Believe to Achieve

Goals inspire and motivate. Imagine how boring swimming would be if you had nothing to shoot for, but shooting for a target and achieving it are two very different things. To succeed, you must first believe that your objective is attainable; otherwise, it’s just wishful thinking. Others may doubt you or think that it’s well beyond your reach, but as long as you believe, anything is possible! I remember when I first started coaching, my dream was to become an Olympic coach. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I had a deep-seated belief in myself, and somehow knew it was possible if I was willing to work for it. Twenty-one years later, I traveled to Barcelona to coach at the 1992 Olympic Games! One thing I discovered was that to achieve anything worthwhile, you must have the belief to match whatever goal you set. My Olympic dream was a ten-out-of-ten, but so was my faith in myself, and that made it possible!

Pick a short-term swimming goal that matters to you, and score it out of 10 in terms of difficulty (10 ranks highest).

GOAL SCORE: ________________

Next, score how much you believe you can achieve your goal out of 10 (10 ranks highest).

BELIEF SCORE:________________

Compare the two scores. If they match, your chances of success are excellent! If your belief score is lower than your goal score, you must find a way to improve it. To assist, I’ve compiled a list of simple strategies that can build the belief you lack:

• Demand more of yourself.
• Hang out with people with the same goals as you.
• Avoid people who make you feel inferior.
• Perform lunges every day to failure.
• Celebrate victories.
• Improve your technique.
• Accept compliments.
• Read belief-building books like 101 Winning Ways, Un-Limit Yourself, and Are You Worth It?
• Stop comparing yourself to others.
• Train with purpose and passion.
• Forgive yourself when you make a mistake.
• Stop trying to be perfect.
• Stop using belief-killing words like ”never,” ”can’t,” and ”won’t.”
• Relive belief-boosting moments from the past.
• Perform pull-ups every day to failure.
• Avoid put-downs.
• Visualize yourself achieving your goal.
• Watch belief-building movies like Rudy, Life of Pi, Peaceful Warrior, and The Pursuit of Happiness.
• Set smaller, more doable goals at first and grow from there.
• Talk to yourself in belief-building ways.
• Make your bedroom a recognition room – a place where you display all of your awards (trophies, medals, ribbons, and certificates).
• Perform daily affirmations.
• Work your hardest on the hardest sets.
• Eat smart, sleep well, stretch daily, and stress less.
• Perform dips every day to failure.
• Seize any opportunity that will advance you.
• Take risks in practice that will accelerate your progress.
• Turn off your negativity.
• Treat your swimming like gold.
• Believe that you can, even when others don’t.
• Forget your past if it doesn’t support your future.