How many times have you blamed mistakes, falls, and losses on some external source? The crowd distracted me. Warm ups were too rushed. The bars were too bouncy. The beam had too much chalk on it. Etc, etc, etc. There are endless ways to make excuses, but those excuses don’t get you anywhere. Don’t let anything hold you back when you compete – including yourself.
If you choose to compete, if you choose to do anything, you must eliminate all excuses.
In Sport Psychology, making excuses is called “Self-handicapping.” When we know failure is a possibility, we will tell ourselves and other people excuses or reasons for why we are not at our best- we’re hurt, tired, went out last night, haven’t practiced often enough, etc. etc. We try to justify to ourselves and others that if the conditions were different, we would succeed. In essence, we blame the potential loss, on circumstances, not ourselves. We do this so if we do lose, we feel better about ourselves and so others do not look down on us.
In the great movie Peaceful Warrior, we hear- courage is not about protection, or victory, or invulnerability, but absolute vulnerability- that’s the only true courage.
Superman cannot be considered brave. This is because he is invulnerable. You can be considered brave, because you are vulnerable. Let this sink in. Your humanity, your imperfections, your mistakes, your infallibility is what makes you brave. Because unlike superman, you can look at the possibility of failure, and proceed anyway.
Here is the key. Do not celebrate your vulnerability to yourself or others. Just move toward your goals. If you give yourself an excuse to lose, to yourself or others, you will always have the excuse in the back of your mind, and when the going gets tough, you may use it as an excuse to not give your full effort.
You want to give your full effort at all times. Since after all, giving your full effort will maximize your chances of success. If you lose, you lose. If you make a mistake, you make a mistake. You are human, just like anyone else. Nothing you or anyone can do can make you or anyone else subhuman, or superhuman. Remember this. You do not need to make excuses for yourself. You will not always be at your best. Give a full effort anyway. Ditch your excuses, and move toward your goals, period.
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