Winning the World Cup

June 16, 2014

Just because I get asked about it so often, I thought I would share the process I went through to win my first karate world title with GKR. I didn't want to post this for a long time because I thought it might be interpreted as 'braggy'. But it's the kind of real stuff that people need to hear, especially if they feel 'ordinary' as I did.

Based SOLELY on my experience, this is how to win a karate kata championship. The lessons you'll read at the end apply to any big goal you decide you want to kick.

So here goes...

  • Feel like absolute crap. See other people succeed and don't do anything about it. Cry and have mini hissy fits asking some higher power why you haven't won tournaments yet. (Um, probably because you haven't entered, dummy!) And feel conflicted by the buzzing feeling in your tummy that tells you that you absolutely could do this.
  • Make an empty promise that this year is going to be different. You will take your karate success to a new level.
  • Keep working your butt off at training. Oh, but don't stay back practising after class in case people think you are 'showing off'.
  • Have another cry and make more excuses. 'I have no time.' 'I'm not cool enough to do cool things like win stuff!'
  • Hate your whining and decide to do something about it for real this time.
  • Talk to your peeps and make a pact that you'll go where the champions hang out- National Squad. Actually join and then almost spew with nerves before class. And sometimes cry because you 'don't belong'. (Everyone here is soooooo much better than you!)
  • Stick the words 'National Champion (insert your name)' anywhere you will see. On the car mirror, on your vision board, in the bathroom.
  • Play the game. Go in tournaments. Win. Get obsessed with winning.
  • Write daily intentions asking 'Why am I am champion?' Start noticing the little victories you have every day. Feel like a bad-ass.
  • Ask everyone for feedback. Take feedback from anyone. Make people watch you and let a nine year old tell you your stance is too wide. And then fix your stance (if it's true).
  • Practise like you are expected to win and that your job is to inspire others.
  • Rehearse the moment you win. Feel the joy. Hear your name called.
  • Tell everyone you speak to that you are going to win a championship. Elegantly work it in to conversations with colleagues accusing you of 'not eating properly' (because you are snacking on raw capsicum to be more like your sensei who rocks an eight pack).
  • Buy a couple of pretty gis (karate uniforms) to have an unfair beauty advantage. (too big but it makes a nice swooshing sound).
  • Tear shoulder at grading (subconsciously believing that champions all have an injury or setback to make the win more inspiring), but get through it, cementing in that you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it.
  • Win a National Championship.
  • Rinse and repeat process (with less crying this time, but equal amounts of feeling awkward).
  • Train with the best sensei, including shihan. Commit to learning and developing.
  • Relax into the fact that this will happen. Trust the process. Stay obsessed.
  • Make sure that when you fill up your tank of petrol the final number ends with 8.83, because your goal is to get a score of 8.8 from 3 judges.
  • Do some mental clearing work. Acknowledge and release the reasons I may not want to win and clear my mind so that I don't stand in my own way. 
  • Enter World Cup.
  • First day of World Cup. Teams. Do something stupid like drop a metal bottle on your toe and go to hospital to get it drained. Then deal with the humiliation of telling people that story. (Only redeemed by the fact you won your bouts in pain!)
  • Watch things unfold perfectly for you.
  • Win the World Cup.
  • (A smidgen of guilt for competitors who you beat.)

And then...

  • Feel normal.

You were a champion before this moment.

  • Finally feel ecstatic seeing team mates win. Success always feels better when others are celebrating with you.

Nothing glamorous about that story, but it doesn't make that big goal any less worthwhile. Achieving something that once seemed unfathomable is the best lesson I could give myself. I know now that when there is something I want, I need:

  1. A bit of faith that I can nurture.
  2. Social support. I tell people what I'm going for so I can be accountable and supported. Get around the people who can help me.
  3. Hard work. Heaps of practise.
  4. Constant visualisation and obsessive thoughts of winning.
  5. Intention setting.
  6. Mental clearing work.
  7. Saying yes to me, and making bold decisions.
  8. Feeling peaceful in the belief that all will turn out fine.

Now to you.

What do you have to do to show yourself that anything is possible. What is the next big goal? Where are you almost feeling physical pain because you desire something so intensely? And what is stopping you from going for it?