“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.” – Carol Dweck
I recently had a conversation with a coach at a major college baseball program. We were talking about the swing and our approaches to hitting. Throughout the course of the conversation, we both acknowledged something that had not always been an ingrained way of thinking for us when we started our coaching careers–that we used to coach the swing a different way than the pros do it because those guys are the pros and our guys are not able to do what they can.
Luckily, somewhere along the way for both of us, we realized that this is not exactly the case. Can my hitting student do the things that Miguel Cabrera can do? Probably not…yet. Will he ever be able to? Maybe not, but I’d like to hope so. What I do know is that he is able to work as hard as he does, practice the mechanics that he has, and do his best to get better on a daily basis. If that adds up to Miguel Cabrera or just a high school baseball player, then as long as he has become the best he can be, he is extraordinary to me and to himself.
My entire life I have grown up thinking that I could be anything that I wanted to be. I received that same support from my family. They told me that I would have to work extremely hard to do that, but if I really wanted it, then I could do it.
People in life tell us something different. Sure, they say the opportunities are there to be what you want to be, but then put conditions on that to limit us. No one can be Michael Jordan, he’s special. No one can do what Tiger Woods does, he’s one of a kind. No one will ever be as good as (insert athlete/famous person here). You have to catch some lucky breaks. You can be anything you want to be, except that!
Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods started from birth the same as you and me. However, they were never allowed to hear the limits that others tried to place on them, and then when they finally did hear them, they were conditioned not to listen or believe them. They saw obstacles as a stepping stone and learning opportunity, not a dead end telling them that they can’t.
People are extraordinary because they work really hard to do extraordinary things. They refuse to be put in the box of a fixed mindset, but develop a growth mindset to flourish despite making mistake after mistake. Those mistakes only show them what they need to work on and improve to get where they believe they can go.
It isn’t too late for you to be what you want to be. Release yourself from the limits and conditions life throws at your doorstep. Believe you can, then go do it. Start today–be the one who strives for extraordinary.
Bring your best today!