Mindstate Motivation Blog

Do You Worry About Your Potential Not Ever Being Reached?

It’s 1984 and the Summer Olympics are being held in Los Angeles.  The excitement is palpable as the final for the women’s 3000 meter race approaches.  All the pundits felt it was a two person race.

The top two runners in the group of finalists were considered to be Mary Decker from the U.S. and Zola Budd from South Africa.

In the previous year, Mary Decker had scored a record for women in becoming World Champion in both the 3000 and 1500.  You might say at that point she had reached her true potential.

Anyway, back to the 1984 Olympics women’s 3000.  The race is on and at about its midpoint.  Budd and Decker are competing for the outright lead in the race.

Disaster strikes!  In an attempt to overtake Budd, Mary Decker trips and falls into the infield of the track.  She writhes in pain both physically and mentally (because she knows she’s out of the race.)

What potentially could have been an Olympic Gold Medal for her is lost as the result of a freak accident!  Her potential for Olympic Gold was never reached.

However, she still holds numerous U.S. records for women runners.  Furthermore, as she stated years later:

“But I’ve never looked behind me in terms of my accomplishments. I think that’s why I moved on after ’84. I didn’t want to be bitter and not enjoy what I was doing anymore, so 1985 was my best season ever, performance-wise.”

New potential reached!

What Mary Decker did to achieve that potential is the same thing you have to do if you are to reach your potential.

First, Mary Decker did not dwell on past failures.  In other words, she didn’t let the failures bring her down.  Rather, she allowed them to lift her up through focusing on learning from them rather than yearning from them.

Is worrying about your past failures stopping you from reaching your potential?

She also didn’t dwell on wishing things had been different.  Spending time wishing she had not tripped in that 1984 3000 final would not change the fact.

Are you worrying and wishing you could reach your full potential or are you doing something about it? 

Decker stayed focused on how she could continue to improve.  She continued to study and practice good running technique so she could focus on achieving future success in doing the thing she loved—running competitively at a world class level.

Do you worry about learning the techniques necessary for you to achieve at a world class level in doing the thing you love?  Or, do you practice, practice, practice so you can continue to improve.

Mary Decker continued to use her intelligence in helping her win races.  She didn’t fantasize winning…she strategized winning.

Do you worry too much about the fantasies of your future potential or do you focus on planning for achieving that potential?

Of course, all the above characteristics of Mary Decker were important to her future success in reaching greater potential.  To her credit, though, she also paid the price to remain physically strong so she could remain at the top of her game.

How about you?  Do you worry too much and weaken your mental and physical state, as a result?  Remember this…the stronger you are the greater your potential in life.

Regardless of the importance of you demonstrating the above characteristics for successfully pursuing your potential, there is another characteristic inherent to achieving that potential.  None of the others really count if you don’t practice this one!

Learn from past failures; don’t wish…do; practice and improve on your technique; be smart; be strong—but, above all put forth continuous effort!

If you never stop trying, your potential will be reached.garylogonewbrownsmall

What are you worrying about and what is the action you will take to overcome it so you can reach your potential?

Please share your thoughts by commenting below.  

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Crop of GNCC ShotMindstate mentor, author, trainer and speaker, Gary Greenfield (@LifeRider) provides self-employed people inspirational insight and concise business ideas to help improve mindstate and minimize stress. He believes a mindstate that is positive and stress that is minimized helps self-employed people better profit through performance.

Sandy Geroux

April 12, 2016 9:13 am Reply

Great article! I love the message about her refusing to look back and then going on to reach new accomplishments! Thanks for sharing, Gary – this is so important for us all to maintain this positive “mind-state” whenever things go wrong… or right – so we don’t think our best years are behind us or that new pinnacles are ever out of reach!

    Gary Greenfield

    April 13, 2016 4:33 pm Reply

    I believe you would refer to it as a “WOW” mindstate! Thanks for the comment, Sandy.