The impressive athletes in the Olympics are intriguing to watch, but what I love to see are the interactions between the athletes and the coaches. The leaders and the mentors I remember and trust most are those that believed in me when I couldn’t yet believe in myself. I may have not had the life experience yet, or I may have simply lacked confidence in my abilities, but what kept me working hard was more about not letting him or her down than it was about me. I am sure this is the case with athletes as well, years before arriving at the Olympics, when they failed or lost or got hurt. Sticking with it is not always about ourselves, and having someone else hold us accountable can help us get through times when we doubt our ability to keep going.
“The people who change us the most believe in us the most”, was part of Dan Rockwell’s post recently, Something Harder than Believing in Yourself. Finding people who will stick with you and truly believe in you is rare. It is also easy to forget that we may be able to give someone else the ability to be successful simply by saying, “I know you can do this.” And truly meaning it. Truly meaning it is the essential ingredient.