Last Friday the greatest upset in professional tennis in my lifetime occurred at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.
Italian Roberta Vinci, ranked 43rd in the world, defeated top-seeded American Serena Williams in the women semi-finals.
Until the defeat Williams was on a path become the first woman in 27-years to win tennis’ Grand Slam, winning all four major tournaments in one calendar year.
During an on-court interview Vinci was asked what gave her the belief when she woke up in the morning that she could beat Serena Williams.
Her response was, “nothing, I didn’t. I just wanted to enjoy the experience of being in the semi-finals.”
Success experts for centuries have spoken about self-belief being the key to success. That in order to “achieve it” you have to “believe it.”
Vinci destroyed that success tenet.
She did discuss her success strategy, which for her situation, made a lot of sense.
She said she tried not to think about who was on the other side of the court and said something to the affect of just “focusing on hitting the ball back over the net and running after it.”
That speaks to focusing on the fundamentals.
A point I’ve made for years is that championships are won by “doing fundamental things extraordinarily well.”
So, I think we can still agree that mindset is vitally important to achieving success.
What works, though, regarding “belief” in these situations is that an individual must believe that the mindset they choose is the right mindset for them in that moment.
Imagine, if Vinci’s coach tried to encourage her to recite affirmations about believing she could beat Williams.
Vinci’s subconscious mind would have rejected the suggestion and would have distracted her from focusing on the fundamentals.
Five years ago I created a process called “active affirmations,” which seems to be similar to what Vinci applied in her monumental victory. I’ll elaborate on “active affirmations” next time.
Please leave a comment below. Tell me what you think and continue the conversation.
’til next time Communicate With Power!