Updated: Feb 14
“Here it comes folks, the first quad, the jump that Nathan Chen fell on in 2018, destroying his gold medal hopes! Will he make it through this jump at the beginning of his 2022 short program?”
If you’ve watched enough Olympics coverage (I'm a total nut for it!) you will have heard commentators rehashing athletes’ past failures to hype the current drama!
Figure skater Nathan Chen's 2018 short program meltdown, snowboarder Lindsay Jacobellis's 2006 gold-medal-losing showboat flub, Mikaela Schiffrin's consecutive ski outs in events she was expected to medal in.
Great athletes, life-long trained for a signature moment, lost it due to nerves, injury, the wrong attack plan, overconfidence, or the simple need to learn a lesson.
But I always wonder what it's like the next time...
The moment Chen takes off into that jump 4 years after his meltdown
Jacobellis, at the starting gate four Olympics later, working for redemption
Schiffrin at the beginning of her third 2022 skiing event
I'm wondering because I'm facing my own “you messed this up last time” moment.
My stakes are smaller and less public - I'm simply starting my first group coaching program after years of doing only 1-on-1.
But it's bringing back memories of the last time I stepped out on my own.
In 2007, I stepped away from the SAT tutor I’d been working for. My own tutoring company found financial and career success, but I failed to build the business in a way that I enjoyed. I was too stressed, too isolated, and trying too hard to please my clients, my client sources, and my own unhealthy high standards.
So now in 2022, again on the precipice of starting my own thing, I'm feeling fear, thinking really hard about what went wrong last time.
Preventing the same result will come down to two components: MINDSET and PLANNING.
One mental, and one practical.
In the middle of Lindsey Jacobellis’s 2022 gold medal race, the commentator said "The thing you're not going to see her do anywhere here.. is panic."
I want to be like that....
I remind myself that I'm not the same person I was in 2007.
I've learned more about what helps me enjoy work.
I don’t have to start another project that's not aligned with my deepest beliefs, do everything by myself, meet huge standards to become famous so I can repay my parents for all the effort and money it took to raise me (thank you big realization from walking on the beach last week!)
This business is leaner and more flexible, so I can adjust if it doesn't develop in a way that I enjoy.
Most importantly, I'm not static, doomed to repeat the same mistakes, in part because I have a good handle on what they are.
And why do I have a good handle on what they are?
Because I sat down and made a damn list!
On the left, things that went right, that I enjoyed about the last business, that worked well for me, and that I want to create.
On the right, the things that did not work out well, pitfalls I need to avoid, ideas that seemed good but developed in a direction I did not appreciate.
And then I made a plan:
How am I going to recreate the left happy side and avoid recreating the right unhappy side?
I am a powerful creator! Just like you!
We can create experiences we enjoy and minimize those we do not, especially when we’ve become savvy from dissecting past events. We can make independent, nuanced, and flexible decisions that leverage past lessons.
Are you facing a decision that's bringing up a past “flub” memory? Going for a new position, competing for a project, applying for a job, or stepping up your honesty with an important someone. Do you have your own version of double consecutive ski outs in front of an international audience?
Here’s the key! Ask yourself:
How have you changed since then?
What are you determined not to create again?
What's your plan to avoid making the same mistakes?
How can you build on the knowledge, skills, and maturity you've gained since then to use that, not as a harbinger of repeat doom but as a springboard to launch you higher and happier?
Nathan Chen and Lindsay Jacobellis have both won gold in this Olympics.
Jacobellis, the oldest medalist in the history of snowboarding, said, “If I could get out ahead, I knew I could stay ahead....I'm excited to still be pushing myself.”
Do you need help getting excited to push yourself? (Contact me if you want some support!) Is the ambitious part of you running up against other parts that remember past ambitions that didn't turn out the way you want it?
Let me know in the comments what you're doing to move past those old fears and mindset, to propel yourself higher with the experience you've gained about how to create what you want in this life!
Please share this with anyone you think needs encouragement today!
If you'd like another Olympic Pep Talk, check out this post on identifying your big advantage!