An interesting thought arose as I was talking with one of my clients this morning. I am an Olympic swimmer (2008 & 2012) and I currently run a project called RISE Elite, a mentorship platform which connects young athletes with Olympians to learn and train on the mental aspects of sport. When I asked the young athlete: “what scares you?”, he mentioned the following, “the theory of unlimited possibilities.” A pretty deep thing for a 14-year-old to say! Specifically, he clarified, “all the bad things that could happen to me, like a car accident… I could die any minute, any of us could!”
What followed was a fascinating conversation leaning in to the subject of the infinite, specifically the idea that anything can happen.
Our conversation triggered something in me, as these coaching calls often do. Throughout the rest of my day, I couldn’t help but realize just how powerful this was, especially with regards to two things. 1. We focus mostly on the negative possibilities, and 2. Our version of infinite is actually very, very constricted!
With Halloween phasing in to Thanksgiving and the Holiday season upon us, this time of year gets swept along with a lot of traditions and obligations. We tend to remain really constricted to our habits at this time.
It seems the perfect time to shake things up a bit, and tap into the truth of what possibilities are available to you. The idea of “things that scare you” has been on my mind quite a bit, lately. And after this intriguing conversation, I realized how valuable these two points below are to me right now, as I face the unknown and the scary stuff in my own life.
- Drop the Negatives – Focus on the Positives!
We tend to focus on negatives. That is obvious. We’ve all complained about how depressing the news is, but what about TV shows, movies, common conversations and complaints, and our personal lives: they all have tendencies to lean to the negative, the drama! Unless, of course, we intervene. When it comes to our own infinite potential, why does the negative stuff come to us so easily while we keep the positive possibilities in the realm of SCARY? It’s easier for me to imagine myself in a car crash, then to imagine living a life of meaning and purpose. Yikes!
- Open Up your Infinite!
We easily hop on board the infinite-train: it sounds so majestic and full of hope! I personally subscribe to this but at the same time I notice how limited my understanding of Infinite really is. For example, this was clear to me when I tried this quick mental exercise: I closed my eyes in a meditative stance, and allowed my mind to expand, to simply grow and sweep the space around me outwardly and expansively. But I quickly hit a roadblock, over and over again. I noticed just how limited and constrained I keep my thoughts, as if they had to be restrained, spatially, to walls of my physical skull. Similarly, when I try to conjure up dreams, goals, and infinite possibilities, I always come back with the same-old-same! What would happen if we could drop this resistance to the unknown, to embrace it, to expand ourselves?
In both of these cases, it all comes down to practice and repetition. Whether you take a look at your own Negative Focus and try to switch it to a focus on your positives, or practice expanding and opening yourself up to the true meaning of infinite, change in perspective comes with frequent repetition.
As you head into this magical time of year, it could be the perfect time to add a few challenges to your holiday routines. Just remember: ANYTHING IS TRULY POSSIBLE!
2x Olympian and 3x Olympic gold medalist