Did you ever wonder how an athlete could keep going, through pain, through fatigue, through injury and disappointment? Or how an actor could push on through rejection, crap reviews, tabloid smut, through everything? How is it that a basketball player could practice his jump shot again and again and again? And how can you get some of that physical and mental endurance, that commitment, that perseverance?
Steve Siebold, internationally recognized expert on mental toughness and author of the best-selling book, 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class, notes that the greatest coaches of the world dig beyond the logical reasoning for actions and tap into a performer’s emotional vein of gold. Using this strategy, these coaches reach deep down and find the core motivations behind the actions, delving and probing until they hit upon what is referred to as the white moment.
“The white moment is the strongest emotional driver of a performer,” Siebold shares. You stop asking, “what do you think?” and start asking, “how do you feel?” Once you have locked into this white moment, physical and emotional pain are no longer important and you will find you can push through things you never imagined.
You, too, can learn to push yourself like a world-class coach. Ask yourself the tough questions. Why am I doing this? What would it mean to me to accomplish my goals? How would it feel to publish a bestseller, star in a feature film, tour the country? Fill in the blank. Imagine it.
Then, go even further. How would it feel not to accomplish those things? What would it feel like to give up? Just put down the guitar, pen, camera and never really go after it? To be a coulda-been? How would it feel?
Let that be your driver. Find your motivation. Maybe it is a person. Maybe it’s your wife, your mom, your kids. Who are you making proud? Who would you let down? Who said you couldn’t do it? Who are you proving wrong?
Ask yourself all these things until you find your white moment. Write it down. Then keep it. Whenever you feel like giving up, procrastinating, taking the easy way out, take a moment instead. Pull out your reasons. Find your moment again. It’s not the money. It’s not the fame. It’s not just the art either. It’s something beneath all of that, within it perhaps, but beyond. Dig deeper. There is something burning inside you, a fire that will never be extinguished. Even if you were to quit it will smolder, until it burned you up inside. But it will never flame out.
Let your inner, emotional fire be what fuels you. Siebold has a word for the people who do: champions. Be the champion of your own life. Be a champion to the ones you love. Be the best you can be. As Matthew McConaughey so put it in his Oscar acceptance speech, be the you you’re chasing.
Stay hungry and stay Well Fed.
C.R. Cohen’s love affair with words and the arts has lead her on a lifelong journey as a poet and writer and an art activist, founding Artists Underground, to bring networking, resources and advice to artists, and joining forces with Soapbox Nation to provide creative career consultations and artist services to help artists get further faster.