. The students who confront their fears by running to them always find themselves growing confident in their abilities. When one fear is conquered the next fear awaits them, challenging them again, and daring them to turn to run away. This is the journey to black belt mastery, a constant inner mental battle of emotions. The most determined eventually reach the status of black belt many years later while the rest take the easy way out by not bothering to try.
As a coach who helps people in sports and business reach their highest potential I see this all too often, the fear that holds us all back from success. It is a job I enjoy and take seriously, helping people understand their real value in this world. When they do decide to take the step forward, an interesting personal development takes place. They begin to develop better willpower, determination, and commitment to their personal excellence. They become happier with a new sense of purpose, personal power, becoming excited at the prospect of putting themselves in driver’s seat.
Here are some things you can do to go from a back up role player on a winning team to a star player, joining the ranks of the elite performers:
- Start investing in yourself today, more education, reading, listening to audio’s, studying everything that interests you.
- Determine the weaknesses in your game that is holding you back from advancing your life. Be honest with yourself and make a list of the things that need improvement.
- Pick the one skill that would transform your life the most and work on that skill diligently. Ask yourself what would it take for me to join the top 20 percent? Is it to be a better runner, more work life balance, quit smoking, public speaking, sales, or being a better spouse? You decide what will make the biggest impact in your life ultimately giving happiness and satisfaction.
- Picture yourself 5 years from now. Where would you like to be? What is it going to take to get there?
- Find a mentor or someone in your field of interest. Study what makes them successful, and model them. Lean on them for regular advice.
Like a seasoned black belt, the commitment to learning is not a short term goal but a lifelong goal of continuous daily improvement. Don’t wait till tomorrow begin your road to a life of excellence starting today!