The Internet is full of wonderful motivational quotes. If our success was based purely on implementing exactly what we see in those quotes then we'd all be mega-successful. Many of those quotes are based on visualising success - on seeing ourselves as being successful, behaving as though those things are a fatal-completes.
Two of the most common quotes are the one in the image - what matters most is how you see yourself and to act like the job you want not the job you have.
In the corporate world these quotes often cause more problems than they create the next Donald Trumps. Imagine a waiter acting like the restaurant owner ? Well while he's doing that who's actually serving the customers?. It's not about pecking order but rather about developing the skills and experience at a given level before progressing to the next level.
And therein lies how it relates to Triathlon (or indeed any sport). It's not uncommon to see athletes behaving like they are Pros (or at least how they think Pro's behave) - strutting about and going on about their 'sponsors'. The trouble is that, like the waiter, they focus more on behaving like a Pro and forget about the basics.
A simple rule is "Know Your Place"
It's great to have aspirations to be a Pro but at any given time you are where you are. It's not uncommon to hear athletes say to their mates "Yeh - I'm a sub 10 hour Ironman". In their mind they are the lion in the mirror but their race results and tests mean they are, in reality, the kitten.
And therefore need to do what the kitten needs to do to become the Lion.
A fourteen hour ironman needs to do what a fourteen hour ironman needs to do to become a thirteen hour ironman. An eleven hour ironman needs to do what an eleven hour ironman needs to do etc. Theres no point the fourteen hour athlete spending all their time doing the sub-10 stuff if they haven't yet developed the basics.
A simple task is to look at your last 3 results relative to the field. That is where you are at NOW. You may be able to come up with an excuse but an excuse is really just something you havent developed yet. It was hot ? It was hot for everyone - some people have just developed the skill of dealing with it whether that be a physical or mental skill. Frankly drop all the excuses and just look at the data. THAT IS WHERE YOU ARE AT. Then, like our 14 hour ironman, look at what THAT athlete needs to do to make the next step. Yes it may be boring and not 'glamorous' but it is what someone of YOUR level needs to do.
Dreams and Goals are important and great motivators but unless you know your place you'll never achieve them.