By: Jess Canty
I heard an interview with skier Mikaela Shiffrin this morning after her gold medal win yesterday.
The reporter noted that she seemed "relieved" when she found out that her time would hold as the fastest. Her response was that she wasn't so much "relieved" but what they were seeing was that she was happy to know that "her best was in fact good enough."
I find this comment infinitely interesting... and it got me thinking:
First - this sentence could only be uttered by someone who has gone through the experience of believing that they have, in fact, given their best, but it wasn't actually good enough.
I am sure she has lost a number of races. I am sure she has come in second a bunch of times - and like Hollywood, the differences between the "win" and everyone else are in the "hundredths of seconds."
Just before her second run, the cameras caught her standing on one foot with her coach behind her pushing her in random spots on her body trying to knock her off balance.
She was doing this so that she could be prepared for the course knocking her off balance.
She and her coach were doing everything they could possibly think of before her race to prepare her. Pretty amazing.
But when that bell rings it is Mikaela and her skis, and the mountain. Her training and her practice and the snow.
Her coach isn't able to be there with her - she has to bring it on that run - she has to perform or lose.
So what happens when you think you're giving your best but it ISN'T good enough?
You need to ask yourself two questions:
1) Is this REALLY my best? Like in your "dark night of the soul" are you REALLY giving your best at every opportunity? Truly your BEST.
Only you can answer this.
If the answer deep down in "places you don't talk about at parties" is "no" then you already know what you need to fix.
And I would suspect you know exactly what is holding you back. So what are you waiting for? Admit the problem and fix it. Stop pretending it is something else - that nagging voice at the back of your head IS trying to speak to you. Listen to it.
Now if your answer is "yes" I am giving my absolute very very best then the question is:
2)"Why isn't my best good enough?"
This is a little more nuanced - but essentially you are in the position of trying to find the equivalent of having your coach try to knock you off balance just before the race.
Do you need more training? Do you need more confidence? Do you need to free yourself of negativity? Do you have a chip on your shoulder? Are you not being creative enough? Are you holding back emotionally? Do you think parts of the industry are "lame" and you are "better than that?" Are you operating from a place of fear instead of strength?
Essentially how do you make your very best, better?
Because if it isn't getting the job done - if it isn't the fastest time down the mountain, then even though it is your best, it isn't good enough.
So, are you willing to do the extra hard looking inside to figure out what it is and fix it? And if you aren't then do you really want this? If you don't think you can win gold, then what are you doing here?
What steps do you need to take so that you can finally say that your best was good enough?