“Only those who risk going to far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
– T.S. Eliot
I was flipping through TV channels last night and came across the latest season of American Idol. While I wouldn’t consider myself a fan, I’m always blown away by some of the talent that’s been on the show. I like to see people that are willing to lay it on the line and go after their dream.
In this episode, the selected singers had to form groups on their own and in less then twenty-four hours perform in front of the judges. If I’m not mistaken, this is a one-time opportunity for most of the singers. However, I was surprised to see young adults leave the practice arena so they could sleep, even though their performance was no where near ready to be put on center stage. Somewhere their sleep and how they felt became more important then their opportunity. They lost focus of the prize.
They reached a place of resistance and quit!
One rule that we’ve had in our house is that you’re never allowed to quit in midstream. I’ve watched my dancer push herself to be a part of a state championship. I’ve witnessed my field hockey player push herself past sickness because she didn’t want to let her team down. Many times they wanted to quit, but their personal level of commitment outweighed their temptation to throw in the towel.
Pushing through the place of resistance comes by consistent training.
Everyone of us have a place, a stopping point, a place of resistance where we’ve told ourselves that we can’t go any further. If we listen, then most of the time we quit and play the blame game why we can’t advance.
In marketing, I’ve watched campaigns shut down at the very least amount of push back and negativity. I’ve also seen individuals abort their dreams when it seemed like they were at the end of their rope. I’ve also missed opportunities because I caved during moments of resistance, but I’ve also experienced the excitement that comes when you breakthrough the ‘push back’ and experience the freedom you feel on the other side.
This won’t be easy, but if you’re willing to invest in yourself you’ll be grateful you didn’t back down.
One thing you’ll notice, the more you push yourself through this mental training that after your first breakthrough the second one will become easier. This is because your confidence levels have increased. This doesn’t mean you’ll never face resistance again, but because your confidence core is becoming more developed, you’re more open to pushing yourself.
Don’t take yourself out of the game, push forward… It will the best decision you ever make!
image courtesy of Nicholas Flook