“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”- Rosa Parks
If you’re anything like me “what if” is probably something that frequently crosses your mind. It’s like my brain tries to focus on every possible way my plan can fail. I let the what ifs distract my focus and then become fearful of the failure. Instead of just doing what needs to be done. Once again I am single handily giving myself the opportunity to cause my own failure. Life is vast, full of unknowns and there are an infinite amount of “what ifs “ to go around but focusing on those will only leave us scared instead of focused. When I notice myself sinking into a pool of what-ifs I go back to one of my favorite memories.
My first cheer competition. Before this, I had already cheered for two years so being in front of a crowd wasn’t new. Practicing throughout the week to perfect a 2-minute routine shouldn’t have given me so much fear. Yet, I have never been more anxious. The whole drive to the competition (2 hours away) was nothing but butterflies. Walking into the arena to girls and “cheer moms” obsessing over makeup and hair yet all I could focus on was the loud music coming from the stage and the crippling thought of me having to go out there. I knew exactly what I needed to do, we had done it a million times (literally). I remember a shaky me walking off the practice mat and to the prayer circle, repeating every count I could in my head. My mind raced with “what if my bow falls?”, “what if I drop my stunt?”, “oh lord! what if my jumps don’t hit?”,or “what if I’m going to forget where to go!?” These thoughts among others flew through my head until the music started. I focused on what needed to be done then everything else came almost naturally.
No, we didn’t hit zero but we did such an amazing job and none of my “what ifs” happened. I spent so much time being scared of what could have happened that I didn’t enjoy my performance, the performances of any other groups, or the bonding that happens backstage when helping your teammates get ready for the performance. From this, I learned that half of the time the what-ifs are situations that aren’t going to happen if you have truly planned and prepared.
—So this week focus on your end of the year goals. Then keep your eyes on the plan and what has to be done to reach those goals.—