“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”. Did you ever ask yourself who you are and then write it down? It is such an empowering and insightful exercise.
- What IMPACT do you want to have on people every day?
- What drives you?
- What do you stand for?
If you don’t know who you are, how can others know? I consciously try to ensure that I am not defined by what I am: my job, a former All Ireland winning Cork Camogie captain, former Cork Rose of Tralee- but rather by who I am. So what defines me? Ambition, commitment, passion and a positive attitude. Believe it or not, how you see yourself internally impacts on how people see you externally. Think about that.
The knowledge I have gained from sport is transferrable into the business world and my personal life. One of the things I have learned is that in order to ensure consistency in your performance, you have to separate your performance from yourself. You cannot be defined by how good you are at your job, your sport, whatever. Why? Because if your performance deteriorates then what happens? It’s one of the great ironies of life that when you’re able to separate yourself from your job, study, sport; you actually develop a greater passion for those things. When your identity isn’t enmeshed in your performance, your self-worth is protected.
Success is not something that can be defined in a word because there are too many different types of success. For me, success is more than just winning and being the best. It is about pushing your own boundaries and challenging your limits. Success is about making yourself go to the edge of your perceived boundaries and then taking one step further.
But where do you start? Well the first step is to set goals. Follow the ‘SMART’ principles and make them specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely. Break down your goals into steps and plan every day to stay on track. As Wayne Gretzy, the best ice hockey player of all time, said “A good hockey player plays where the puck is; a great hockey plays where the puck is going to be”. Plan ahead. I use my “List of 7” to ensure my goals remain achievable. The first 3 things on the list are ‘must do’ items, the next 2 are ‘like to do’ items and the last 2 are ‘bonus’ tasks. There is a great sense of satisfaction in ticking off these items. The hard part is to make sure that the tasks left uncompleted move to the top of your list for the following day, no matter how much you dislike them. This avoids procrastination.
Acknowledging the achievement of your goals is a vital step in this process. No matter how small these successes are you need to mark them with a physical act; a tangible memory like buying yourself a pair of shoes or going out for dinner. That way you can draw on those positive memories at times when you are facing difficulties. Try it, it works!
Vulnerability exists when you take on something challenging as you are testing yourself. If you commit yourself to it and fail, you have to deal with the realisation that you are not good enough. That can be difficult to digest, so by holding back a little you can justify the failure- it’s like a protection mechanism. Ultimately, your desire to succeed has to be greater than your fear of failure. Failure is part and parcel of life. Failure is not the enemy; the fear of failure is. Through sport I have learned that failure is not a sign of weakness but rather something to learn from and help strengthen your character. One of my coaches once told me, “Don’t let your successes go to your head and equally don’t let your failures go to your heart.”
I believe you are never really playing an opponent; you are playing yourself and your own standards. When you surpass your own limits, that is where the real satisfaction lies.
“As we let our own light shine we unconsciously give others permission to do the same and as we are liberated from our own fear; our presence automatically liberates others”.
Take a chance and dare to be brilliant. Light your own torch of success today and take the first step.
Anna Geary is a former All Ireland winning Camogie captain and former Cork Rose of Tralee. She possesses 6 senior All Irelands medals with Cork and her club, Milford acquired over a long sporting career. She has worked within the IT industry for six years in HR, public relations and marketing but has recently changed career moving towards media and public speaking. She is a coach on RTE’s Ireland’s Fittest Family and works with TV3 and Today FM. She is currently undertaking a business and life coaching diploma and uses her experience to motivate people, placing strong emphasis on mental focus and self empowerment.
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