Soaring high like an eagle

Memories of the Olympics for me as a child was of Zola Budd, the South African sprinter winning races with no shoes. I didn’t know there was a winter Olympics, and I certainly hadn’t heard of Eddie the Eagle. It’s taken thirty years for Eddie to enter my radar and I’m so delighted to have met him at a Nottingham event. For everyone, Eddie’s story will be moving, but for someone like myself who coaches individuals to achieve their dreams, it was pure inspiration.

Eddie wasn’t born a natural athlete. He had continuous problems with his knees which would’ve held many people back. Not Eddie, the dreams he created as a small boy provided the stimulus he needed to overcome setbacks and plough on ahead, against all odds. After meeting Eddie, I rushed home to watch the film where I gleaned the full story (apparently about 98% is all true), and I believe there are a few lessons we can learn from Eddie in helping us achieve our dreams.

Visualise the goal: Eddie decided as a small boy he wanted to compete in the Olympics. It can be easy to let one or two disappointments throw us off course, but for Eddie, the pull to compete was so strong, he persevered, approaching the goal from different angles and eventually overcoming the barriers. When our goals are well defined and truly mean something to us, we can be creative in how we go about achieving them.

Engage your supporters: In our quest to achieve our goals it is not unusual to come across the sceptics; those that step in our way, damage our confidence and throw us off course. For Eddie, there were many who believed he couldn’t succeed. However, there were also those that supported him, believed in him and provided the reassurance he needed. Our supporters might change as our quest develops, but don’t try to go it alone. Engage the support from different members of your family and network, specify how you might need them and allow them to challenge you and keep you on course when the going gets tough.

Understand what success looks like: For Eddie, he didn’t want to win at the Olympics, he just wanted to compete – that was enough! All goals should have a series of milestones and an end so you can measure your progress and celebrate when you’ve achieved it. Not knowing when you’ve succeeded is often enough to leave you disillusioned and throw you off course.

Mindset: After watching the film the one thing that resonated with me was Eddie’s positive mindset. Crashing down 70 ft. ski slopes, getting battered and bruised might be feedback most people would take as the reason to throw in the towel. Not Eddie, he believed he could learn the techniques and make the jump – and he did. He seemed to have a glass half full (of milk) approach to everything he did, and that can sometimes be all we need to achieve our goals. Getting our head in the right place, practising positive self-talk and looking for positive stimulus to reinforce our commitment will only work in our favour.

Just a few reflections, but certainly someone to be reminded of when the going gets tough. Your goal might not involve throwing yourself down mountains, but if you truly want it and believe it, you can achieve it. Eddie has shown us it can be done!

If you need support in achieving your goals, getting the right mindset and building self-belief, I can help. Do give me a call on 0115 880 0098 or email