After the initial zeal of a new project or endeavor wanes, we turn to RESPECT to reactivate our willPower. With RESPECT, we bow to the duration and the discipline inherent in mastery or…a new way of being. We don’t ask the tree to grow faster, we RESPECT that nature takes time to grow. If, within ourselves, we could take a similar stance…respecting the process of growth and mastery, it would be easier for us to stay the course and achieve.

In any endeavor (athletic or otherwise), the element of RESPECT will quell the detrimental forces to your willPower. Forces such as fear, fatigue, doubts, and impatience. Bring into mind your current calling and let’s build up your RESPECT.

1. RESPECT the code. Whether this is a dress code or a code of behavior, respect the qualities it brings out in your practice. Qualities such as precision, sportsmanship, and a mental or physical state of readiness.

2. RESPECT the process. Any type of mastery has a process. A process of learning, developing, expanding…a process of training and growth. The thought of the finish line excites us, but, with RESPECT for the process, we assign equal importance to every step on the path toward it.

3. RESPECT the incubation period. This is where we detach from the how and the eventual outcome. We stay the course even on the days where there is no noticeable improvement or gratification. We let the bread rise in the oven without constantly opening the oven door to check on it.

4. RESPECT the greats. Get historic. Study others who have paved this path before you. Watch a movie or read a biography. Go to an event where they are competing or performing. When we immerse ourselves in the sport or endeavor, we start to connect to it internally. While technological advances have “changed the game” so to speak, there is still much to learn from the words and acts of our predecessors.

5. RESPECT the sacred ritual. Whether it’s the lacing up of your shoes, the cleaning of your equipment, or aligning your water bottle on the barrier before you embark on practice, make it ceremonious and meaningful. Use the time to mentally switch into your modus operandi.

6. RESPECT the rules. When fatigue or impatience sets in, you may be tempted to cut corners or “bend” the rules in your favor. With reverence for your calling and the ripple effect of karma, honor the rules and play fair.

7. RESPECT the science. From watching film to taking an online course, stay on top of your game with the mind of a practitioner and the attitude of a perpetual student.

8. RESPECT the competition. Downgrading the competition only downgrades yourself. Rise instead in the comradery of your shared passion and wish one another well. There is room for everyone to be successful. Nobody can take away from your lessons or your experience…without your permission!

9. RESPECT your body. This means fueling it well, resting it well, and… speaking to it well. Fixating on your weaknesses with a critical tongue triggers resistance and trauma within you. Your body responds to what you say, so be vigilant about the words you utter.

10. RESPECT your coaches. Whether this is a traditional coach or an advisor of sorts, defer to his/her expertise and perspective. Realize that others can see us and our situations in ways we cannot. And, they will certainly perform better when we allow them to do their job!

For more on RESPECT, read Secure your oxygen mask first.

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit