• Jeff Butorac

Inner Rival and the Two Wolves

Have you ever heard the fable of the two wolves? If not, here it is.


An old grandfather is telling his grandson a story. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said.”It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One is evil — he is anger, envy, greed, arrogance, resentment, lies, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good — he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The wolves are fighting to the death.

Wide-eyed, the boy asks his grandfather which wolf will win. The old grandfather simply replied, “The one you feed.”


This is one of my favorite stories because it is so accurate for our lives. Especially for athletes and performers. So much of your mindset, the way you feel, and how you perform is based on the way you speak to yourself.


You see, everyone has an internal voice that is constantly speaking to them. And often, if you’re not careful, that voice will be negative and fearful. This is because we needed to have that mindset back in the days of our ancestors in order to survive the harsh environments. It has gotten us this far, but we don’t have the same type of obstacles and dangers that were around back then. Today, and especially in the world of performing it has become important that you know how to silence that inner negative voice and bring out your confident and strong inner self. This is what I call, silencing your Inner Rival.


Your Inner Rival is the voice that will be keeping you from achieving the goals you have set for yourself, creates fear and doubt when your put into situations out of your control, and will make you focus on things that you don’t have control over such as the past, future, and what others think or do. To get the most out of your life, you want to do your best to silence your Inner Rival and bring out your Inner Champion.


This is not an easy thing to do, because the voice is constant. Your Inner Rival will always be there challenging you as an athlete and performer, whether you are a youth athlete just starting out or a world class athlete preparing for the Olympics. Your Inner Rival will always be creating doubt and trying to find ways to make you crack.


Don’t ever fear your Inner Rival, instead take the challenge of silencing it and pushing yourself to new heights. Remember, the Inner Rival will get stronger if you feed it, just as the bad wolf would, so make sure you are feeding the positive wolf and work to silence your Inner Rival.


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