Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mental Strength

How much strength does it take to be an Olympian? That’s hard to quantify, isn’t it? And we’re only talking physical strength so far. Athletes train their entire lives to compete. Figure skaters can take the ice at age 16, then display their skills effortlessly. One Canadian skater, age 37, earned a bronze yesterday. Both of these competitors have likely spent their entire lives in “training” in one form or another. Just to compete. Just to succeed, physically.

What about mentally? Even leading up to the games, the participants had to go to the games with a mental attitude that no matter what, they were going to give it their best. They’d been training for this. They were getting their shot to compete (or compete again). Their coaches were counting on them. Their families, their fellow teammates, their country. And you watch them win. And you watch then handle “losing” with grace (mostly).

I sometimes wonder what it takes to have that kind of mental strength. That kind of “killer” attitude—to win no matter the cost. To give it everything without backing down. I’m more likely to sympathize (even with myself) than fight. What about you?

Going for your dreams, whatever they may be, takes guts. You have to face down your own doubts, naysayers, rejection, failure, fears and roadblocks just to approach the starting gate of your dreams. There’s fear of failing and of winning. Can you relate with that?

But as you watch the Olympians take the platforms to receive their medals (a fantastic display of heroism and celebration) you don’t see fear of winning—you see victory! They’ve overcome!

I think we can practice, in everyday life, the skills of being an overcomer. For some, this comes easier than for others. But I believe we’re all called to it.

Whatever you face today, overcome. Press into God who gives you strength and realize victory, even in small ways. The training process for athletes is filled with day after day of small victories leading up to competition on a grander scale. But it all begins behind the scenes in everyday choices and decisions.

Also, find a rooting section. Gather people around you who will support you as you follow your dreams. Don’t let naysayers hold you back.

Press through.

Press on.

Stretch that mental muscle.


God, who sees your potential and knows what He’s called you to be, believes in you. Go for your dreams in Him! Watch what will happen when you partner up with Him and go for the gold.

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