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Beliefs: The wheels on the bus go round and round

Posted: 11th April 2016

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Posted on 11th April 2016 in Blog, Business, Goals, Leadership, Olympian insight, Performance, Performance Principles, Sport, Video Gallery

Author: Chris Martin

By Chris Martin, Marketing and Commercial Director of Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Ltd

As Ben’s video attached to this insight testifies to, strong belief is vital to achieving our goals. Belief drives us forward. Belief helps us overcome the ups and downs of the journey ahead.
But what exactly should we believe in? Ben talks about being different to Pinsent and Redgrave. I think that’s important for most of us, because they seem almost superhuman!! In fact, in Ben’s book he talks about how, in 1998 after coming 7th in yet another race, the crew had to ‘force ourselves to try and believe.”

That rather changed the way I thought about beliefs. Until then I thought that they always had to be inherently part of me and what I knew I could or would achieve.
Fast forward 2 years in Ben’s book and just before Sydney he is quite matter of fact in saying “we knew we could win”. Clearly success in the intervening years had a big role to play in that, but without doubt, gaining greater belief was part of the reason some of that success started to happen in the first place….and then continued.
So how did the crew do it?

Well, those of you very familiar with Ben’s story will have heard some of this before. If so, my apologies, but it is worth understanding how they systemically set about having greater belief in their Crazy goal of winning Olympic Gold.

The wheels on the bus, at the top of this page, is a reference to the four clear beliefs that the crew relied on to achieve their goal. Each wheel of belief is independent of the next but of little value unless operating all together. Lose a wheel and it all comes to a shuddering halt.

What do you need to believe in?

Ben and the team set out to ensure their core beliefs were so strong, so set – the wheels were so perfectly pumped up – that any small bumps in the road to success could be overcome by leaning on those beliefs. The pneumonic which captured their four wheels of belief is DICE.

D- Deserved
I – Important
C – Can Do
E- Exciting

So what did each of these mean and how can you use them?

Deserved – I deserve this. We all need to believe that we deserve the goal we have set, that promotion, that marathon time, the success of our own business. For Ben that meant that while no one is entitled to win Olympic Gold, in his mind he deserved to win that Olympic Final, deserved to win that race as much as anyone else. He’d planned as hard and anyone else and had worked as hard as anyone else.
For our own goals, it may help to write down 5 reasons why you deserve to reach a successful conclusion to your own journey, your own final. It’s not a case of being arrogant, the opportunity is there for everyone – why shouldn’t it be you?

Important – Why is this Important?

3 key questions to ask here that drove Ben’s crew on to Olympic success:
– Why is this important?
– What will achieving this goal improve in my life?
– How will I feel when I’ve achieved it?

The answers to these questions are often quite emotive, personal and sometimes inspiring. So when do these answers matter the most? Often it is when the road gets bumpiest. When it’s so tempting to pack it all in and take the easier road, that these emotive questions or rather the answers to them, stick us to the goal, remind us why the pain is still worth it and help us driving forward

Can Do – I can do this

To directly quote Ben “You need to believe you can do it. If you don’t quite know how you will achieve it, you need to know that you will, absolutely, figure out a way.” For Ben and his team figuring out a way led to draconian measures. Leaving behind one of the greatest rowing coaches of all time, because his way of working simply wasn’t for them. It turned out to be an outstanding decision, they knew there was another way and they went after it. Their belief meant the question they asked was ‘how do we do this?’ and not ‘can we do it?’

Exciting – This is exciting

Not everyone may be lucky enough to be gunning for Olympic Gold but the lessons of Ben’s beliefs were that the goal needs to be enticing and something that we are passionate about. It needs to put fire in your belly and that fire speeds your progress forward. It may be that the goal in itself doesn’t provide the ultimate belief – but the reasons that you are doing it might. So setting up your own business to prove your ex employer wrong, running a marathon for a charity close to your heart, quitting smoking to stop the endless nagging of your partner – whatever it is, there needs to be clarity on the genuine motivators to accelerate your success.

They are the four wheels of the bus, the four beliefs, that helped Ben win Olympic Gold and I hope can help you to achieve you goal. In our next insight we will take a look at ‘where to get beliefs from?’ and then how to strengthen the beliefs.

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