Yet most agree that Kyrgios has the talent to be No. 1 if he showed the same dedication to his sport. But Kyrgios is at pains to explain that he likes a drink and cannot always be bothered to turn up to practice. Many interpret this as laziness or lack of commitment yet it provides a very easy excuse as to why he is NOT No. 1. For many it is easier to accept a failure that results from deciding not to take part, than to accept a failure that might result from inadequacy. At the moment he can enjoy the star status that he could be ‘the best’, but he cannot seem to engage with the work that would take him there. A psychologist might say that he fears not being able to reach the top and thus engages in this self-sabotage, rather than it being due to disinterest.
I am not in a position to know which explanation might be closer to the mark but it does highlight a pattern we see in many potential stars in organisations too. Those who fail to try to reach the top-flight not because they are not able, but because they cannot stand the thought of weaknesses being exposed and losing their reputation on the journey. The high performer who does not apply for the next promotion because of ‘family commitment’ or the young superstar who says he really can’t leave his current department to work on that high-profile project. Both might be trying to maintain their current star status, rather than risk potentially losing it.
The key for such situations is to understand what might be happening and to face the discomfort that the next level brings. Growth into new areas always brings the possibility of failure at that next level, but until you try, you will never know.
Who do you know that might fear failure so much that they fail to try at all?
What does that person need to understand and appreciate?
What do they need from you?