It’s All About Mentality

Dani - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I have been a competitive swimmer for sixteen years, which means that yes, I began competing when I was only six years old. That wide-eyed little girl standing behind the blocks eager to get in and race had no idea what the sport would bring to the rest of her life. From my sport, I have learned many values that I still hold so dearly, including things like time management skills, discipline, and the one that is still the most important to me, keeping a positive attitude no matter the circumstances.

As Henry Ford puts it, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.” It’s a common enough phrase that I’m sure many of you have heard, but think about a time when you had a set goal that you wanted so badly to achieve, be it in sports or school or just life in general. Remember how it felt to know exactly what you wanted but still be sitting there wondering how to get it. If it was something you really wanted, did you ever doubt yourself? Did you ever once stop and say to yourself, “Maybe I can’t do this?” I certainly have. I’ve dove into the water before wondering how I would ever finish the race I was about to swim, and sure enough, those were the races that I ended up being disappointed with at the finish. If I ever got it in my head, even for one second, that I wouldn’t do as well as I knew I could, I of course would have a bad race. It was the times that I went into races with all of the confidence in the world and a goal that I knew was attainable that ended in success.

If you want to win a race, or score the most points on your team, and you believe you can do it, you can. If you want to ace a test in school, and you know that if you work hard enough you can do it, you can. If you want a promotion at your job and you put it in your mind that you can get there, you can. Do you think someone like Tiger Woods, for example, got to where he is today by doubting himself? By thinking, “This is a tough hole, I don’t know if I can make this in under par”? Or someone like Bill Gates. Or any actor or actress, any successful person. Do you think they ever had any doubts on their goals?

I believe that with a positive outlook on anything you set out to do, anything is possible. I know from personal experience that this is true, but I think that if everyone were able to channel positive thoughts into one major goal, they would see a lot more success in their lives. It’s all about mentality, no matter what you do. It can happen, you can get there, and all you need is the right attitude to do so. This I truly believe.