5/20/21: Breakthroughs result from bold commitments

Sent 5/20/21

Three quick updates:

This week's Think Better Newsletter is about that moment in a race when you need to commit. It's inspired by a story Shannon told in our conversation.

The Idea

Shannon Rowbury knows a thing or two about pushing through mental barriers, having broken a number of American Records. She talked about one of the key challenges inherent in any breakthrough race:

In Monaco in 2015, when I set the American Record, that was an instance where I knew the race was set up to be fast. It didn't guarantee it would be fast, but I knew that it had the high likelihood of that. And I also knew I was in great shape.

By that point I was eight years into my career and so I also knew that when you get those two things--fitness and opportunity--to align, that you just have to go for it.

And I remember even in that race, though...in all of my records that I've broken, there's always been a point in the middle of the race where I thought, "This is either going to be amazing or horrible," and ultimately I chose to just plow ahead and commit. And that's not to say I haven't had it turn out poorly, 'cause it has, too.

But you're not going to have that breakthrough unless you're just willing to let go of the finish and just focus on executing in that moment.

There's no such thing as a breakthrough performance that doesn't also include a moment in the middle where you have to overcome self-doubt and commit to the plan.

The System

Last week's newsletter included a diagram from Chapter 10 with the 4 types of mistakes. This week I want to use the other diagram from Chapter 10, on Risk and Performance Rewards. 

Risk and Performance Rewards graph from Make the Leap, Chapter 10

Breakthrough performances are the result of a Bold racing plan that toes the fine line between Conservative and Reckless.

What makes a plan Bold is not the pace or the strategy. It is the commitment to executing it despite the risk, pain, and the in-the-moment signals to change course. Boldness is a measure of execution.

That feeling of "this is either going to be amazing or horrible" is a necessary part of a breakthrough performance. It's always there. That means you can prepare for it. You can discuss it, anticipate it, and know what you're going to do when it happens.

The best competitors prepare for this moment and commit to the process, despite what that may mean for their finish.

The Question

When risk increases and doubts creep in, will you have a plan to overcome them?


Go Be More,

Bryan Green
Author of Make the Leap: Think Better, Train Better, Run Faster and the companion Think Better Workbook
Co-host of the Go Be More Podcast
Co-host of the Fueling the Pursuit Podcast

"I wonder how many times people give up just before a breakthrough - when they are on the very brink of success." - Joyce Meyer


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