Common Sense, Yet Uncommon Practice

Marice was an incredible natural basketball player. The best on our high school basketball team by far. His skills led our team to the National Championship game in Alaska – almost pulling off a great upset over the title-winning school.

Marice was great and he knew it.

Let’s think about this comment… Wouldn’t it be a shame if you were good and did not know it? It would be awful to go through life not realizing that you were competent, capable, able, and effective. Obviously, Marice knew he could dominate the court. He was confident enough to take the tough shot when needed and guard the opposing team’s star player. Marice also possessed one other trait: he believed he was good! He believed in himself. Marice was not cocky nor was he conceited. (Conceit is a strange disease that makes everyone sick except the one who has it!)

Marice believed in what he did; he believed he did it well; he enjoyed doing it.

Here’s a question for you – is it possible to be good and not know it? If you knew you were good, wouldn’t you feel better, have more confidence, and enjoy your life and your work more? The answer is yes! (I’ll help with the hard ones.) If you believed in yourself and in your abilities, wouldn’t you be a better spouse, parent, friend, and salesperson?

We tell our children they are capable and competent. That they can make the team, pass the test, and be selected. We encourage our friends that they can get that promotion, close that deal, and overcome that hurdle.

It is common sense to believe in others. Why then, is it so difficult to believe in ourselves? Shouldn’t it be common sense to believe in ourselves? Our parents and our best friends do. Our spouse does. God does. He made it clear in Psalms 56:9, “This I know. God is for me.” He also made it clear in John 3:16. If He believes in us, why shouldn’t we? After all, His knowledge is certainly greater than ours!

Perhaps we need to make this a common practice.

John Wooden certainly did. Wooden was known as the type of man who would give you the shirt off his back and then call you that evening and ask if it fit properly. Yet, he had a tough go of it. Both of his sisters died before the age of three. His pursuit of making it as a professional basketball player was interrupted when he joined the Navy to serve in World War II. Earlier in life, three teachers and a college professor told him that he wasn’t smart enough. Yet, he didn’t believe in what they said. John believed in John!

The first team Wooden ever coached was a high school team. He couldn’t even lead them to a winning record, finishing at 6-11. Still, the belief he had in himself led him to become the first member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. While coaching at UCLA, his teams won an unprecedented 10 National Championships over a 12-year period, including a stretch of seven in a row!

One of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, Wooden was beloved by his former players. Among them were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. Wooden was renowned for his short, simple, inspirational messages to his players, including his “Pyramid of Success.” These often were directed at how to be a success in life as well as in basketball.

You are probably very good in several areas of your personal and professional lives. However, you could be more fulfilled if you only recognized that you are good. Recalling times in your life that you have gone above and beyond, have succeeded in spite of long odds, etc. will help you along the way. In our business coaching, these are called  “confidence anchors.” Then, just like Marice and John Wooden, when you believe in yourself, you will be able to do more and you will actually enjoy doing it.

You only need one vote to believe in yourself. That one vote comes from you!

Each morning, you must cast a vote for yourself. If you need a reminder, you can make your choice numerous times during the course of each day but only you can cast your vote!

This is common sense. Now let’s make it common practice!

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