The athletes competing at the Olympics are the best of the best. They train for years to reach this singular moment that may come to define them for decades to come, if not the rest of their lives.
It doesn’t matter how many times am athlete did a move or a skill in practice; to earn the hero status and endorsements they have to execute at the right time on the right stage.
Each Olympics produces surprises, like the unheralded swimmer in the outside lane who takes the gold.
These athletes remind us that on any given day, anything can happen. It’s always anybody’s game.
Each Olympics produces confirmation of excellence that we saw all along. The heavy favorite who rises to the occasion to win their expected events.
And each Olympics brings examples of athletes who had a bad day, or even a bad moment, at the wrong time. The examples of this begin before the Olympics even start. Some of the best athletes don’t make their Olympic teams because they had their bad moment at the wrong time. Others will falter on the Olympic stage.
Much will be written about the athletes who take home the gold. But we can perhaps learn more from those who don’t.
The athletes who falter remind us that perfection isn’t a standard, it’s a crutch. They remind us that they — and we — are humans, not robots.
Some of these athletes do their greatest service by showing us how to respond in the moments when our humanity lets us down: with self-compassion.
If you have a perfectionist streak and a voracious inner critic, this is a lesson worth heeding. Watch how the best in the world handle their missteps.
Human beings will falter. Self-compassion is a powerful cleansing agent.
nobody is perfect
embrace your humanity