This word can have a couple different meanings.

It can mean being found guilty of a crime, especially by a judge or jury.

It can also mean having a rock-solid belief, an indestructible trust.

This article revolves around the latter. Here are some synonyms of the word conviction: confidence, faith, creed, reliance.

In 2016, I began working with Brian Cain, a Mental Performance Coach.  During this time, my mental game grew exponentially. Brian helped me navigate through many different issues that prevented me from competing at my best when it meant the most. With his guidance I gained confidence, learned how to play to win instead of playing not to lose, and recognized my signal lights. His knowledge and wisdom helped me to become a World Champion in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.

. . . It is August 2016. I am 10 weeks out from the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Finals held in Waco, Texas.  While working out, I am listening to one of Brian Cain’s podcasts. During this podcast Brian interviews a doctor who is also a sports hypnotist. As I listen, I become aware that this is what I need – someone to tell me, to ingrain in me, that I have what it takes to be a World Champion. I am pretty sure I need to hire this doctor to help me! I finish working out and within one hour I have taken the three steps we talked about last month: Awareness – Strategy – Action. 

Awareness: I did not believe I had what it would take to win the world and I needed someone to tell me I did.

Strategy: I would reach out and begin working with this doctor.

Action: I emailed him right there in my workout room.

Please, Do Not Stop Reading Here!!!

The next day I have a Skype coaching session with Brian Cain.  I’m excited. I tell Brian what I’m thinking: “I need to work with this doctor!!” Brian discusses it with me. He does not say Yes, No or Maybe. What he does is Pause.

Now up to this time I had worked with two great coaches: Troy Pruitt and Lari Dee Guy. I had experienced those Pause Moments before & had learned that the Pause Moments are an opportunity to well, pause. Slow down, think and step back to see the situation with a new pair of eyes. It is an opportunity to get back in my lane if I strayed. It’s an opportunity to reflect, recalibrate and reengage with a new strategy. I’ve learned that Pause Moments are a quality great coaches demonstrate. Great coaches also have an amazing ability to ask thought provoking questions. During these times, I have been able to figure out the answer and connect some important dots in my journey. Great coaches will not tell you every step to take, but instead help you engage in your own journey and allow you to find lessons. Great coaches empower you to find your voice and take action. Great coaches provide great resources to help you grow along the way.

The next morning, after this August coaching session with Brian, I am listening to Amy Cuddy’s audiobook Presence for the second time.  (I had also watched her Ted Talk on YouTube.)

As I’m listening to Presence, I’m doing all my barn chores. Cuddy is telling a story about a lady learning to surf in the ocean (see Chapter 7). Cuddy explains that this lady finally stood up on the surfboard with much more success when she DECIDED to do it, once she made the CHOICE to do it. The surfer stopped doubting herself. It was the decision that created confidence for the surfer. I stop cleaning my stalls, go back to that place on the audio and listen to that part of the book again and again. This story begins to resonate deeply with me. I can sense my mindset is beginning to shift.

Listening to Presence Sparks a Flashback!

Instantly, I’m back at Lari Dee Guy’s ranch taking roping lessons. Hope Thompson is also coaching me.  Hope T. & I are bringing the calves back up to run them through again and she tells me that I’m really roping well. She says, “I can tell you’ve really been working on your roping – it shows.” I respond to Hope without letting what she was telling me register and I say, “Well, I’m working on it and I’m trying to figure it out.” Hope says, “Donene, you have it figured out; you are doing it.”

My mind shifts again as I’m cleaning out my stalls and I remember Dr. Wayne Dyer’s lecture titled “Real Magic: Making Miracles in All Areas of Your Life.”  Brian Cain had given me this lecture and I had listened to it a month earlier.  I take my phone out and replay the part of Dr. Dyer’s lecture that’s resonating with me. Dr. Dyer speaks of having a knowing – for example, to ice-skate, ride a bike or swim after years, decades of not doing it. With this kind of knowing we don’t second-guess ourselves on whether we can still do those things. We simply put on the skates and skate, get on the bike and ride, jump in the water and swim. There is a knowing and trusting inside of us that we can do it. Doubt does not enter our mind.   

We know we can! We Just Do it!

I’m standing in my horses’ paddock and the switch is flipped; the light bulb comes on for me. I realize I don’t need to work with someone to hypnotize me or tell me that I have what it takes to be a World Champion.

I don’t need Brian, Lari Dee, Hope, Troy, my husband, my kids telling I can win it. I need me to tell me I can win it. I need to have the KNOWING I can be a World Champion. I need to have the CONVICTION to be World Champion.  I don’t need anyone else to believe in me or to speak truth into me. No one can do this for me except for me. It took a Pause Moment to see my situation for what it truly is.

During the last five years of the journey leading up to winning my World Championship, I invested an extreme amount of time, effort and resources in improving my riding/horsemanship, roping mechanics and mental performance skill set. Every single day, for years, I did all the unseeingly big and small, mundane, unsexy work while no one was watching. Before my head hit the pillow each night I had an intentional 24-hour plan for the next day. Each day I executed my 24-hour plan, whether I felt like it or not. It became very apparent that “What gets scheduled gets done,” “The bigger my goal the tighter my routine needs to be” and “Feelings are not facts.” All my hard work and smart work were paying off.

The time has come; I need to believe in me and speak truth into my own life. I need to do this for me.

At this time, I realize I am the one holding me back. I finally decide, I make the choice, to give myself permission to be a World Champion. I draw a line in the sand and step over it. I am not going back to the “old me.” Even though I am not a World Champion yet, I have the CONVICTION I will become one.

When I tell this story, most folks smile – even giggle – that I had even contemplated the idea of working with a sports hypnotist. I smile right along with them. I am not discounting the service the sports hypnotist was providing. I believe he provides a valuable resource. However, I needed to stop looking outside myself for validation. Sometimes we already have the answer inside of us. I needed to look inside myself for the answer. But at that time, that was where I was at. I am so grateful for those Pause Moments that my coaches have given me.

There is an outward expression when having Conviction.

For me, it is having Big Body Language – head up, shoulders back, straight spine, a pep or “swagger” in my walk. We are all unique; it takes what it takes for each of us to get to the place where we need to be, to perform our best. An outward expression of cockiness or arrogance is not me. I am not passing any judgment. I’m the last person on earth qualified to ever do that!! However, I am saying, that’s not me.

Conviction also goes deeper than an outward expression.

I have found that conviction is that quiet confidence that resonates inside of me because I know I have done all the work; I am prepared and no one has worked harder than I have. Conviction is stepping inside the arena trusting what I have, uninhibited, free to compete my best.

It goes even deeper.

It took me a while to realize that conviction is the foundation which helps me learn, evolve and grow through adversity. Conviction is knowing that my mistakes, failures, results or lack of results do not define me as a person or as a competitor. The sun does not rise or set on whether we win, lose or get our goal accomplished on our timeline. I believe it’s very important each day to have the mindset to become the best version of ourselves. Being better today than we were yesterday. Being better tomorrow than we were today. Competing is what we do; it is not who we are! It is not our identity.

I want to encourage you to reread the previous paragraph. We have much more depth and meaning to our lives than what happens in the arena.

When we stay focused on the process and on our progression instead of the outcome/results we want, the external pressure of attaching our self-worth to the results is removed. My life began to get a lot deeper and richer once I saw my life as a journey. I believe when we continue to do the work and have the proper heart posture, the outcome we are desiring will happen. I have learned to trust the process, not rush the process.

Conviction is having a rock-solid belief of trust, down deep inside of us.

Conviction is making the choice, the decision, to do what you do because you know what to do. Trusting what you have because you are prepared no matter what situations are ahead. Conviction is competing knowing that I Got This!   

Conviction is already inside of us.

Great coaches can help us find it, but we must flip the switch on.

When have you had Conviction? A knowing or trust inside of yourself that you could do something you had not done for a while, such as ride a bike, roller-skate, ice-skate, sing a song, recite a poem, shoot a basketball, swim, ski, play an instrument. It could be anything.

I encourage you to consider what you were thinking about when you experienced conviction. My guess is you were not thinking at all. You just did it! You got on the bike and took off, put on the skates and skated, sang the song, recited the poem, picked up the ball and took the shot, jumped in the water and swam, put on the skis and skied, picked up the instrument and played it. That is what happens when we compete at our best. We just do it!

We all are unique and have different experiences and stories. It is within our stories that we connect the most. Learning from others is a great opportunity to navigate through our own journey.

I would love to hear your story!! When have you experienced Conviction? I encourage you to invest time thinking about it. All performance change begins with Awareness.

Please comment below.

When I stepped over the line and made the choice to not go back to the “old me,” my practices became more productive and I competed with conviction. I would love to help you apply the same principles and strategies I used so you can compete Your Best when it means the most.

I can help you identify the awareness you need to begin, help you develop strategies that work and hold you accountable to take the action needed to begin your journey of becoming the best version of yourself.

Also, if you’re interested in:

  • goal setting,
  • developing a success plan,
  • confidence,
  • being a savage of your time,
  • keeping process over outcome,
  • practicing present-moment focus,
  • mental imagery/visualization,
  • growing through adversity,
  • developing personal routines to help you practice and compete with consistency,
  • releasing bad performances and quickly refocusing,
  • competing your best when it means the most,

I have an amazing mental toughness conditioning program that might be a good fit for you!

Throughout this program, you will gain clarity and design your custom success plan to ensure you stay on track and make 2018 one of your best years yet!

I would love to connect with you! I can be reached by this email or you can DM me on Facebook. I will follow up with you within 24 hours.

I know how beneficial it was for me to work one-on-one with a Mental Performance Coach. Prior to getting a coach, I invested years reading mental game books and articles, watching videos on the mental game and listening to interviews of athletes, coaches, sports psychologists. I was determined to figure this mental game stuff out because I knew improving my mental game would make a huge impact on how I competed. I was very consistent and motivated in my efforts to learn all I could so that I would accomplish my goal to be a World Champion.

However, it wasn’t until I began working with my Mental Performance Coach that I closed the gap from where I was to where I wanted to be. I was learning how to apply mental game principles to my very own situations. My coach was guiding me step by step, teaching me how to apply Mental Performance Principles. Finally, it all started to make sense to me. My coach was a great accountability partner and provided me with support and guidance during the good, the bad and when the “stuff hit the fan.”

I want to do this for YOU! Working with a Mental Performance Coach one-on-one was transformational for me. My life will never be the same. I can’t see myself competing or living my life any other way.