You won “Olympic” medals! Where did you place them?

blue and white round analog watch

During your life, you have also won some “Olympic games”. You might not have finished with the desired “Gold” but a second or third place also brings you to the winning stage. With the below questions, I will try to let you know some of your “Olympic” medals that have might be forgotten.

Which are your medals?

  • Achieving your license degree? This one might have been the most important medal because we go to primary school with the age of 6 years and we might finish the university with the age of 23 years old. An incredible 17 years time devoting in study.
  • Achieving a specialization? Like the well known PMP that attest the role of professional “Project Manager” and confirms that the person has the “hard skills” to run projects successfully. It might take one year to prepare and get this certification.
  • Becoming a successful parent? Being a parent is a work for life. We might be a parent since 25-35 years old and we give education, security, food, love and much more until the child is able to flight from the nest with strong wings and confidence on the future. This time might represent a minimum of of 20 years. Shouldn’t be being dad or mom your most important medal?
  • Participating in a sport event? Maybe you are not one of the 3 best athletes of your city (this might only be because you didn’t set it as a project and as a priority!) but for anyone that spend minimum effort and time to participate in one sport event, like an half-marathon, and being able to reach the finish line, in my opinion, it is worth of a medal.
  • Winning a prize? Since your childhood until now, in which competitions have you participated and won something? it might have been a school sport or class event. Or a fund rise for your scholarship or for funding your company. I’m sure that there was something that you “literally” won.
  • Getting a moment of celebrity? It could come as an interview, a published article, a participation in the radio or television. Most of us had one moment of fame. Which one was yours?
  • Acknowledgements from your boss or colleagues? I believe that all of us have done, at least one time, something good that deserved a written acknowledgement, endorsement or recommendation. You might find it easily in your linkedin, in your yearly performance review with your line manager, in your C.V. or in your mailbox.

From all the above, where are the related medals? Are they in the wall of your house or in the desk of your office? Or stored in the drawer?

Imagine that you are one of the professional athlete of the running Olympic Games and you won that desired medal, where would you place it? I believe not in a drawer. The same you should do with the above referred medals that you won. You must build your trophies museum and in the next paragraphs I will explain you why.

When we are going out of our “comfort zone” or when we are fighting for something that we desire and want to achieve, some negative thoughts rise and start to limit us. Some of those thoughts are categorized as “cognitive biases”.

Cognitive biases is a systematic thinking error approach that people makes by turning assumption, using their beliefs, experience or partial information, into a result that is interpreted as trustful.

There are several type of “cognitive biases” but for the purpose of this post I will explain few of them and select only one to answer the question “why you should build your trophies museum?”.

  • The personal bias is by thinking that when a failure or something bad happens is because of us. We tend to take the failure personally, that we haven’t done enough, we didn’t deserve it.
  • The permanent bias is by thinking that everything is ruined after you get a setback from a negative outcome of a challenge. The failure is far from being the final word. You have to keep on learning and try again. The failure is only a wake-up call and opportunity to do something better.
  • The pervasive bias is by thinking that all bad things happens to us, it is part of our bad luck and destiny. This is again a wrong mindset, It doesn’t always happen. We have to focus instead on all the times we’ve prevailed in the past.

Cognitive bias helps to understand how people make decisions. The decision can be such critical as abandoning a life project as soon a first rejection pop-up. The “impostor syndrome” is one of the reason that freeze people to accept challenges and upgrade themselves. 

You can fight all the limiting beliefs by remembering all the Olympic medals that you won so far. If you achieved in the past, then you can achieve now.

It is to fight the “pervasive bias” and the “impostor syndrome” that you must “build your trophies museum”.

Build your trophies museum

It is important to build up a visual board with all your achievements – your medals and trophies. You should also place the visual board in a wall, like a paint is on the wall of a museum – your museum. Your trophies museum will become a spiritual place for you, you should visit it every time you have self-doubts, every time the impostor syndrome tries to fear you. At that time, looking to your life medals and trophies, you will feel energized with positivity and confidence. In any of those moments of any of those won medals, on that similar journeys, you were on the same place as now, with self-doubts and every time you succeed.

Here how to build your trophies museum:

  1. Search for your trophies by answering the questions in the second paragraph of this post
  2. Print or paint the picture that will represent best the trophy. Add a sentence, that should be next to, that represent the achieved success. E.g., “we congratulate Mr./Ms. xxxxx for achieving the master degree with a note of 16 values”
  3. Take a blank page where you will glue the picture with the sentence
  4. On top of the blank page write “My trophies Museum” with your name below.
  5. Fix it in the wall.

Take aways:

” You can fight all the limiting beliefs by remembering all the Olympic medals that you won so far. If you achieved in the past, then you can achieve now.”


21-days challenge:

  • Find the moment of self-doubt and make it disappear by lifting the trophy again. See how:
    1. From your trophy museum, pick the moment that from the situation or effort is similar to the new challenge that you are facing now
    2. Close your eyes and visualize that past moment
    3. Still with your eyes closed, imagine that you are lifting the trophy that symbolizes that past moment. You have to lift as you saw in the TV how sport champions lift, feel excited and are happy.
    4. Now, open your eyes and affirm – If I achieved in the past, Then I will achieve now.  


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