Letting go of the outcome

Monday, October 22, 2012

With friend and World Champion Martial Ferre. We competed against each other many times. Won some, lost some, still great friends.

The US National Skydiving Championships are next week. This will be my 29th Nationals and I’m looking forward to seeing so many old and new friends and enjoying that special bond that exists amongst skydiving competitors of all levels. I’ve even had the privilege of being invited to join a few high ranking teams and can’t wait for the chance to fly at that level (even though I’ll probably be slowing them down).

For many years the most important thing in the world, my primary goal in life, was to win the US Nationals. My teammates and I committed and sacrificed so much and truly put a 110% into our effort. We wanted to win so badly.

But caring so much about the outcome also had a negative effect on my performance. I sometimes allowed myself to think more about not losing than about doing my best. I’d worry about making mistakes and letting down my teammates more than focusing on having a great time and doing what we had practiced. I was scared I’d screw up and embarrass myself in front of my peers. All of these feelings were completely fear based and had no legitimacy at all.

We trained hard, trained smart and showed up ready to deliver. We were confident in our best performance and knew what we had to do to make it happen. But the fear I was feeling would get in the way of allowing my best performance to come out.

I remember one year completely blowing a jump and in one round going from 1st to 3rd place. We thought the meet was lost, we had failed. And since it was lost we no longer cared about winning. The next round an amazing thing happened.

Not caring about winning anymore totally freed us of all anxiety, negative thought and fear.

We just wanted to show everyone what we were capable of doing and didn’t care where we finished. For the rest of the meet we flew better and faster than we ever had. When the meet was over I had won my first gold medal in 4-way.

It was a great lesson in learning to care by not caring, to try without trying.

I never completely stopped being nervous, but I stopped being scared of being nervous.

When entering into your “meet”, whatever it is, I suggest you take your mind off the outcome. Trust your training, focus in the moment, and allow yourself to have a good time doing what you have practiced. Don’t allow negative thoughts to get in your way. It’s okay to be nervous, don’t fear it. If you can do this the outcome will work out as it should.


About Dan

Author, Speaker, Coach and World Champion Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld will show you how to create champions and build winning teams.

7 thoughts on “Letting go of the outcome”

  1. Great words! My team has a similar experience a few years back at the Nationals. We exited in round 9 and had a fantastic block 6 on the hill, one of the best we had ever done, we then went to J and the unbelievable happened. We had a cross over that caused a funnel. We were shocked and quickly rebuilt and finished the round with 7 points. We figured we just gave the medal away. We all figured we had blown it and the meet was over for us. We regrouped and went up for round 10 and did a good performance and ended up with the bronze medal. We were able to just skydive and do what we had trained for and finished with a high enough round to medal.

  2. Letting go of he outcome might seem counterintuitive to some folks but it does work. Needless to say, I wish you all the best at the Nationals. -TC

  3. Dan, I’ve always had to work to stop thinking too much! Just letting go can be scary, but also so exhilarating! Love your blog! Hugs, D

  4. This is completely AWESOME!!! Just what every competitor need to heard right now ;)
    So glad to have you as a coach and friend!!! :)

  5. This is true of anything that “matters” to you whether it is a competition jump after years of training, your first paid tandem video jump, or (as in my case) a business goal that you have been trying to achieve.
    To strong a focus on the outcome can blind you to what is actually happening in the here and now.

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