You don’t deserve to win because everyone else deserves to win. Hmm. Sure you trained hard, but so did he and she, and she lost her Mom, and he is the underdog, and, and, etc etc.
I contemplated this word ‘deserve’ during rides and yoga this week and concluded, as you can gather from my statement above, that it’s quite a dodgy and slippery word! Careful how you use it and especially how it uses you.
The moment your mind consciously begins to think it deserves something, you’ve set an expectation for the future based on past experiences which decreases your ability to be in the moment, not good if you’re an athlete striving for optimum performance. The more fervent you are about deserving a certain result, the more skewed reality can become, yikes!
Early in my career, I became quite well known, and thought I deserved a certain amount from my sponsors; this expectation skewed how I saw reality which adversely affected my experience when things didn’t ‘go my way’. Humans naturally create meaning for things, so be careful about prescribing meaning to future events that haven’t happened, even if you’re certain they deserve to turn out in a particular way! The world is more complex than we can fathom, there are so many variables, and we each see and influence the world from different perspectives and in different ways.
Ever met anyone that had an entitled attitude? These are folks we think need a reality check, but they don’t know or think they do! It’s just expected that reality should treat them in a particular way. These are the extreme and obvious examples, but we all have certain unconscious ways of seeing the world that may have certain ‘deserving’ beliefs built in, and it may take some introspection to clear those out.
So instead of Deserve:
- Rather than ‘deserve’, which is based on past to present information, try intending which is based on present to future. It’s an open to possibility vision rather than a prescription.
- Rather than compare the results at any moment to what is deserved, acknowledge or reinterpret whatever the moment brings as exactly what is needed.
On the Real Action Athletes site
- I’ve outlined a more specific practice to explore your ‘deserving’ tendencies in your riding life based on pre-ride, during-ride, and apres-ride observations, I think you’ll find it valuable in bringing greater accuracy to your sense of self and worldview, and also you’re ability to find greater freedom during rides.
- A GREAT 10 minute guided meditation to practice letting go of expectations in order to choose flow.
- I’ve also posted a yoga practice from the week that also brings an opportunity to practice somatic awareness, bringing the body/mind together more intimately, with some pranayama and an integrated tai chi practice.