You are the average of the people you spend the most time with. As an athlete how do you feel when you think about the other players on your team? Notice how it feels in your body when you think that thought. Are you sensing tightness or expansion in your body? The feeling you are having is an indication of whether you have the right people on your team.
Sometimes the opportunity appears where you get to choose the team you want to be on. Recently I spent a long weekend with a team I thought I really wanted to join. I believed in the head coach and the way he was able to work with other people was exceptional. He really had a gift to see beyond the surface. His approach helped others to reach deep down to find the desire to step up and play a bigger game. The opportunity to be around a coach who knew how to bring out the best in others was very attractive.
As time went on, however, I realized something felt off center. There was a feeling in my gut which wouldn’t go away. Instead of ignoring it, I paid attention. It would be easy for me to tell myself that it was nothing. Experience has taught me to follow my hunches.
Too often I have had a gut feeling, did not listen and later regretted my actions. Have you done that, too?
After several days of being with this team, wondering why I wasn’t more excited, I decided to take the next step. Talking to the two assistant coaches about my goals, the way I was hoping the team would challenge me and the steps I planned to take was revealing. There was a disconnect.
What I realized was that I was ready to step up and play a BIGGER game than they were expecting. My aspirations, my abilities were further along than the other players. The assistant coaches I would be working with directly were not sure if they could challenge me enough based upon their current level of coaching.
Several of the other players were limited by their fear. They knew they were stepping out of their comfort zone. I could see their desire to take a leap into the unknown. Their fear, however, continued to have a strong grip on them.
I know how scary it is to be ready to take a big risk. It feels as if you are standing right on the edge of the cliff. I had been there too. And continue to go there again and again.
What I witnessed was an internal fight occurring. One part of these players were ready to break free of their limitations to play a bigger game. The other part was very, very scared of letting go of something old, familiar and comfortable. A strong internal battle occurring can make it very difficult to think clearly.
Yes, many of these players were ready to take the risk. They were ready to move forward. Once you’ve had a taste of what is possible it is difficult to turn back, especially when you have the right team supporting you along the way. So much more is possible when you are hooked up with your dream team.
After some deep soul searching I realized I was trying to make myself fit into a team where I really didn’t belong. It is like wanting to be on the B team because the coach is wonderful, and you’ll be a superstar, but you know you really belong on the A team.
This goes back to the saying by Jim Rohn, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Teaming up with people who were not playing at my level or above was going to be too easy. I wouldn’t be challenged enough.
My decision was not to take the easy route. It would slow down my rate of mastery. Instead I decided to gracefully bow out, and continue looking for my ideal dream team..
Now I have a clearer idea of what I am seeking.
- A coach who will challenge me to play a bigger game
- Team members who are at the same level of play or better
- Awareness that I will “know” when I have found my dream team.
Because I was willing to listen to my gut, I know this was the best decision. The right coach, with the right team, is possible. The first opportunity was convenient.
After awhile I would have become dissatisfied, feeling like something was missing. My personal integrity would have been compromised because I would have been minimizing some of my core values.
Surrounding myself with other motivated players, where we challenge one another to play an even BIGGER game, is important to me. So I am bowing off the B team even though they have an awesome head coach. The search continues to find my dream team where I will fit in, feeling excited because I know I am going to be stretched. Next time you are in a position to choose, remember to choose wisely.
Challenge: Do you have a big vision for yourself, but don’t fit in with your current team? If you are playing an easy game, staying within your comfort zone, then you are missing opportunities. List 3 areas where you are ready to be challenged. Now that you know, what are you going to do about it? Don’t wait for someone else to give you the step by step instructions. Take initiative and begin seeking the answers. All I want you to do right now is to decide on which next step you are going to take ASAP. Post your answers on the comments below to really own it.