I have been consulting with an athlete (her pseudo name is Tanya) for the last 10 months to help her earn an athletic scholarship. She has put forth tremendous effort to improve the skills required of her to perform optimally in her sport. She has also worked very smart to increase her physical condition and release some unnecessary weight.
Last week, during our consulting session, Tanya was disappointed in herself because she had gained some weight back. Through our discussion, it became clear to Tanya that one of the reasons she was not able to maintain her new weight was that she was experiencing living in a new body and was unsure how to cope with it. Although Tanya wanted to release the weight for her health and to improve her performance on the field, she confessed that it felt weird and uncomfortable to feel the way she did.
Many people who achieve their goals experience a fear of success. Athletes spend numerous hours training and working smart to achieve their goals. Some of them never really take the time to prepare for when their smart work begins to a pay off. What will they do to maintain their new level of performance? What will they do to become comfortable with their new mind and body? When these preparations doe not take place, the athletes are in unfamiliar territory and can perceive that as fearful. Consequently, to eliminate the fear, they resort back to their old behaviors
Tanya and I spent the rest of our consultation session focusing on three things: (1) the action steps required to achieve her goals, (2) the action steps required to maintain the results she has achieved and (3) the action steps to help Tanya become comfortable in her new mind and body.
One way to help Tanya look forward to realizing her goals, instead of being fearful of them, was to focus on the positive aspects. She needed to be reminded of how great she would feel and how confident she would become when she achieved her goals. She needed to focus on the enjoyment associated with her new behaviors. It was going to be fun to put on clothes and realize they were too big for her. She was going to be a role model and leader when she chose the piece of fruit instead of the piece of chocolate at lunch with her friends. Tanya also needed to prepare for the compliments she was going to receive from friends and family. Instead of perceiving them to be stressful she needed to perceive the comments as positive reinforcement.
Call to Action
Prepare for when you achieve your goals? What will you do to maintain your new level of performance? What will you do to become comfortable with the ‘new you’?
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Believe and Achieve,
*Haley Perlus, Ph.D.*