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  • sarahdraht

Death Ground Strategy





The most irritating thing I have heard from people is ‘just believe you are a world champion’. ‘just believe’. Okay. That’s the end goal. But how do I do this? What is the ‘how’?


I feel like this is something that is deep inside us, a voice we push down that tells us perhaps we won't be able to do it. And I have it, and I think it's important to address. Because I know it's not just me with that doubt, it's human nature. That doubt is there to keep us safe and protect us from failure, to protect us into not trying at all.


Well, let me talk about these goals first, I use the world champion because it is quite an extravagant one I feel, and one that is very close to me.


Is it crazy to set a goal so high?


When I have studied everything about goal setting it is always saying to create goals that can be obtained (there is an absolute time and place for this, sure).


But, if I am always setting goals that I know I can reach…Aren’t I robbing myself?


Human nature has shown that when put under intense pressure they have been able to rise to the occasion. One of the most interesting strategies taught in Sun Tzu’s Art of War is the “Death Ground Strategy”. He states that when an army is placed on death ground, such as no bridges to retreat, mountains and rivers behind them, the army will summon superhuman spirit to fight and eventually succeed.


Sun Tzu observed this with his army, whenever he would send them into battle with no possibility of escape, the army would conjure up the courage and spirit necessary to defeat the enemy because they have no choice but to fight and survive.


There are many examples in history that has proven Sun Tzu’s Death Ground strategy to be accurate.


If I set goals that I know I can absolutely reach, I will rob myself of the opportunity of rising to the occasion. Doing whatever it takes to reach that goal. finding ways to make it happen, and putting the pressure on myself to create the 'Death Ground Strategy' (for me registering for tournaments give a deadline, etc)


I am learning the end game of the goal is very exciting but it more about who I become and how I evolve more than even the goal itself. For this training camp it has caused me to tighten up my time, self-discipline, diet, and structure even more. Easy to say, incredibly difficult to do. A constant battle against myself in my mind.


So, in short. No, it isn’t wrong to set goals that seem way too high.


For sure there is a time and place for small goals.

In the same way there is a time and place for massive goals.


I know I have a good goal because before I realize it, it is changing who I am. I know a goal is worth achieving not because it is hard, but because it demands a better version of myself every day to reach that goal.


It becomes about the journey just as much (if not more) than the goal. And who I am becoming on the way.


How do I believe that I deserve to be a world champion? Being told 'Just believe' isn't cutting it for me anymore, I had to look at it a different way.


Interesting question, and a very raw and true question. The answer is, it is completely normal to feel that I don’t deserve it, or maybe that I can’t even achieve it.


The answer? To continue setting up my life in such a way that a world champion would have their life set up. It is common sense to figure out. To make decisions a world champion would. Getting up earlier, more yoga, better nutrition, etc. To make every day decisions that I believe a world champion would make.


With these decisions the success comes.


With this success is the most important of all, that I begin to prove to myself that I can do it.


And this is how I begin to believe it.


I don’t know how you are going to move forward in the next while, But this is going to be my work for the next year.


*I actually listen to Niyi Sobo (sports motivation podcasts) podcasts that helped with some this dissection and realization of. Free podcasts and I recommend him.

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