Growing up I fell in love with the game of baseball, it was my passion – and at the time it was the sport I was 1,000% sure I would play for the rest of my life. I formulated a list of major goals, accomplished most, failed to grasp a couple, but what does that mean? At one point I thought it was all a waste, but I no longer feel that way – I feel it attributed to my strongest qualities. It has helped me make decisions, never look back, and ferociously chase my goals with an ignorance to failure.
The Athlete Identity
To me, athlete is a personality trait. It’s not something you are when you’re young or you only have when you play a sport.
It’s an approach to life.
This was hard for me to realize too, but just hear me out.
When you think of an athlete you think of a couple things, the swagger, the status, but most fail to recognize the deeper qualities they possess. Every athlete who performs at a high level has a tool belt with discipline, grit, tenacity, hustle, accountability, and much more. But it seems that once those athletes lose the sport, they unconsciously bury those characteristics with it. They forget the power they once had, and more importantly, they fail to realize how they previously built tools in sport which relate to exponential life success.
It doesn’t matter what you do, whether you are a truck driver, work a 9-5 desk job, or high-level CEO, if you were an athlete you can use that to be the best you there possibly is.
As an example, I’ll show you how I choose to carry the identity in my own life.
Carrying The Athlete Identity Into My Life
When I was an athlete I understood that I was the sole responsibility for my success, nobody was going to come and do the work for me. I knew that my word meant everything, If I said I was going to do something I better do it. I knew that winning was bigger than me and it couldn’t be done alone, I needed to trust my teammates and work hard so they could succeed also. I knew that when times got tough I had to look within, remember what I was made of, and charge head on to whatever difficulty was in front of me.
Now, I want to be someone who inspires others to see their potential by pushing my own limits. I want to be an entrepreneur who works with individuals to optimize their life. More importantly, I want to be a great brother, son, and friend to everyone who is in my circle, and my athletic background will help me excel at those.
Since I am an athlete I now know if I want to be a successful entrepreneur I need to do the work and nobody will build my brand for me.
I now know that if I push my limits to inspire others I am going to face some dark times and a lot of pain, but I need to respond in the face of any adversity and never give in. I must show up even if it hurts like hell.
Because I am an athlete I will succeed. It’s helped me realize I was building lessons for life, not only for sports. If you were an athlete you can choose this perspective too, we are a unique set of individuals who can dive fearlessly into the path of greatness.
P.S. – Being an athlete is not the only precursor to these certain characteristics. All I’m saying is that these characteristics are molded over time, and athletes undergo the rigor of sport and mold these characteristics under the highest pressure circumstances.
Not all of us were athletes, but we can all be savages.