Texas A&M was down 12 points last night with just 44 seconds left in the Men's NCAA Tournament against Northern Iowa. And they won. I have seen some amazing comebacks in my life, but this is actually being called the greatest last-minute comeback in NCAA Basketball history.
This display of resilience and belief in themselves when no one else thought it was possible was absolutely incredible. Imagine the situation as if you were part of Texas A&M: you come in as a #3 seed and are expected to contend for a spot in the Final Four. Instead of playing the #6-seeded Texas Longhorns, you get #11 Northern Iowa to go to the Sweet 16. However, throughout the 2nd half, you play from behind and struggle to get anything going. Before you know it, instead of Final Four hopes, you are down 12 points with 44 seconds left, with rational odds telling you that your season is over. How would you describe your attitude at this point?
The Texas A&M Aggies NEVER GAVE UP. "We weren't ready to be done. We just kept trying to make a play," Aggies' senior leader Alex Caruso told reporters. To mount this kind of comeback takes incredible belief in yourself and your team, a level of unrealistic thinking that most people write off or are afraid to adopt. This is the attitude that can take your life to special levels of achievement and fulfillment. By just adopting this kind of thinking, you are separating yourself from the pack and enabling the possibility to accomplish things most people cannot- because they do not believe it is possible. Even though Northern Iowa did everything wrong in the last 44 seconds to help Texas A&M put together this 220 comeback, I do not believe many teams, if any others at all, could have mounted this comeback. You cannot control everything, but you can always control your attitude and your effort. The Aggies' collective attitude and effort when the game seemed all but lost enabled them to take advantage of those mistakes made by Northern Iowa. Their attitude and effort allowed them to take advantage of the opportunities presented that others would not have been able to seize.
The key takeaway from this post is to adopt a level of self-belief that feels uncomfortable. It should feel uncomfortable because others, including yourself, will question that level of confidence and conviction at first. But if you block out the doubt, and combine that self-belief with perseverance and resilience, you will place yourself in a position to achieve absolutely anything.
Think about the last time you gave up on something, or the last time you set a goal and then lowered your expectations for that goal. Revisit that moment, and ask yourself: "Why not me?" "What if I could?" Then, if you can get to this point, say "I will. I will achieve my goal."