Like millions around the world, I was glued to my television set in early August watching the Olympics from Rio. But I missed something, and it might have been the most important “event” of the games.
It was Laurie Hernandez saying to herself, “I got this,” before mounting the balance beam in the event finals. Can you imagine the wisdom of a 16-year-old to boost her confidence like that before one of the biggest moments of her life – the Olympics?! For someone like me, who lived a life of “what if?” as a teenager and well into my adult life, I was blown away by those three little words.
You can watch the moment here (it’s awesome!).
In this age of social media, Laurie’s moment of truth went viral, yet I didn’t hear about it until I watched Ryan Seacrest interview her after the gymnastics competition had ended. My jaw dropped, yet Laurie seemed so natural about it. She knows her abilities and she understands that to do her best, she needs to believe she can be her best. And she’s not afraid to show the world she’s confident (a moment of Laurie winking at the judges also went viral).
I’m calling this my “life lessons for a 50-year-old from a 16-year-old” moment.
It is important to remember that Laurie was the youngest member of “The Final Five,” as the group of five dazzling gymnasts Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian and Laurie named themselves. Teammates Gabby and Aly were already Olympic champions from 2012 and, coming in to the games, Simone was the odds-on favorite to win not one, not two, but five gold medals (she went home with four gold medals and one bronze; amazing!!). Yet there was Laurie with the confidence and self-esteem of a seasoned professional claiming, “I got this,” for the world to see.
Laurie went on to win an individual silver medal for her balance beam routine to go along with her team gold medal. Yep, Laurie, you got it for sure!
I’m looking forward to seeing Laurie perform this evening on the season premiere of Dancing With The Stars on ABC. True to form, when Laurie met her partner, professional Val Chmerkovskiy, she went for it: “So, we’re going to win this thing, right?” I believe she’s got this. By George, I think she’s got this!
I’ll be watching closely to see if she says, “I got this,” before the music starts.
Do you have a phrase you repeat to yourself to boost your confidence? Or a ritual you do before an important meeting or phone call? If so, please share in the comments below. I’d love to know. I learn a lot from others, including talented, smart teenagers like Laurie Hernandez.