It was 6 PM in Cedar Falls, Iowa and the first whistle had just blown. Session II of the 1997 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships was now underway. Earlier in the day I defeated my first opponent but now, as a sophomore, I had to face a senior who happened to be the undefeated top ranked wrestler in the country. He had two NCAA titles under his belt already.
The name alone struck fear into the hearts of nearly every wrestler he faced. Not me though. I had a special weapon in my arsenal. His name was Jon McGovern. Coach McGovern was my assistant coach at the University of Virginia. He was also the former Hawkeye Club coach and so he knew Lincoln personally.
Jon was always the kind of guy who would convince you of big things. On this particular day he convinced me that I was going to beat Lincoln McIllravy. I stepped on the mat not just believing that I was going to beat him but knowing deep down in my heart that I was going to beat him.
Seven minutes later Lincoln proved us both wrong… by a longshot. Tech fall.
However, during the time between the end of that match and the beginning of my next I had a life-changing realization.
It was this… my only opportunity to beat my feared opponent was to believe. And believing couldn’t hurt. My chances went from one in 1,000 to maybe one in 100. Sure, a long shot still but that is a 10X increase in my odds of winning. I’ll take that any day.
I came to the understanding that if I took that mentality into every match then the chances of good things happening increased significantly. I stepped on the mat a couple hours later and upset the sixth seed, the highest ranked wrestler I had beaten to that point in my career.
I had been reprogrammed for success.
How? By having a positive voice in my ear that told me that it was possible. When you believe that, it changes everything. It changes how you walk, how you talk and the way you live your life.
So, as we look at what it is that you really want– your ideal life, great relationships, wealth, status, influence, love, hope, whatever…. How do you convince yourself that this is actually possible? It’s hard because if your goal is big enough then you’re probably a little nervous about believing that it can really come true. Just thinking about it can create anxiety.
Here are a few things that you can do to convince yourself that what you want really is possible (because it is).
1) Get a coach, mentor or mastermind group. They will help validate your ideas, hold you accountable and flood your head with positive thoughts just like Coach McGovern did for me.
2) Jim Rohn said that you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. For most of us we can’t control who we spend much of our time with. To the degree that you can, fill in the gaps with the right people. Stop watching The Bachelor and start reading books by or about successful people. I spend a lot of time driving so listen to podcasts and audiobooks.
3) I recently heard a quote that says if your mind is a super computer then your self talk is the program that is running it. What are you telling yourself about you? Are you convincing yourself that you’re good but maybe not good enough? That you don’t have the skills, resources, connections, money or network to get from where you are to where you want to be? You’re wrong. Because many, many before you have achieved more with less. Once a day repeat a positive mantra that includes telling yourself that you are who you want to be. You are as wealthy as you want to be, as successful as you want to be, that you own that car, that house, have the wife of your dreams and the job of your dreams. Tell yourself that you have it, that it is yours but that it just hasn’t happened yet.
There is no logical reason why others should get what you are fully capable of having. You were a wrestler and therefore are starting out with an advantage.