Photo by HENCE THE BOOM on Unsplash
This week, I want to illustrate that sometimes, although we might we feel like there is a world between us and what we want to achieve, the gap is not that big.
US tennis player Danielle Collins was the revelation of the women Australian Open Grand Slam tournament, reaching the semi-final for the first time in her career. In quarter final, she managed to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 after losing the 1st set 6-2. In this 1st set, Pavlyuchenkova broke her 3 first serves and Collins was down 5-1. But she didn’t give up nor panic:
“Honestly, I lost that set pretty quickly,” Collins said. “But what was going through my mind was that I think I had at least two break points that I didn’t convert. Even though the set was 6-2, it took an hour. I felt like it was very close, regardless of the score. I told myself, ‘Hey, if I can just give a little bit more, 10 percent or 15 percent, I have an opportunity.’ Yeah, I stayed positive through that and kind of weathered the storm.”
I really love the way she didn’t let the score of the 1st set (6-2) mean anything (it could sound like she was hugely dominated) but instead relied on her sensations and analysis.
Lots of us see things as all or nothing, black or white. When it’s not white, it means it’s black, when it’s not all, it’s nothing. No surprise that the gap often feels very big, close to 100% and therefore impossible or at least really difficult to bridge. But if we can see that the gap may be much smaller and ask ourselves what tiny change can I make, where can I give 10% more (energy, focus, calm, determination, precision, …whatever it is that we need), then it’s easier to make the necessary changes, we have more confidence in being able to do it and in the end we can make what feels impossible possible.
If you are racing (running, swimming, cycling) and are used to mentally or physically giving up at a certain point, can you go just 10% further instead of trying to hold the whole race right away?
If you are a golfer, can you manage your emotions 10% better instead of trying to manage them 100% and be even more frustrated if you don’t do it?
Lots of team sport games are very indecisive and focusing on giving 10% more rather than thinking you don’t seem to be able to and won’t find the solution can make the difference.
So, where can you give only 10% more to make a difference?