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It's a Mindset: Life Lessons from the Soccer Field
Life will always be based on what you think and in most to every situation it’s a matter of whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t. Henry Ford finished this statement by revealing that both are usually right because it is our attitude, our mind that determine our success or failure. Soccer mirrors life in that many times we tend to forget the fact that our attitude and mindset can get in the way of our success.
90% of the game is indeed mental and its importance is underrated and underdeveloped. How many times have you gone onto the field, prepared, pumped and just like in Space Jam you suddenly feel like you have lost all of your powers? If your mind isn’t right, you’ve already lost. Even if you’ve trained, you’ve done it all, passed the tests, pushed your body to its limits; if you can’t handle pressure, stress, adversity; if you can’t persist and have the refusal to quit—everything you have put your body through is for naught.
Change your mindset
You must train your mind like you train your body––it’s as simple as leg day. You can’t skip leg day and you can’t skip cultivating your mind, every day. When you have a strong mind, you have a strong life; meaning nothing will get in the way to achieving your goals, whatever they may be. You have your own desires, DNA, and dreams and it’s important to remember that they are YOURS and no one else’s.
In SoccerGrlProbs podcast, I spoke briefly about how no one will care as much as you do. As humans, we defer to negativity bias. We fixate on the negative things so quickly, “Gosh, that was an awful pass; I suck.” And then we stay there with that very thought, allowing it to germinate and define who and what we are. Finding the worst in us many times is easier than finding the best. This is the easy way out.
It’s up to us to change the narrative–the stories we tell ourselves and the beliefs that come with them. It’s Descartes’ “I think; therefore I am.” So, think different. We don’t know what the future has in store; why not act as if it’s going to be great? Why not have the courage to grow and reach our very own potential because we are here not to survive, but to thrive!
You vs. You
“It is the quality of mind, a mentality that says no matter how difficult things become, you are responsible and accountable for your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Inner excellence is staying positive in negative situations, and it is dealing with adversity in an optimistic way. It is finding love and joy in what you do and remaining steadfastly committed to your goals, values, and dreams. It’s staying cool when the heat is on.” – Gary Mack
So how do we get there?
It’s first understanding that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Every time your back is against the wall, there is only one person who can help you. And that’s you. It comes from the inside. You are a hero within yourself and it’s you who needs to get up, dressed every day, and take life on as you say, “YES I will do it. I can do this. It’s possible for me and I’m going to do it.”
Right now we are in very confusing times. As athletes (young to professional), we are consumed with comparison, but it’s the wrong kind. We are very concerned with what our “competition” is doing on Instagram, and not as much concerned about what WE are doing. But the truth is that the competition is no one other than you. We tend to think small, worried about the uncontrollable and then in turn, we limit ourselves to think we need to worry about others. Do not limit yourself. Do not allow your emotions to get a hold of you. Emotions are just thoughts created by feelings; feelings are not facts. As athletes, we need to live by principle, rather than feeling. This is a controllable.
It is important from this day forward, no matter where you are in your journey, that you shift in perspective; anything that happens to you is for your best interest and for your growth. Everything is for you to be greater. It’s that inner excellence, that self-confidence that propels you, and no one can take your self-esteem away without your consent.
Don’t get in the way of your dreams
“Don’t let your fears get in the way of your dreams. Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.” You are capable. You are strong. You are enough. You are loved. You are blessed and unstoppable. You are built for this. You can.
So will you allow your coaches, your teammates, your family, your media, all the feedback from those that may not know YOU, to get in the way or will it be you versus you every day?
It will always be how well you did that day because we only have one day and with that one day we can go against ourselves. Can we say today I gave it my all?
“The tasks ahead of us are daunting. I cannot stop world hunger, cure cancer, and right all the wrongs by myself. But I do believe in the power of one. I take my itsy bitsy “power of one” very seriously. And If we each decided to realize our best potential, and are committed to helping others compassionately, can you imagine what we could accomplish? I will never point the finger asking others what they’re doing to change the world; And I must do what I ought to do. I aim to constantly make the world a better place, bringing people back to their roots, pushing them to excel, and be the best version of themselves, and it all starts with me being who I ought to be.” -Rachel Breton
About the Author
Rachel Breton, former professional soccer player with Sky Blue FC, is now working on her post playing career motivating others to be the best versions of themselves. She currently is a Videographer/Photographer; Media & Marketing Director; Sports Psych Guru, Certified trainer and coach.