The Lakers eliminated the Warriors last night. Stephen Curry points out that being a championship team is a fact that is eventually proven or not.
“No competitor believes [you’re done] until you’re proven you’re not a championship team. And that’s what getting beat in a playoff series is.”
If you don’t win the championship team, you’re not a championship team that year.
Belief can take you a long way…
Steve Kerr: “We came close to recapturing what we had, but we didn’t quite get there. We didn’t feel like a championship team all year, but we had the guts and the fortitude to believe.”
…just not all the way.
Here’s how belief comes up as a creator.
Encouragement helps you get started. Knowing something is possible is a start. Roger Bannister inspired people by breaking the 4-minute mile, but no one was couch-to-4-minute-mile the following year. All the runners who broke it the year after that had running experience.
Experience solidifies belief.
From “Growing Gills” by Jessica Abel:
In our individualistic society, which says that “believing in yourself” is both a sign of strength and an innate trait rather than a learned skill, wanting outside encouragement may feel “weak.” That dynamic is one of our biggest shame triggers-because it feels like a sign that you’re not cut out for this, and that you’re not the independent free spirit you wish you were.
But you can’t talk yourself into self-belief. To own that confidence and feel it authentically, you have to repeatedly act in a way that builds up your trust in your own creative impulses over time. In other words, you have to make your work.
In “The Creative Habit”, Twyla Tharp writes about how mastery means you can start a new project with optimism.
More than anything, I associate mastery with optimism. It’s the feeling at the start of a project when I believe that my whole career has been preparation for this moment and I am saying, “Okay, let’s begin. Now I am ready.” Of course, you’re never one hundred percent ready, but that’s a part of mastery, too: It masks the insecurities and the gaps in technique and lets you believe you are capable of anything
There’s a different type of optimism knowing something is possible because you’ve seen other people do it (which is good too) vs. knowing something is possible because you’ve done it in the past.
In “The Creative Act”, Rick Rubin writes about how belief can backfire. The belief that any project will be the defining project of your career can be motivating. But it can push you toward perfectionism
It can be a sudden loss of faith in the project. Deciding it’s no longer good enough. We find flaws that don’t really exist. We make inconsequential changes. We sense the distant mirage of some better creative option that hasn’t been discovered yet. And if only we just keep working, it might arrive someday.
When you believe the work before you is the single piece that will forever define you, it’s difficult to let it go. The urge for perfection is overwhelming. It’s too much.
In 2019, Klay tore his ACL and KD tore his achilles. It was the career-defining run for the Warriors. That was the end.