20 Oct Hit me with your best shot
A little over two years ago I had the opportunity to do some motivational counseling for professional boxers – heavy weight, middle weight, even some light weights who were part of Eye of the Tiger Management (eyeofthetigermanagement.com). What was particularly interesting about these fighters is that they all came from rather challenging backgrounds –broken homes, blended families, some having no idea who their biological parents were. Most notably, these boxers also had something else in common – the desire to overcome adversity & the will to fight their way to the top (FIGURATIVELY as well as LITERALLY).
It seems to me, this drive was an essential ingredient in their ability to be successful. The desire to rise above their challenges was also very much enhanced by their manager, Camille Estephan, a person who believed in them, a unique individual in his own right, who saw the fighters raw talent and knew precisely how to channel their skills in productive rather than negative ways. As a therapist, I define this as “strength based practice”. More specifically, identifying the positive characteristics in an individual and building upon those qualities.
Human nature is such that when things get tough, we have a tendency to give up, to look for the easy way out. Our brains our hardwired to exercise a “fight or flight” response as soon as something we perceive as threatening comes before us. Boxers don’t that. They are trained to work with the adversity so that they CAN and WILL achieve success – in their case, win the fight.
I must say, I am very grateful for having had the opportunity to work within the boxing industry because even though it was my responsibility to motivate, encourage and support the fighters, conversely, they taught me as well.
Perhaps we can all take a lesson from the boxers: find the people who believe in you and don’t run away from adversity, or difficult situations. Learn to face the demons, the challenges, the bullies in your life – for when you do, you will also become your own world champ and never be knocked down again!