In the classic comedy movie Dumb and Dumber, there is a scene where Lloyd Christmas wants to ask out Mary Swanson, a girl who most would have deemed a bit “out of his league”. The scene unfolds as follows:
Lloyd Christmas: What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me... ending up together?
Mary Swanson: Not good.
Lloyd Christmas: Not good like one in a hundred?
Mary Swanson: I'd say more like one in a million.
Lloyd Christmas: So you're telling me there's a chance?
How does this relate to sport?
Too often athletes feed themselves a host of negative statements; “I can't beat this opponent,” “I will never make Nationals,” “I will never be a starter,” “I always choke under pressure,” and so on…
Tell yourself these statements enough and you will absolutely convince yourself that you CAN’T. When you buy into CAN’T, you ease off the pedal… You don’t fully go for it. The result is that you prove yourself right and fall short in your attempt. This is the root of all confidence issues.
But what if “there’s a chance”? What if there is a slight possibility that you could succeed in that situation? Many athletes would keep the intensity up and fight if there is still a chance. That’s called competing.
When times get tough, fight for your potential… look for possibility.
One strategy for keep up the fight and competing is to ask, “Am I 100% sure there is no chance of success or is there a possibility, that with determined effort and focus, I can break through?”
If “there’s a chance,” fight like hell to turn the tide. Don’t give in to the internal naysayer. After all, what do you really have to lose by keeping the fight alive?