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Beating the Odds

The Belief That Is Holding You Back

Chances are we’ve never met. I don’t know what you do, or where you live, or how old you are. But I do know two things about you.

First, you want more out of your life. You want to do more, get more, be more, win more. You know it, too. Otherwise, why would you even be reading this?

The second thing is trickier: You have all the ability you need to succeed. You have a superman or a superwoman inside you. I know this about you. But you may not know it or believe it. This belief that you’re not good enough is holding you back. It holds most people back.

You may say, “But I’m not good in school, sports, arts, or business. How could I possibly succeed?”

You can succeed because people with no apparent ability succeed all the time. The entire history of man has been written by unlikely heroes. Who would have bet on David against Goliath? Albert Einstein’s father was told, “Your son will never amount to anything.” Jeremy Lin became a star with the New York Knicks after being rejected by two NBA teams.

In my career as a sports writer and high school and college coach, I’ve seen this all the time. People who seem to have everything never quite put it together. And people who don’t seem to have anything suddenly explode on the radar screen.

Hall of Fame baseball player Mike Schmidt once said, “The ability to put your talent together is itself a talent.”

I understand what Schmidt is getting at, but let’s not call it talent. It’s about persistence, ability to handle frustration, and use of great practice principles.

It all begins by changing the way you look at yourself. Stop thinking about what you can’t do and start thinking about what you can do. Find something you love and learn everything you can about it.

One other thing: You don’t have to be able to do everything well. No one can. You just need to be able to do one thing well. Forget about being well-rounded and develop sharp edges. You’ll have everything you need.

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Would you like to improve at what you do? “The Improvement Factor: How Winners Turn Practice into Success” can show you how! Are you a coach? “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” can make you a better one.


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