Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Need to Suspend Belief

At this time of the season our athletes have made goal statements which we are reviewing. In our quest to help them get from “here” to “there” we are working on a simple yet profound concept; namely how to suspend what you believe to be true about yourself so that you can move to a different opinion – a new operating system if you are a fan of that type of analogy.

Madeline is my wife and shares my passion for helping people identify and then reach their dreams. As an artist and musician she continually is working on her own dreams. Our discussions about each of our passions (see last week’s comments from Ken) – my coaching and her creative endeavors – are lively and pretty much continuous.

About a month ago she dropped this sentence on me and its value was immediately so clear in my mind that I wrote it down, lest I forget. “To make a change you must be willing to suspend a belief in order to have a new reality be possible.”

In our discussions with our team we help them realize that when they set a goal they are stating that they wish to make a change. For them to be successful it helps enormously to suspend, at least for the present, their belief about what is true for them. The idea of a “new reality” – their goal – is exactly that…something real that is new. You have a very challenging time reaching that if you don’t exit the place you are in right now, in your mind’s eye.

An example might be the swimmer who cannot get out fast enough on the 2nd 50 of a 200 such that no matter how fast s/he is on the back 100 the time cannot be met. The swimmer must change to a new reality of swimming that 2nd 50 fast enough to be in the race for the last 100. So you work on that in sets in practice and give her/him the confidence necessary to “see” the “new reality”.

Any way you slice it, it is still the same. The change (goal) occurs first in the mind and then is expressed in the real world by the action.

Of course, once we as coaches perfect the teaching of this concept we will have a waiting list a mile long for our team! So, this notion does indeed apply to us as coaches as well!!

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