Why is it that some individuals excel while others plateau? I first asked myself this question after spending time with young Olympic athletes back in 1996, while working for a firm that sponsored the Olympics in Atlanta that year. I observed these young adults, a decade younger than myself, glide through their pre-competition motions with such dedication and focus that it literally left me in awe. How was this group, some still young enough to be in College, able to excel to a worldwide level of competition? How were they able to overcome the intense pressure that comes along with representing your country? And how were they able to thwart any distractions that they likely faced growing up?
It was questions like these that prompted me to not only ask questions, but to listen intently. By talking to these young athletes, I was able to learn a great deal about their self-confidence and positive attitudes. When I inquired about fear or anxiety, they answered swiftly by reminding me of the years of hard work they had put in just to capitalize on this moment. Once reminded of the years of dedication of each athlete, it made total sense why a lack of fear and anxiety was present.
“… the idea for BIG, a never-ending pursuit to channel your inner champion.”
I wanted to take this Olympic mentality and apply it to my own work. One thing led to another, and in the late 1990s I was able to launch my own coaching business, where I began to instill that intense focus and Olympic-like mentality into my clients. I wanted to let my clients know that we can’t completely rid ourselves of negative voices in our subconscious, but we can control it, much like the young Olympians had learned to do. And this is where I got the idea for BIG, a never-ending pursuit to channel your inner champion.
I met my coauthor, Kimberly Roush, after she approached me about the possibility of working together. At the time, Kimberly was working in public accounting for KPMG, though recent decisions had her feeling discouraged. Shortly after, Kimberly and I established a coaching relationship. My goal was to help assist her in moving forward with her role, though things would turn out a little different than we had imagined. I will be sure to touch on that in a later blog.
My pursuit to finding the “Secret of Champions” led me to co-author Bold Moves in 2007. The book’s unique approach to story telling combined with practical applications and a readers’ log opened more doors for me. Specially, it cultivated into my latest book, which I co-authored with Kimberly, Who Are You … When You Are Big. As you join the BIG team for our blog series, we look forward to sharing our story.