Bet On Us
One of the most common phrases being thrown around professional sports right now is the flamboyant proclamation of arrogance, “I’m betting on myself.” I guess it’s supposed to impress us with the unwavering confidence this athlete magically possesses or shock us by the determination he maintains through a difficult situation.
It does neither for me.
Don’t get me wrong, confidence and determination are critically important in achieving our goals and maximizing our potential. We have no shot without them.
However, other things matter too … and maybe more.
Why Should We Care?
Proclamations mean nothing. Action is what matters. In the pursuit of excellence claims, slogans, and promises fall by the wayside. It’s too tough, too challenging, and takes way too long.
The emotional claim to bet on yourself is only significant if the following actions and habits reflect this newly found commitment. Habits persist far beyond any bet. I’ve found that those who proclaim the most, persist the least.
One of the aspects of teaching and coaching that I’ve always found interesting is what different people do when things get hard. We all know that anything great is on the other side of hard. We like to think of doing hard things as an option, but it’s really not. Atleast, not if excellence is what we seek.
If things are going to get hard, then clearly we have to find a way to overcome them. Our ability to display toughness during adversity is a critical element of excellence. And, I believe those betting on themselves are attempting to be as tough as they know how.
Here’s the thing though ... you can’t be tough alone. Atleast, you can’t be as tough as you can be alone. By going it alone, we are leaving money on the table. There is more in us that only others can bring out or that we will only give in order to help a teammate. If it’s only about me, it will never be enough.
And finally, humility matters. Betting on yourself implies that you’re in the position you’re in solely as a result of you - your efforts, your sacrifices, your work. It’s absurd. Think of all the people that have contributed to making you the person you are. Of course, your family and friends but also people you’ve observed, mentors that have given their time for you, and your competition that provides the challenge that pushes you further and further.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
So how do we go from focusing on ourselves to focusing on us?
Instead of betting on ourselves, we would be better off betting on us. The willingness and desire to pull together when things get tough rather than scatter and attempt to solve the problem on your own is the mark of a true teammate. They may still be betting on themselves, but they’re doubling down on us.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.