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At the time of this blog post, some amazing things have happened in sports. Novak Djokovic just tied Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the 20th Grand Slam. Italy defeated England in the Euro football (or soccer). Tampa Bay just won the Stanley Cup two years in a row. I just had a 13- year old athlete text me that he finally achieved his goal of landing the back flip off the water ramp (he’s a freestyle skier). I also received notice that an athlete I have worked with qualified for Team Canada in the Olympics. All of these amazing things are happening in sports and I’m sure I’ve neglected many sports and, if I neglected your sport, I apologize.

All of these wonderful things are happening, but at the same time that all these athletes are celebrating and feeling elated, there are many athletes who are really sad and feeling deflated. And it’s all okay!

Let’s talk about the importance of letting yourself feel the highs and the lows. As we watch the 2021 Olympics, we’re going to see a lot of these emotions. That is one thing I love about the Olympics – we get to see so many athletes celebrating and just experiencing a high they’ve never experienced before. Then, we see athletes experiencing some lows they’ve never experienced before.

A professional athlete, Colin O’Brady, was interviewed by Tom Bilyeu on Impact Theory (one of my favorites). Colin was talking about how he puts his emotions on a scale of 1-10. Ten is being elated and feeling as high as you can on life. One is being as sad as one can be. Instead of drawing a straight line with these numbers, he turns it into a U-shape. So one and ten are both high. Four, five, and six are at the bottom of the U-shape. Colin believes, and Tom agrees that, in order to really be engaged, to lean into life, you want to aim for the tens, understanding that the ones are just as important. Obviously a ten is what we want, but Colin would rather feel a one instead of a four, five or six. Four, five and six are more complacency feelings – just kind of cruising through life. To Colin O’Brady, Tom Bilyeu, and probably most top athletes and performers (and me), want to feel that ten. However, we are going to accept feeling the one because both are being engaged in life.

In order to feel those highs, you are going to have to feel the lows. The polarity is key and it’s okay. When you watch sports on tv or participate in sports yourself, let those highs (the tens) out to the best of your ability. Be a good sportsperson and win with grace, but enjoy the moment as best as you can!

Also, if you’re feeling that one, it’s okay to cry. We see it on tv and you’ve experienced it yourself. It’s okay. Tell your kids, tell your teammates, tell anyone that you see crying that it’s okay. It’s part of life and it is about being engaged in life. Feel those ones and, similar to the tens, be a good sportsperson. Congratulate the winner and lose with dignity.

This is what it means to live life to its fullest!

Dr. Haley Perlus, PhD

Dr. Haley Perlus works with some of the world’s top athletes, brands, and fitness experts to move past mental blocks and achieve results uniquely tailored to the individual or corporation’s goals and expectations. Follow her or subscribe to receive videos featuring Mental Toughness Moments.

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