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Life Lessons: Stay Humble Or The Universe Will Definitely Humble You

Fall Hard, Stay Humble

The fall could always be around the corner. And of course, the higher you are the harder you fall. Watching Novak Djokovic’s disqualification from the US Open last year was a very good reminder of that. Novak was unbeaten since 2019 (26-0) and was favored to win the Grand Slam title again.

However, being atop of your game for years whilst achieving important things in life does not mean that you are entitled to win. Most likely, this sense of entitlement is what made Novak lose control of his impulses. Thus, it only took a second for him to shoot himself in the foot (as well as the lineswoman’s throat, unfortunately) by disqualifying himself from the tournament and receiving a great load of criticism.

stay humble
Novak Djokovic. Photo by Marc Serota.

Money And Fame Does Not Equal Self Control

As with Djokovic, failing to be aware of your emotions can put you in jeopardy. You could be rich, famous, intelligent, charismatic, or all the above and still screw things up by not being able to control yourself. Many times, the damage can create serious consequences. All it takes is one stupid comment or lapse in judgment to potentially ruin your career and reputation.

Controlling your impulses is something that should always be in check, no what matter your status or position is. Here are some helpful tips to keep your impulses and emotions in check:

Stay Humble

If you have been a high achiever in your life, congratulations! Your talent and hard work paid off and you are respected in your industry and community. But keeping your ego in check is very important, as it reminds you that there are always more things to learn and achieve. Beware of falling into the trap of entitlement.

Your ego always wants to keep inflating, but it will eventually burst if it is left unchecked. It is good to celebrate your accomplishments, which boosts your confidence and self-worth. However, simply concluding that you are the s#%t is dangerous because you will eventually lose perspective, making you forget what is important in your life. Obviously, being arrogant is not going to help you to control your impulses.

Be aware of your emotions

Sad but true, life will always bring people or situations to test your patience. And if you already had a bad day and feel that you do not want to control your emotions, you better get prepared for the worst. A common practice used in sport psychology to control our emotions is the traffic light approach.

You may think of the green light when you are aware that you are in a relaxed state. If you start feeling impatient or anxious when dealing with a certain situation, imagine a yellow light appearing to tell you to be cautious and stat reducing your intensity. The red light must be visualized when you are already feeling overheated; then you must STOP and take a little break to cool down. It is very difficult to use our good sense when we are exasperated or angry.

Mind the consequences

For everything that we do, there are policies, rules, or codes on how to behave (yes, unfortunately). Liking them or not, you must comply with them to operate adequately without causing harm (to you or others). Reviewing regularly why these rules exist will minimize the possibility of you getting in trouble (as a reminder for ‘if you play with fire you get burned’). Always take a break to remind yourself of the things that are cool and not cool…and stick to being cool. As simple as that. Avoid being THAT guy and stay in the cool zone.

Choose Wisely

It is certainly pleasurable to get fiery sometimes. Yep, feeling the adrenaline pumping through your veins, bringing the power to show the world your badass-ness is always tempting. But if you must decide whether to be smart or fiery, what would you choose? It’s totally your call.

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About The Author
Javier Burga
Javier Burga
Javier Burga, director of Potential & Performance, has an M.S. in Sports Psychology and a B.S. in Business Administration. He is an entrepreneur and has a business background of more than 25 years. He is now fully committed to helping people to improve their performance and wellness. Find more about his practice at www.potentialandperformance.com or check one of his short videos at his YouTube channel Potential & Performance.
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