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Build your dream team   

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” —Jim Rohn. Does that quote scare you? If so, you might want to consider why. The people you surround yourself with affect your perception. Imagine creating your dream team. Start out by considering the athletes on your team. Place yourself in good company by training with athletes who are seeking to improve and who share your excitement and drive.

You want to train up. What I mean is training with athletes who are already achieving the numbers that you are currently striving for. If you want to be an Olympic gold medal athlete, you need to spend time with gold medalists. They think differently and act differently than athletes who are on a less ambitious path.

Okay, maybe you don’t have access to any gold medalists right now. The point is that if you want to perform at a higher level of play than you’re currently performing at, start spending time with athletes who are already at that level. Befriend them. Hang out with them. Notice how they spend their time. Notice what they do and don’t do.

Tough decisions along the way

This isn’t an easy decision. Awhile back one of my clients decided it was time to raise the bar. She wanted to pursue her dream of becoming a professional runner. That meant moving across the country, away from her family, so she could immerse herself in a strong running community.

On the flip side, if you are surrounded by highly critical people who constantly judge you, your energy will be drained. Or if you are very competitive, wanting to stretch yourself, but others on your team play for a different reason—maybe it’s social for them—you are likely to not push yourself as hard as if you were playing with people who have the same ambition as you. This is particularly true of high school and recreational teams. This can lead to frustration and resentment on your part and poor teamwork for the team.

The dream team PATH:

  • Passion. Join athletes who share your passion. They’re fully engaged and love all aspects of their training. When tough moments arise, they’re prepared to push through them.
  • Attitude. Look around for athletes who are highly devoted to their sport. They possess a winning attitude. When choosing your dream team, find the people who will lift you up not cut you down.
  • Trust. Who has your back? Only add people you trust to your dream team. Respect is consistently maintained, especially during tough discussions.
  • Hustle. Train with athletes who are slightly ahead of you. It’ll require more effort and engagement to keep up with them. You’ll improve at a faster rate than training with athletes of equal ability.

Who has your back?

Who's on your dream team? photo credit: Olympic Games Men's Cycling Road Race; Second Group via photopin (license)

Who’s on your dream team?
photo credit: Olympic Games Men’s Cycling Road Race; Second Group via photopin (license)

One of the most difficult things to do, but also necessary for moving forward, is to look at the people in your life. Highly dedicated athletes sometimes feel conflicted when they have to make difficult decisions about who to spend time with, whether it’s friends, family, teammates or coaches. The athletes are moving on and sometimes they have to create distance between themselves and people they are attached to emotionally because, otherwise, the relationships would sabotage their dreams.

This is not easy to do. But as my husband, Steve Fogelman, says, “You measure personal growth by the people you leave behind.”

Sharing your vision

You may have to limit contact with people who bring you down or who can’t support your vision 100% or who drain your energy.

There may be people in your life you care about, say in your family, whom you’re not going to cut out of your life entirely. In that case, it’s even more important to set boundaries with them and have a strong support system of positive people around you. Going the full distance on your journey requires you to surround yourself with positive people.

Choose your dream team

Choose your dream team. Seek out the people who share in your dream because you will definitely face obstacles and challenges along the way. And although you’re persevering, if you’re not having  the  results  or  seeing  the  progress  you  expect,  doubt might begin to creep in.

That’s when your inner circle of supporters, the people on your dream team who really believe in you and your vision, are so important. They will lift you up when you can’t hold yourself up.

Frustration develops when you fail to have positive people in your life. They’ll help you refocus on your strengths when you’re facing obstacles and disappointments along the way. The negative people in your life, who so easily point out flaws and criticize, might reinforce your doubt, digging it in deeper, which will keep you in the place of doubt longer than is necessary. Doubt is a distraction which hinders momentum.

Prior to the breakthrough

Yes, I said “necessary.” When you’re feeling doubt, you might actually be at the threshold of a breakthrough, but you can’t see it. The supportive people on you dream team, however, are able to partner with you to help you process through what’s happening and also what’s preventing you from taking the leap of faith in front of you. They might also take the leap of faith with you. Remember, you don’t have to do it on your own.

We all need people on our team to help us see what we can’t. None of us can see what’s right under our nose. We get caught up in our own story and it’s hard to see it from another perspective.

Challenge: Who’s on your dream team?  List the people you know who meet the PATH criteria. If you haven’t met those people yet, then consider where they may hang out. Don’t wait for those athletes to seek you out. Get into action and take charge. It’s a game changer.  Post who you’d add to your dream team.

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