What Do Swim Meets and Career Management Have in Common?

My daughter Olive is 14 and is on her 5th year of competitive swimming. She is, I can proudly say, without a doubt, one of the hardest working, most committed kids in our area (can you picture my chest puffing out? Haha). She doesn’t miss a practice, a meet, an opportunity to get better. You name it, she is there, spending hours upon hours per week in the pool AND she is happy to be there. (I’m not going to lie..Sheree and I tried everything to get her interested in other things, as this was not in our plan for her, and although she is already an accomplished flute player for one of our music schools, she doesn’t love it the way she loves the water.)

But despite all of her dedication, hard work, amazing swim technique, bright future, and so on, Olive has one problem:

She sometimes loses confidence when she needs it the most.

As I mentioned, the dedication is there. The desire is there. The work ethic is there. She posts good swim times at races, is considered a solid performer, but she has this tendency to hold back a little, doubt herself. She’s so analytical, technical even, that she’s acutely aware of her shortcomings.

And because of that, she can pull back when she is supposed to be surging ahead.

It’s a frustrating place for her to be, especially when she is putting in so much time. It keeps her from getting the ROI she should be getting. Some other, less dedicated swimmers are able to keep pace with her. As a result, she feels like she is spinning her wheels.

Now, obviously, she is a teenage girl. Discovering who you are, untangling your web of emotions, fighting against inevitable comparisons, and finding confidence amid your strengths and limitations is all part of that confusing time in life.

BUT, when you think about your career management, can you relate a little?

I can. While giving her one of my little “pep” talks recently (can you see her teenage eyes rolling?), it hit me that I have had many times even in my adult life when I have done the same thing. I’ve pulled back when I should have been surging ahead, all because I got some notion in my head that I wasn’t good enough or perfect enough or the timing wasn’t exactly right or maybe I needed more education.

As a result, my ROI hasn’t always been what it should have been.

Now, of course, there is much more to life than swim times, and our careers are not the only priority, nor should they be. Much like Olive, there are many valuable lessons to be learned beyond just results. But, let’s face it, we do want to reach our potential, don’t we? Or at least get close. After all, our livelihoods do matter. And we spend a fair amount of our lives at our professions. (Ambition and a competitive drive do not make us bad people!)

The main purpose behind our VIP memberships is to help our clients achieve better ROI, to provide the support to surge ahead and not pull back. Much like Olive continues to need good coaching support, and pep talks from dad (although she may not admit that part), we too as professionals often need the same type of encouragement.

We can’t just say we want it, show up, hope it happens….we have to face whatever it is that holds us back and take a new approach to conquering it!

(I told you I’ve been inhaling a lot of chlorine lately…haha…but seriously, our goal here is to help you keep moving forward, even when you aren’t in “active” mode. If it is a confidence boost, a sounding board, a hearty shove, whatever you find you need, I hope you will reach out to us along the way…that is what we are here for!)

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