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Mindset of a Champion

by Mariela Tobar

July 2, 2021

The event everyone looks forward to every four years—the Summer Games—is right around the corner! In just a few months, we will see the best of the best take on their opponents to win the Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal. The buzz of excitement has already begun with the trials broadcasting on television these last couple of weeks. 

It is hard not to admire these young athletes and appreciate the dedication and discipline they have exemplified in their life to be in a position where they could qualify to compete in Japan for the 2021 Games. While countless days and nights of hard work have been put in by each and every athlete, it is important to acknowledge that their mindset has been just as critical in shaping them to be world-class athletes. Here are three quotes from Dale Carnegie that touch on the mindset of a champion:

“Every successful person loves the game. The chance to prove his worth, to excel, to win.”

In order to put in thousands of hours of dedicated training, you have to be passionate about the work you are doing. This applies to any arena in life. Now, this is not to say that you will love every moment of your work or that things will always be enjoyable, but a deep-seated love for the mission you are on, the person you are becoming, and the chance to improve every step of the way is important. Your mindset is what is going to keep you going through the peaks and valleys. Not every day will be a complete victory, but there will be victories you can find in each day. Fall in love with the process. The journey is where you will prove to yourself what you are made of, what your team is made of, and ultimately to hit the achievement you are after.

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

Here is an important one. Don’t lose hope. There will ultimately be lonely and frustrating days on your path to success. In fact, at times, it may feel like the bad days outweigh the good. No matter what, cling to your “why.” Dig deep and remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing—and the vision you have for your life. How many championships, businesses, and inventions would we not have today if those individuals responsible for them would have thrown in the towel? To achieve any success of any kind in life, you have to be willing to lean into conflict and challenges. If you are feeling the pressure, take it as confirmation that you are probably on the right track.  

“Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.”

It has been said if your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough. Every athlete currently competing for their spot on the team started off by having the dream that they could achieve it one day. They dreamed they could (and believed they could) even when it didn’t seem logical or possible. That’s how it begins for everyone. You don’t accidentally reach your goals, you have to dare to believe and then start doing the work. Many have a secret dream they want to achieve but think it is impossible and don’t even try. And while not every dream may be realized, it is important to remember that no dream will come true if you don’t at least dare to try!

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Let these athletes inspire you and remind you that you are capable and worthy of going after your dreams. You never know what doors may open to you along the way.