“Champions are not the ones who always win races – champions are the ones who get out there and try. And try harder the next time. And even harder the next time. ‘Champion’ is a state of mind. They are devoted. They compete to best themselves as much if not more than they compete to best others. Champions are not just athletes.”
– Simon Sinek
Be Your Best Self.
You hear that from me a lot – directly and indirectly, because that’s all any of us can ever strive to be; and our best selves are greater than we can possibly imagine.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve shared the achievements of some of the athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games to inspire you to be your best self. Their stories are examples to show you what’s possible when you believe in yourself and your dreams.
One thing that all Olympians have in common is that their journey to greatness begins with their thoughts and beliefs. Today, I’m going to share the thoughts that inspired both past and present Olympians to keep going in their sport, and in life…to victory.
“You have to train your mind like you train your body.”
– Bruce Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner knows what it takes to win gold at the Olympics, and she knows what it takes to represent yourself as best as you can outside of sports. Take a look at what victory means to her:
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” – Pierre de Coubertin, Founder of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
“I wouldn’t say anything is impossible. I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and put the work and time into it.” – Michael Phelps
“I’m trying to do the best I can. I’m not concerned with tomorrow, but with what goes on today.” – Mark Spitz
“The moment I think about past letdowns or future hypotheticals, I mentally put myself on shaky ground. If I clear my mind of chatter, I can succeed, just like I did in 2006.” – Julia Mancuso
“It’s all about the journey, not the outcome.” – Carl Lewis
“When anyone tells me I can’t do anything, I’m just not listening anymore.” – Florence Griffith-Joyner
“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work.” – Andre Agassi
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
“Never put an age limit on your dreams.” – Dara Torres
“Passion is a huge prerequisite to winning. It makes you willing to jump through hoops, go through all the ups and downs and everything in between to reach your goal.” – Kerri Walsh Jennings
“When I was younger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee was a mentor to me and gave me great advice. The best was to ‘work 100 percent, but enjoy every moment along the way.’ Sometimes you get so in the zone, you forget to enjoy your passions. I love running — but I also love the movies, relaxing on the beach, shopping and spending time with my friends. Enjoying my life helps me enjoy my running.” – Allyson Felix
“Something my mom taught me when I was little is that everything happens for a reason. Retiring was scary and it was tough to give up gymnastics, but so many great opportunities have come from it that I never expected. And those wouldn’t have happened had I not accepted my injury as a way to try something new.” – Shawn Johnson
“They may become harder to achieve, but your dreams can’t stop because you’ve hit a certain age or you’ve had a child.” – Dara Torres
“I always believe I can beat the best, achieve the best. I always see myself in the top.” – Serena Williams
“If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.” – Carl Lewis
“As simple as it sounds, we all must try to be the best person we can: by making the best choices, by making the most of the talents we’ve been given.” – Mary Lou Retton
“Nothing is impossible. With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination.” – Michael Phelps
“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does — that makes you a winner right there.” – Venus Williams
“Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.”– Mary Lou Retton
“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” – Wilma Rudolph
You don’t have to be an athlete, or aspire to become one to let your light shine. You can shine in your world simply by striving to be all you can be. No matter what obstacles you face, just keep going. Your are a champion!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!