Top 5 Things We Say to Ourselves that Limit Our Performance with Tim Dixon

Hi I’m Tim Dixon. I want to share some thoughts on self-confidence, purpose, and never giving in to fear or worry that you can’t succeed at what you want. All young athletes share these feelings. I know.

When I was thirteen, I went on this pursuit to become a professional baseball player.  I had no idea how I was going to get there; I just knew that I had to work hard.  So that is what I did.  And for the next ten years I fought against all odds to fulfill that haunting dream. Along the way I was told by more people that I can mention that I needed to stop chasing that impossible dream and “fit in.”

I refused to listen and at the age of twenty-three I was drafted in the 14th round by the Montreal Expos and played the game I loved until the age of thirty.

Whether we are ten or twenty-three we begin to build this story we call life. For some people there are beliefs that are instilled in them that prevent them from pushing the limits and boundaries and find themselves playing safe. That unrest, knowing they are worth more.  And then there are those that never stop pushing the boundaries and really see how far they can go with lots of failure but unleashing a life they never thought possible.

Which one are you and what are you telling yourself or what has been told to you during your pursuit of something? The list below is some of the most common sayings I hear from society.  These are my top five and there are more, but let’s start here to uncover the process of thinking bigger.

It is what it is.

You have heard people say this or you have said it yourself when something doe not go the way you anticipated it going. “It is what it is” excuses you from any responsibility for that moment. Lets you off the hook.

Example: Umpire calls a 3-2 pitch that is 3 inches off the plate for strike three and you lose the game. Coach says, “it is what it is” you’re fine. Not your fault.

What about the 5 pitches before that call? Yeah, the call was not right but you had 5 other pitches to execute and for several reason you did not.

Action: Do not look at that one pitch as an excuse to let you off the hook for that moment. Could I have been more aggressive on any of the 5 previous pitches? What can I learn for this moment? Don’t dismiss the opportunity to learn because you didn’t get the result you wanted. Learn from it, control what you can control and move on.

I’m not good enough to do that.

You have been given a challenging task and the first thing that comes to your mind is, “I am not good enough!” You’ve eliminated yourself from that moment before it even started.

Example: Pretty much any situation when you are facing a tough opponent or a challenging task. The doubts immediately start flowing!

Action: Don’t anticipate! Be where your feet are (present) and accept the challenge for what it is. Is it scary? Yeah! Might fail? For sure! Do it anyway because the more you push past those perceived barriers the better you get.

What if I fail.

No one likes to lose! It sucks, I get it, but it is never going away. That is the truth about living a life with purpose. You are going to get knocked down, beat up and it will be painful. That is why MOST never reach their full potential. Sounds like fun right!

Example: Performing in a perceived important competition. Championship game and you are called to execute in the most pressure situation possible. Holy crap!! What if I fail? Everyone will blame me and I will never live that moment down. Sound familiar?

Action: First of all, if you are getting the call to execute in the situation just described, congratulations! That responsibility is not handed to anyone, it is handed to someone with some talent and that can be trusted. Doesn’t mean those feelings will go away, but it means you feel like crap and still do it with confidence and trust with yourself.

This won’t be easy, but just show and start. Face those feelings the first time and it gets better the second time. Before you know it you look forward to the butterflies and so called pressure moments. You will fail and it will not be pleasant, but you just keep going and preparing for the opportunity.

I don’t want to let people down.

It is very nice of you to think about others. Ask yourself this question. Can I control how people think of me? If you can control someone’s thoughts them you have a gift!

Example: Let’s stick with the scenario from #3. Big moment, you don’t want to fail. Don’t want to let your teammates, parents, coaches and friends down. WOW!! That is a lot to think about while try to execute anything let alone a high pressure moment. Just thinking about all of this going on makes that moment overwhelming for anyone. No chance to have success.

Action: Breathe! It will be okay. Those moments are not won at that time. They are won during practice. When your Relationship with Practice is better than anyone you will ever compete against those moments will be welcomed. You will feel prepared and that preparation gives you confidence. That confidence gives you the best chance for success. Doesn’t guarantee success. Sorry. Also understanding that all those people you don’t want to let down do not matter. You can’t control them, so focus on you and your preparation. Easier said than done, I get it. You just have to be okay knowing that everything will never go as planned. That’s the beauty of your pursuit to greatness.

That’s just how I am.

The story that has been told to you or you are telling yourself is what I want you to focus on. More importantly the limiting beliefs within that story.

Example: My whole family is overweight, that’s just how we are. I come from a family who don’t have an education. That’s how I am. I can’t do (insert limiting belief here) that’s just how I am. You get the point.

Action: What is it that you think you can’t do because someone told you that everyone before you couldn’t do so that means you can’t? Now ask yourself what is true about that. It may be harder to see something that has not been done before in your family or surroundings, but that does not mean you cannot do it. Success leaves clues. Find someone who has done what you want to do and do that. Educated yourself and ask questions to find out the work that it takes to get what you want. Then go to work and don’t stop until you get what you want. When you give yourself permission to be the first, you will give others permission to follow you.