The Power of Dedication
In 2022 Katie Boulter, upset the centre court stage with a 2nd round win against the former world No1.
But what was more impressive was that in the post match interview she announced how she was dedicating her performance to her grandmother, who had died 3 days prior.
Sydney Mcaughlin, world record holding 400mh and olympic gold medalist, dedicates her performances to her religion.
The New Zealand rugby team perform the Haka before each match in a display of dedication to their ancestors and others that have walked before them.
What is dedication?
“the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose.”
While we could focus on the task component of this definition. I’d argue that that doesn’t usually give enough motivation towards actually carrying it out.
Most of us lack the motivation to be commited to a task alone.
Nor can that task give us the energy and confidence to do it under pressure.
Therefore, I want to focus on the purpose component.
Something bigger than yourself or the task.
When we dedicate ourselves to a purpose bigger than ourselves, it helps us feel less alone in a situation. As if there is someone or something behind us, guiding us.
Perhaps you dedicate to a loved one, and when faced with a decision you think “what would they do here?”
Maybe it’s a community and you would think “what would they want me to do?”
This helps us feel more motivated towards our goals or in moments of pressure because we are performing in honour of them.
How does dedication help?
Helps inspire us to action
When we’re dedicated to a cause, it gives us the inspiration to take the action that we need to go after our goals.
It’s easy for us to let ourselves down, but when we know that we’re doing it on behalf of others, we rarely want to let them down and so it can be the inspiration we need.
Helps you stay motivated
Once you’ve started a journey, keeping motivation is the tough part. Maybe it’s a diet that you give up on a little easy. Maybe you’ve hit a run of poor form in your sport, and feeling like you want to give up.
When you’ve dedicated yourself to something bigger, you work that little harder, you face challenges with a bigger ‘why’ behind you.
Helps us not feel so alone
Dedicating ourselves to something bigger than ourselves, especially other people (either an individual or group). We can imagine them there with us, making the decisions alongside us, rather than feeling alone.
Helps you make decisions
When we’re faced with a decision, we sometimes stress over whether we’re making the right one. But through dedication, we can ask “what would they do in this situation?”.
Again, we don’t feel as alone, but we also don’t feel as though we are the only one making that decision.
It can guide us towards the ‘right’ decision based on an assumption of what would make them proud.
Where can I find dedication?
I lost a teammate of mine in 2016, Matthew, and after that it galvanised our team into playing games in honour of him – even my boots have MH19 written on them to act as a reminder.
While yours may not come from tragic circumstances and the loss of someone, you can aim towards the people or groups that you currently have in your life and dedicate to them.
When you’re under pressure it can be a very individual experience, even lonely.
As humans we feel good about ourselves when we’re giving to others.
So the next time you feel yourself getting caught up in the stress that may feel so narrow, go wide, and look towards something greater than yourself.
It’s where we can begin to move from Me to We.
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