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Push Yourself by Drawing on Your Past

Push Yourself by Drawing on Your Past

"Hit it again!" I can hear my old defensive line coach say right after we thought we finished the last drill of a long hot practice. We were worn out from a two-hour plus practice in the late summer sun and thick humid Virginia air but the coach knew we were not as sharp as we needed to be nor as good a defensive line yet as we could be.
With every new sports season, I recall the voices and sayings of my former coaches as they pushed every member of the team through our drills. Their challenges to do better and push harder, to become champions still resonate with me after all these years.

As I get older and more experienced, I keep pealing back the lessons that my coaches and mentors taught me all through my childhood and into my teenage years.

Some of the greatest lessons that I remember from playing sports and music, that have had direct impact on my professional and personal life are:
1. Drill and drill again until your responses are reflexive and perfect each time

2. A good self-disciplined player can out perform a gifted athlete with no discipline

3. There is no such thing as a perfect play, game or season despite what the scoreboard says; there’s always room for improvement

4. Others stop before they have truly given everything that they have physically and emotionally – champions do not
The winner in most sports contests is the team or the individual who maximizes their natural abilities through hard work more than their opponent does. In life and in business the successful individual or company learns through self or organizational discipline how to work smarter / harder / faster than their competition on a continual basis.

Let’s face it, we need to be pushed from time to time because we get fatigued and the easy way out is to say we are tired and just stop whatever it is we are doing.

Without that internal or external presence pushing us, we can rationalize ourselves into believing that the task is too hard or the competition is just too great for us to overcome.

If you are feeling that you have reached the top of your abilities at work or in any aspect of your life and still need to go further, try this following exercise:
1. Remember your own past experience when you were coached or mentored and identify that individual that pushed you the hardest

2. Once you have identified that person, write down their name

3. Write in large font or lettering phrases or examples of when that person pushed you beyond where you thought your abilities were

4. Put this list somewhere in your work or personal space where you can not avoid seeing it

5. Every time that you don’t want to exercise or you feel like shutting off the computer when there is still work to be done, take a look at that list of phrases

Coach’s Wrap up

Nothing is better than having a real coach or voice to push you forward. However, if you do not have a coach or someone challenging you to be the best, then you can draw from your past those phrases, experiences that made you a better athlete, musician, student or just a better person.

So who pushed you beyond your limits and what was your reward for accepting the challenge?


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