The greatest skill of all… and the one we most resist.
The fight is won far away from witnesses
Frequently regarded as the greatest boxer of all time, there’s no denying Muhammad Ali was skilled beyond measure. From 1960 to 1981, he won 56 of 61 boxing matches in front of millions of people.
But perhaps one of his greatest skills was never seen in the ring, or trained for in the gym. Instead, it was a skill carefully crafted away from audiences, in a quiet place only he could access…
The skill of going inward; to ask questions, to develop inner confidence and to find purpose beyond boxing. A skill that starts with the power of self-reflection.
It poses an interesting question for us all.
If the fundamental skill of self reflection has the power to shape and change our lives, why do we so rarely do it? Why do we tend to resist it as a regular practice?
1. Because it means doing the work… the hard work!
Self reflection requires us to shift the lens from ‘close up’ to ‘wide’ and broaden our view of reality. We can’t crop and ignore things in wide-angle, We have to accept being vulnerable and uncomfortable.
2. We’re “too busy”
And by this, we mean we’re too busy being a human-doing first, rather than a human-being. So instead, we prioritise reflecting on our “to-do” list — how we performed in the office, on the sporting field or as a parent or partner. These roles and factors are still important to consider, but they tend to take all the glory, and before you know it, we’re not reflecting on the most important list of all… Our ‘to-be’ list, and all the needs that go along with it.
3. We live in a society that’s obsessed with forward thinking
…And for good reason! Forward thinking helps us plan for the future to avoid mishaps, and to gain competitive advantage. It also helps us financially, forecasting responsibly with a budget, or even scoring a bargain with an early-bird discount! But as with most things, we need to find a balance — using backwards AND forwards thinking to reflect on what we’ve learnt, and w hat we want to take into future situations.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future — Steve Jobs
Building and flexing our self-reflection muscle doesn’t require a fancy gym membership, PT or even other people. It only requires us — to slow down, to get vulnerable, to stop over-thinking about what’s to come, and to focus on the path already cleared. Because like Muhammad Ali, we can’t “win” the fight (our life journey) in front of an audience, worried what they think of us and whether or not we have their approval.
We can only “win” when we go internal to find self-confidence and purpose.
Looking for extra support?
We recommend starting small when it comes to self reflection, taking just 10 minutes every Friday morning to win the morning, and win the day. You can sign up HERE to our free weekly e-newsletter to join us (and many others!) in making self development and personal leadership a simple but powerful habit.
For more, check out the MOJO MINDSET COURSE & APP. Because you can’t work out what you want until you work out who you are. Start your journey now: https://mojocrowe.com/app
Originally published at https://mojocrowe.medium.com on December 20, 2022.