It has taken me years, lots of them (and I wouldn't say I have mastered this), to not be overly concerned with whether I win or lose in a competition.  I don't like to lose.  Not even a little bit.  And it's not like winning isn't important to me.  But it's about changing where I put my emphasis and if I should be happy or not with my performance.  If I was training for the NCAA in wrestling then the goal is to win the NCAA.  If I'm training for the Games, then the goal is to win the Games.  At least that's how it used to be.  The desire IS to win those, but the goal is for me to do my absolute best.  If I win but I didn't do my best, then I'm honestly not happy, or I feel like I lucked out.  Because that isn't the end all be all.  If I get my ass kicked but I did everything I could and performed my best, then I can be very happy.  Sure not happy I lost but VERY happy with what I did.  The reason is that I can only control what I do.  I can control if I put the time in. I can control if I choke or not.  I can control if I literally emptied the tank on the event and left it all out on the floor.  I can control if I kept going even though every part of my body was telling me I needed to stop or slow down.  But this stuff just doesn't happen.  It takes MUCH practice  Practicing not just to push yourself harder than you normally would to ENSURE you give your best performance, but practice to BLOCK OUT all the other stuff around you.  Things like what the other competitors are doing, how they are performing, what the scoreboard is saying, what place you might be in.  The less you think about these things, the more energy you have to put to your own performance.  The less unnecessary pressure you put on the result yourself, the more you'll be able to calmly enter your flow state without any fear of failure.  Now, I still have a hard time understanding this but it's getting easier and it makes me much happier as I do my thing.  Be that Zen Monk, that Yoda, that Stoic Master and put everything into your performance.  The rest will all happen the way its supposed to!! :)

FEEL THE BURN!!!

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