In 2005, I was in my second year of graduate school studying sport psychology. The first large conference I attended was at the Minneapolis downtown Marriott and I’ll never forget the first session I sat in on…

It was a seminar on recently-retired NFL football players and their struggles to psychologically cope in the “real world” after they’d hung up their cleats.

Now, think about it, if you’ve played in the NFL, you’ve probably been playing football since grade school, and chances are, you were the best player on your team all the way until you made it professionally.

It is who you are. It is your identity. When the world looks at you, they say:

He’s an NFL player.

It’s understandably difficult, because when that title of “NFL player” is ripped away from you, who are you then?

Last week I put out a post on the psychology of peak performance. I’m deep in research right now for some future trainings and programs, and the more I look at it, the more I see that Outperforming, in ALL areas, starts with how we see ourselves.

Not what we do, the roles we play and the societal expectations that come with it.

Literally, who we are at the tootsie roll center of the tootsie pop.

Who we are at our core.

This can affect us in all areas. Parents lose a role when their kids become self-sufficient adults. Sons / daughters lose a role when their parents pass away (I can relate to this one). Business leaders lose a role if they change jobs or are in transition.

Defining your core beliefs grounds you in something beyond your roles and outward labels. It gives you peace and makes you a more well-rounded, balanced person.

I have no qualms with passing along good articles when I read them, and if this concept of identity and core beliefs intrigues you, I think you’ll find this article insightful.

Keep Outperforming,