A single mother struggling to stay afloat with the help of social security checks, J.K. Rowling is a true rags-to-riches story!
In our day-to-day life we can catch ourselves comparing ourselves to others — whether it be in our jobs/career, the dating scene, attractiveness, money and more. In New York (or really anywhere), the environment can sometimes feel so competitive. If we are unaware, we can easily get caught in viewing others as a threat to our own success or even simply having bad “sportsmanship.”
When you are in a comparing competitive mindset, you are losing to yourself because you are coming from a place of lack. You are thinking that there is not enough abundance in the world for you. You view people as your enemy, you are jealous of others, and you either put yourself on a pedestal or lower yourself because you feel you’re not good enough. You blame others or the outside circumstances and make reasons or excuses for why you’re not happy. Happiness, however, is an internal state of mind.
I have been attending a meditation class and the recent teachings are about living life with a fully engaged heart. Living life with a fully engaged heart has the power to remove you from this feeling of isolation and loneliness. When you realize you are dependent upon others (not in a co-dependent way, but that we need others to get food, clothes, etc.) and we cherish others, whether it be the person you get your dry cleaning from, someone in your field of work, or the random person on the subway, and we have compassion for all living beings, you have a peaceful mind. When you make everything you do, all about “me” and spend the majority (if not all day!) thinking about your own benefit, this is very unbalanced. Since we live in a world that is full of others, and you need others to survive, and you spend the whole day thinking about ourselves, this is not logical. Buddhisim, has a very logical and practical approach to life to lead us away from suffering and to peace and the bliss of enlightenment. According to Buddha, the world arises from our mind.
“The total amount of happiness
That exists in the world has come from
Wanting to make others happy.
The total amount of suffering
That exists in the world has come from
Wanting to make yourself happy.”
– Based on the eighth chapter of Master Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life
We are not in competition with one another. We are in community. We are not separate from on another. All energy is shared. If you feel isolated and alone, observe your mind. Are you thinking about your needs? “‘I’ don’t have..” “It didn’t turn out the way ‘I’ wanted..” “She is better than ‘me’..” This is when we feel disconnected, unhappy and alone.
This idea that you are not good enough, mediocre or have to be better than others to succeed, is a mindset that leads to suffering. When you limit yourself, and hold yourself back from reaching your potential — you, therefore, are limited to helping others reach their highest self.
Can you stop telling yourself “I’m not good enough…” or “I’m better than…” , “Why can’t I…” and start to make an effort to be connected? How can you reframe some of these ideas about other people and the social status’?
This is a great opportunity for you to shift your attitude and ultimately, your perception. Focus on each on of your thoughts. Notice if the thought causes you to feel pain and suffering or peace and happiness. Begin to cultivate thoughts that are more about others and how you can serve them. Can you be more friendly and compassionate to others? How can you serve others?
You must have a vision of the change you want to see. As a meditation, close your eyes and picture yourself connected to all living beings. What would it look like? What would it feel like? What would you be thinking? What would you be doing? Spend a few minutes meditating on this.
Write down your intention about your attitude and life that you desire. Get clear about it and write it down.
“There will be a time, not so far from now, that you will look back on this phase of your life and instead of condemning it or beating up on it… Instead of blaming or guilting, you will feel appreciation for it, because you will understand that a renewed desire for life was born out of this time period that will bring you to physical heights that you could not have achieved without the contrast that gave birth to this desire.”
Excerpted from the workshop in Boston, MA on Saturday, October 4th, 1997 # 545
As a former athlete, I understand what makes the biggest difference in performance is your mental game. My senior year in high school, I clearly remember being seeded #2 in the Maryland State Tennis Championship tournament. I knew I had an opportunity to win, but I needed to prepare. To assist my mental preparation, I hired a sports psychologist. She took me through exercises such as visualization, positive affirmations and ways to anchor my focus during a match (I use techniques I use with my clients). With much preparation, I won the Maryland State Tennis Championship!
That was a great victory for me, that I will never forget. It wasn’t just the fact that I won but more so, I was so mentally prepared, the tournament was easy for me. I had a game plan and strategy which allowed me to have a strong sense of focus. My attitude was calm and confident. I knew what I wanted and I achieved it!
What allowed me to perform at my highest level, was the support of my coaches. Without their belief in me, knowledge and encouragement, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to accomplish as much as I did in my tennis career.
Watching the Olympics, brings back those memories of the days when I would compete. While I had lots of successful times in my tennis career, I also had times that were incredibly challenging and heartbreaking. As a former nationally ranked tennis player, it taught me so much about myself and life. Great athletes learn how to handle adversity, anything that comes their way and keep their cool. One of my favorite parts about the Olympics is watching these incredible athletes interact with their coaches. Olympic athletes spend countless hours working on their conditioning, speed, form and technique. They expose themselves to the world to compete and perform – taking the greatest risk to perform their personal best and be number one in the world.
What does every Olympian have in common? A coach. All professional athletes use coaches to make sure they are as good as they can be.
Coaching isn’t just for sports. The coaching model, helps you eliminate blocks that prevent you from achieving your life and career goals. Individuals and professionals who desire to find their passion, improve relationships, lose weight, stop smoking, reduce stress, overcome anxiety and conquer less than desirable habits and behaviors, can benefit from coaching. Without a coach, you might end up squandering and falling short of your personal best.
1. Have a Coach
Having support and an outside eye is one of the performance and seeking higher levels of performance cannot be done without a coach.
2. Plan for Success
Create measurable goals with timelines that are realistic. Write down your daily, monthly, and yearly goals.
3. Visualize Success
If you can imagine it, you can achieve it! Champions understand the importance of mental imagery and visualization.
4. Never Give Up
When setbacks arise, Champions stay focused on results. Champions have a mindset that gives them the opportunity to continue to move forward.
5. Believe in Yourself
Confidence, optimistic and a positive attitude is a key success factor. You must believe in yourself, if you expect to succeed. Champions know that with proper preparation they will play their best, and thus they can rightfully believe they can come out on top.
“Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.”
– Paul J. Meyer