In every professional stadium there’s a “Player’s Locker Room” door with a sign next to it that reads, “Players and Team Personnel Only Beyond This Point.” Protecting that entrance at all times is a security guard who denies access to anyone who doesn’t belong. You can beg and plead with them to let you in, but without proper credentials, the answer is “No.”
When I was little, my Dad would take me to Angel Stadium in Southern California. When the Yankees came to town we would patiently wait behind the ropes of the Player’s Locker Room door in hopes of getting an autograph or at least a glimpse of our baseball heroes. I never got any autographs, but I’ll always remember seeing Derek Jeter walking next to Joe Torre on their way to the team bus. It was magical. Seeing all those professional athletes walk out of that door only fueled my dream to want that for myself one day. As I got older and started playing better competition, I began to understand how difficult it would ever be to gain entry into that elite clubhouse.
As you know, the sports world is not a sphere. It’s a pyramid, where millions of kids start out at the bottom playing a sport they love and get weeded out as the level of competition rises and the opportunities become fewer. One by one, millions of players turn into thousands, who turn into hundreds, until less than one-percent of those who began playing actually make it to the pinnacle of their sport. In other words, only the very best in the world ever earn access to the “Players Locker Room.”
When it comes to our thoughts, research shows we have anywhere from 50,000 to 75,000 thoughts a day. Consider the outlets constantly pouring into your mind: social media, YouTube, TV, friends, family, faith, coaches, and teammates, to name a few. Some sources are better than others. Some help. Some hurt.
Similar to the Players Locker Room at professional stadiums, have you set up a security guard to protect your mental locker room where only the best information earns access? Or does every random thought that comes to your mind have free access to your most precious inner self?
We protect our homes and cars with locks and our phones and computers with passwords, yet, when it comes to our minds, our most precious possession, most of us don’t realize just how much unquestioned access we’re allowing the world. My challenge to you is to develop a strong mental security guard who allows access to only the best thoughts and ideas. Anything less than the best gets denied entry.
Why is protecting your mind so important? What you see, hear, and experience become thoughts which, if entertained long enough, turn into beliefs. Your beliefs are the sunglasses through which you see your world. Healthy beliefs lead to a healthy perspective of yourself, others, and your world while unhealthy beliefs warp how you see yourself, others, and interact with your world.
Your beliefs then impact your emotions which then dictate how you perform and behave.
Most of the stress and anxiety athletes and non-athletes deal with stems from the information we allow entrance into our mental locker room throughout the day.
Want more freedom and enjoyment in your thought life?
Become elite in your thinking by only allowing access to the best information and refuse to give your precious mental space to gossip, complaining, issues outside your control, and information that’s only going to steal your focus and joy from what’s important now.