What happens when you face the moment of truth – also known as crunch time? Do you live up to the challenge, or do you shy away and back down? Some of the greatest sports heroes of all time got to that level because of their ability to shine when the pressure was the worst, when the stakes were the highest, and when failure could rewrite the way they were remembered.
Living up to the challenges one faces isn’t so much about luck. Sure, the star basketball player won’t hit that shot at the buzzer every time – but he doesn’t make the shot because of luck. He makes the shot because:
- He had the guts to take the shot to begin with
- He practiced enough to know he had it inside him to make the shot
You don’t always win – but you’ll never win if you don’t show up
One of the most effective ways to prepare yourself for the moment of truth is to accept that there will be times when you fail. All too often, we put unfair expectations on ourselves and circumstances beyond our control. From New Zealand to Canada, Australia to the States, it’s human instinct to fear failure so much so that we avoid placing ourselves in any situation where failure is an option.
Couple that with those moments of truth – where we convince ourselves that failure is not an option – and it’s no wonder why we cower at the challenge. But by cowering, and by establishing a losing mentality, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.
Do you really think the star athlete would ever make that shot if he doubted his abilities?
The question remains, then: how do you stop doubting your abilities? How do you get to the point where you have the guts to take the shot and make the most of “crunch time?” Just like in sports, in comes down to practice.
Practice makes perfect sense
Crunch time means different things, depending on the context. In business, crunch time can be stepping up during a make-it-or-break-it project for a client. It could mean that dream job interview, buying a home, relocating your life, or just about anything where you’re slightly out of your element, and – if things don’t go well – your life could be severely impacted.
You can’t expect to make the most of the moment of truth without a good deal of practice. But how do you practice for an event that hasn’t even happened and is difficult to recreate?
Let’s look back at the athlete again – when he takes hundreds of shots per day, none of them take place while he’s under the same scrutiny and pressure as with 1 second on the clock. In order to have those “nerves of steel,” the athlete has to practice in two arenas:
- His muscle memory – he has to literally shoot thousands of shots in order to prove to himself that he can do it.
- His mental state – he has to find a way to practice certain mental and breathing techniques to shut out the pressure and rely on what he can control … which is the fact that he’s made thousands of these shots time and time again. What makes today any different?
In getting yourself prepped up for your own crunch time, you, too, must build your confidence through endless exercises, while also cementing your mental state. You have to be able to approach your moment of truth not as a problem, but as a healthy challenge that you’re capable of overcoming.
Building confidence is about putting yourself in challenging circumstances in the same way that athletes go through drills. By proving your abilities during micro-challenges, you’re proving to yourself that you can do it, while also helping your body and mind get used to what it takes in order to survive a challenge.
You can’t always get there alone
There isn’t an athlete in the world that would be where he or she is now, if it weren’t for coaches and other circles of support (family, friends, teammates). Coaches, in particular, are fully invested in the development of the athlete. They have the motivation and passion to help athletes perform at their peak, regardless of the pressure.
In life, we often need coaches and support to help us achieve our potential. We sometimes need an outsider’s view to remind us of what we truly are capable of. If you find yourself struggling with the idea of making the most of the moment of truth, perhaps it’s time to look outwardly for support. Using 21st century communication technology, personal and business life coach Edmond Otis can help you live up the challenge and shine during crunch time.
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