A champion who didn’t win?

When it comes to success, there are many ways to measure. Wealth, status, the car you drive, the title you hold. People seem to like these ways of measuring success, because, well, you can measure them. Do I have more money than you? Yes? Then I am more successful than you. Do I drive a better car than you? Yes? Then I am more successful than you. Did you win your title fight? No? Then can you really say you are a success?

Jessica is already the twice England kickboxing champion. When she accepted the opportunity to challenge for the British title, she knew that she had to get a team around her that would help her to succeed at the next level. I was honoured to be part of that team. I am a mindset specialist, with the added benefit of having been a sports therapist at an earlier point in my career, so I was able to help her both with her mindset, but also with some niggling injuries.

The title fight announcement – game on!

Jess trained hard in the run-up to her fight. She took up mindset training, used her own hypnosis skills, fought hard in sparring with way bigger opponents than herself, and could run further and faster than she ever could before. She created a process that put her in contention for winning a title fight. The process was so good, that on another day, against a different competitor, she could have won. She was good enough to fight at British level. She held her own and went the distance – a full five rounds of full contact kickboxing. But she didn’t win.

I’ve been in this position with other sportspeople and it’s been really hard for them to swallow. I knew it would be different for Jess though. Why?

Here’s the thing. After her fight, Jess is continuing to train, almost at the level she was prior to her title fight. She is still running. She is still boxing. She is still eating well and looking after herself. In the bigger picture, in the game of life, she is still winning.

In her last mindset session before her fight, we didn’t talk about the fight. We talked about what would come after. I’ve supported many sportspeople, and one thing that I know to be true is that despite the accolades and the sheer exhilaration of winning the medal or the trophy that you’ve been training so hard for, if you hang your self-worth on that outcome, the other side of winning will feel like a long way to fall. There’s often a void on the other side of the match, the competition, the event, that if you’re not ready for, can feel like a seriously bleak place to be.

Jess isn’t in the void. There isn’t one for Jess. Her event was just a part of her bigger picture. The fight was one step on her path. The path that will get her to achieve whatever she decides to. I know that she wants to speak on global stages. I know that if she keeps walking, she will. She wants to inspire girls to look after themselves and to know that they are good enough, even if they didn’t have a great start in life. I know that if she keeps walking, she will.

You see, it’s the process that matters. If you build a process that works, and apply the process consistently, you will get to whatever the objective was. And if you keep going, you will surpass your intended goals. Because that’s how the process works.

Whatever you are doing in life, think about what process you need to have in place to achieve your goal. Create the process – making sure that you love the process and it lights you up – and apply the process every day. And then forget about your goal.

Every day that you follow your process is a win. Every moment that you do is a win. Every decision that you make in alignment with your process is a win. You are literally a winner every day of your life, and not just the one day that you reach that goal. Once you hit that goal, all you have to do is continue applying your process and you will exceed it, without trying any harder than you already have been.

Jessica loves her process and her training so much that she’s keeping going, even after the goal has passed. THAT is why she will get to all of her other goals; the process wasn’t about one milestone goal on the way to her objective. Her objective is to live in a way that is true to herself and will get her to all of her goals, but to love the journey, as much as she will love getting to each of the points on the way.

Like any journey, if you only focus on reaching your destination, you can miss all of joy of the journey itself. You might miss the beautiful scenery on the way. You might miss an amazing little detour, you could miss a conversation that changes your world view. You could miss your life.

Enjoy the ride. Create a process that will get you to where you’re going and make sure that you love it. Be consistent in your action and then relax and enjoy the journey.

And don’t forget to let me know what happens!

About the Author

Zoe Carroll

Zoe Carroll is a wellbeing and performance specialist with expertise in neurodiversity and inclusion. She creates training and delivers coaching to develop team cohesion and improve communication within teams. She shares insights into how people can understand each other better in order to both communicate internally and externally to increase productivity and other performance variables while also improving the wellbeing of team members.

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