“Always believe in yourself: Just go out there and have confidence — and
you can achieve anything.”
Olympian Gabby Douglas
“We saw the fire that she had for it and the passion.”
Gabby’s sister Arielle
Gabby Douglas, the gymnast who captured America’s heart when she won not one but two Olympic gold medals in London, knows a lot about the importance of believing (see also Hard Days). She’s a petite dynamo with a million-dollar smile and tons of energy. She and her family also had to overcame tremendous odds in order to make her Olympic dream a reality. Watching a Lifetime feature film on her story* wasn’t just entertaining, it was inspiring and instructive. Here are a few takeaway tips we can all use:
Create an energizing motto: In the movie, Gabby and her family create a vision board together — a board on which they pin pictures of the wonderful things they hope to bring into their lives. At the top of the board they tacked up an uplifting motto: “Today should always be better than yesterday.” I love that! Why not create a personal vision board to inspire you? And come up with a motto that reflects your writing aspirations? Mine is, “Onward, with velocity!”
Believe in your believers: When Gabby was training in Iowa for the Olympics, the rest of her family was 1200 miles away. About six months before competing in London, she became so homesick that she wanted to quit. But her family and friends rallied around her and convinced her not to give up on her dream — and the rest is history. So when you’re feeling low or discouraged, instead of giving in to those feelings, find support: Turn to the people who love you and believe in you — let them boost you up until you feel strong again.
Be focused, but relaxed: At one point in the film, this is the advice that Gabby’s coach gives her. Too much intensity, too much wanting can make you choke. A “focused, but relaxed” attitude fosters both concentration and creativity. It’s also how we feel when we’re “in the zone” — when we’re giving something meaningful to us our full and fulfilling attention. Write on!
* Thanks to the great Anne Alworth for telling me about this film!