What We Can Learn from a “Quitter” Like Simone Biles

August 6, 2021

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On this week’s podcast episode, Crystal is talking about what Simone Biles’s decision to withdraw from the Olympics can teach us about manifestation, self-alignment, and the power of mindset.

Note: Below is a transcript of the podcast, edited for readability. This content was intended for audio and may contain errors.

Crystal Irom: 

Hello. Hello. Hello. It’s Crystal here. I want to talk about something currently going on and give some different insights in terms of manifestation, subconscious, and just really creating what you want. So right now as I’m recording this, it is August 1st of 2021 and the 2020 Summer Olympics are going on. Simone Biles, just a few days ago, pulled out of the team gymnastics event. If you’re not familiar with Simone Biles, she is the most decorated gymnast of all time. She is obviously representing, or not obviously, she is representing the USA in the Olympics currently as she did in 2016, as well. And I want to just talk about a couple of things that have come up that I think will be applicable in all of our lives, even if we’re not world-class gymnasts.

What Keeps People From Manifesting

What a lot of people struggle with, probably 99.9% of people, part of the reason that they are not able to create what they desire in their lives. We can talk about it in terms of setting a goal and reaching that goal or we can talk about in terms of manifestation, in this context, it’s going to look the same. The reason that most people do not manifest what they want in their lives is because they don’t keep going. They stopped too soon. And this is something that is such a challenge because when you really want something, you’re like, “I want it now. What do I want to wait for? I just want it now. I want it to be here now.” And when you are making moves towards it and it feels like maybe it’s not working, what comes into your head is”Maybe it’s not working. Maybe I’ll never get there.” And we can go and go and go and if we don’t see the evidence that we’re going to create what we want, we stop.

Or another way that this shows up for people is they go to a certain point. Okay? So I’m going to talk about money for a second and let’s imagine your bank account. So this is a very common thing that I see for people with money, is that we have an upper limit and a lower limit. So you earn a certain amount of money. This is specifically someone who has money that fluctuates. If you work in a normal salary job, this probably happens a little bit less, but the feeling is the same because you can work in a normal salary job and still have months that feel tight or months that feel more abundant. But if you work for yourself, own a company, or you’re a marketer or something like that where you’re generating your own income, it’s going to be very easy to see this. You will have an upper limit and then you have a lower limit. So the lower limit would be like, “Oh my gosh, there’s not enough money in my account. This is really stressful.” And people are going to have different minimums, different low points.

For some people, it’s zero. They don’t stress about money until there’s zero in their account. For some people, it’s going to be a few hundred dollars. For some people, it’s going to be a few thousand dollars. For some people, they’ll be like, “Once there’s $200 in my account, it’s like, “Ooh, this is not enough.” For some people, it’s going to be negative. They say, “Once my account is overdrawn $32.” That’s their lower amount. Maybe it’s more than that. Maybe it’s once their account’s overdrawn $300. Whatever it is, people have these lower limits. Maybe for yours, it’s your rent amount. Maybe that lower limit is $1,500. Let’s say maybe your rent is $1,300. So once you reach a point where you think, “I could just pay rent and not really have much leftover, that’s my lower limit.” Once you reach that lower limit, it’s like, “Okay, now I got to make sure I bring in more money. Right?

It’s either, “I’m going to bring in more money or I’m going to manage my money more carefully,” something to make sure the amount in your account goes back up. We all have an amount that we will not go beneath and it can change over your life. There may have been a time where you would go negative on your account. Now you wouldn’t imagine going beneath zero. Maybe there was a point where you wouldn’t go below zero and now you can’t imagine going beneath $2,000. Whatever it is, it changes. Maybe there was a time when you couldn’t imagine going below $2,000 and now you can’t imagine not having a hundred thousand dollars in your account. Whatever it is. But then there’s also the upper limit. Once you reach this lower limit and it’s like, “Okay, I got to figure things out, I got to manage things better, I got to work harder,” whatever it is until you reach some amount where you feel really comfortable and it’s like, “Ah, safety. This feels good.”

But then there’s an upper limit where it’s like, “Once I make this much, I stop.” So I’m just going to pick some numbers here. Let’s say that your lower limit is a thousand dollars. Okay? You do not like having less than a thousand dollars in your account. Your comfort is $3,000 and your upper is $5,000. Let’s say your account goes to $800 and you’re like, “Oh, yikes. This is not enough. What do I need to do? What do I need to do? What do I need to cut back on? Where do I need to work a little bit harder? How can I bring in some extra cash?” So you go up past that $800 and then you go to a thousand. Now you’re past that lower limit. You feel a little bit better. Then it’s $1,200, $1,500, $2,000, $2,500, $3,000, ah, $3,000, that feels better. And then you keep going and it’s $3,000, $3,500, $4,000 $4,500. Then you get to $5,000 and it’s like, “Ooh, that’s plenty. That’s more than enough.” And you stop.

You stop all the things that were getting you to that $5,000 mark, all of the saving that you might’ve done, the managing that you might’ve done, the work that you may have been putting in. You’ve done enough. So you just stop. And then it goes all the way back down, back down $4,500, $4,000, $3,500, $3,000, $2,500, $2,000, $1,800, $1,500, $1,300, $1,200. Now you’re starting to feel a little bit tense again. $1,100, $1000. And we creep back past that lower limit of $1,000, $989, $950, you’re starting to get really uncomfortable, $935, $920, $812, and you’re like, “Oh, yikes. This doesn’t feel good.” And you start doing all of the things that you know to do to bring that money back in. It doesn’t matter what the numbers are. You can add a zero on to all those numbers, you can add two zeros onto all those numbers, you can take a zero away from those numbers, it’s the same pattern. And this is what most people do and this is what keeps most people from creating what they want is they go up and down. They do not keep going.

For most people, making the shift into creating more of what they want would be just continuing past that place that they’re used to. So instead of being like, “Ooh, $5,000,” it’s, “I’m going to keep it going. All of the things I did to get me from that $900 to $5,000, I’m going to just keep doing them for another one a week or another month or a few more months.” That’s most people’s problem, is they have these up and downs, and I am not excluding myself. This has 100% been my biggest problem in terms of growing in my career, and my business. These ups and downs. This, “I’ve done enough. I’m going to slow back down.” And we can see that a lot of people struggle with this. This is 99% of people. This is what their problem is. If we put this in terms of manifestation, part of the struggle is that when we are manifesting something, the majority of the manifestation is completed before we can see it. The majority of the manifestation is completed before we can see it.

So we’re looking for our manifestation to show up in our experience. We want to see it and we’re thinking, “Because I don’t see it yet, clearly it’s not working. It must not be getting any closer. It’s probably still really far away and it’s really frustrating. I give up. I don’t want to do it. I’m never going to get there.” Right? So in the example that I’m speaking of, where we talked about going from this $900 to the $3000 to the $5,000, let’s say that the goal, the thing that the person who has this as their pattern, what they want to manifest is $7,000. They say, “In one particular month, I want to manifest $7,000.” And they’re feeling like it’s so far away. I’ve had all these months where I’ve reached $5,000, but it seems like it’s just never going to happen. It feels so far away. But when we are talking about it, the pattern is really clear and it’s like, “No, what do you mean? You’re so close to $7,000. You went from $900 to $5,000, you’re the majority of the way there. You’re almost there, but you stopped.”


Why Most People Do Not Create What They Want

We often think of manifestation as two different points – where I am right now and my manifestation is in this other place. It’s either there or it’s not there. I have the thing or I don’t have the thing. Until we have the thing, we just are focused on the fact that we don’t have the thing, but it’s not really true. Manifestation is more like a road where you’re going to get the majority of the way there until you’re there. If you’re going from Michigan to LA, you have to pass through Illinois, Indiana, and the Plains. You have to go through Iowa and Nebraska. You go through so many different places. It’s like looking at any other place, if you’re focusing just on where you are, you’re like, “Well, I’m still not in LA.” But you can get all the way from Michigan to Palm Springs and once you’re in Palm Springs, you’re just over an hour from LA, right? You could have gone 32 hours from Michigan to Palm Springs and you’re still not in LA. And this is what most people do. They get to Palm Springs and then they’re like, “I’m never going to make it. I’m still not there. I give up. I’m going home.” That’s what most people do. And that is why most people do not create what they want.


Is Simone Biles One of Those People?

Now, why am I sharing that? Because Simone Biles is not most people. For you to manifest what you want, it’s going to be about going that much further, taking a few more steps to get where you need to be, holding the energy of what you’re creating just a little bit longer, holding the vision. Simone Biles is not 99% of people. She does not need to go two more steps. That is not what is blocking her. The reason that this was even something that I was compelled to speak about was that I saw a post that expressed a sentiment that many other people also held. And I was so struck by this and how wrong it was. I could not hold back. So here’s the post that I saw.

It said, “As a professional life coach, I can absolutely say that Simone Biles represents everything wrong with about 90% of those born after 1995, coddled, fragile, and raised without coping skills. Being a champion requires a top-notch mindset and hers obviously falls short. Watch Kerri Strug’s last sport in ’96. Now that is champion bad-ass.” There are so many things wrong with this sentiment. I don’t even know where to start. Simone is a champion. That is indisputable. She is the most decorated gymnast of all time. There are so many moves, the hardest moves in each of the different things that she does are named after her. So this idea that she doesn’t have a strong enough mindset is just not at all the truth. This woman’s mindset is so powerful and it’s really interesting because she’s making this comparison to Kerri Strug, and there’s actually a follow-up post, which I’m also going to read.

“Little Kerri Strug hears a snap, tears two ligaments in her ankle, her entire career, all the training comes down to this moment. She could have hobbled away injured seeking sympathy, but no, she goes again. Second vault, operating on pure adrenaline, sticks the landing and represents the United States of America as the most bad-ass country made of grit, determination, and mental toughness. All good, fragile, stressed out, Simone Biles, you can’t hack the pressure. Step aside and let someone who can step up for that glory. Your mental Olympic game is shit.”

This comparison to Kerri Strug is so interesting to me because Kerri Strug was an Olympic gymnast in the ’90s who was phenomenal. She was absolutely incredible at her sport. She was amazing, amazing, amazing. And I don’t think anything should take away from what she did, what she accomplished, her talent, her athleticism, her dedication to the sport. She is amazing. She was amazing. And what this woman is referring to was the last time she competed in gymnastics. This was not a woman who was saying, “I don’t care what I’ve been through. I am committed to finishing this strong. I am going to vault again because that’s what’s aligned for me.”

No, this was a scared little girl who was pressured into doing something she knew wasn’t right for her. She was saying to her coaches, “Do we really need this? Do we really need this? Do I have to do this?” This was not someone representing badass. This was a scared child who felt like she had no choice. She felt like she had no choice and she gave into the pressure and that pressure ended her career. She gave into the people around her who were saying, “You have to do this. What we want, this desire for gold is more important than you, more important than what’s good for you physically or mentally.” And she gave into that. And I am not saying, “Oh, she shouldn’t have given into it.” No, she was so young. She was a kid. She was a kid and she was getting this pressure from these men who clearly do not care about her.  All of these men running this sport, these coaches, these abusive doctors, these trainers, they went on to have long, long careers years after one of their athletes’ careers ended. Multiple athletes of those careers ended.

And this is the problem with this mindset because it’s like Kerri, as the athlete, as the talent becomes disposable. She becomes expendable because a few years later, there will be another one. So not only is that a horrific example, but she was not making a choice. She was a victim in that case.  She was a victim and she was forced to do something that she did not want to do, that did not feel good for her. And she paid the consequences for it. She paid the consequences of other people forcing her into something that was not her choice. So this interpretation that she was a badass, yes, she was a badass. She was immensely talented, she was amazing, but not in that situation. She was hurt, she knew she was hurt, and she kept going because she gave in to the pressure of people that had nothing to lose. It was her loss. Okay? So she won the goal, but was it worth it? For what? To what end? What was the significance of that?

So she represented bad-ass to whom? Probably not to herself. My best guess is that she didn’t want her career ended then. At what? 16, 20 years old? Kerri, because she was an American, was used as this example. But this is just one. There are so many other girls like this who were in a similar position. One of the most famous stories is of a girl named Elena Mukhina and she was a Soviet gymnast. She had been practicing and she was injured and she had to be put into a cast. This was before, I want to say, the 1980 Olympics. She was put into a cast, needed time to heal, and her trainers were pushing her to get back and to start practicing. She needed to be ready for the Olympics. Her doctors took off her cast. She was begging them, “Please don’t take it off. I’m not ready.” She was not ready. So she gets the cast-off. She’s not fully healed and they start training her. She starts having her conditioning. And not only does she have her regular training and conditioning to prepare for the Olympics, but because she’s been out, they want her to lose weight. She’s too heavy. So now she has to be put on a weight loss regime in addition to the already brutal, unbelievable training that she’s experiencing. And she knows that she’s not ready. And she was doing a move at the time that was extremely dangerous. I’m not enough of a gymnastics specialist to break it down, but it was very dangerous. It was easy to have a very slight misstep that could really hurt you. And she was saying to her coaches, “I don’t want to do this. I’m going to break my neck. I’m going to break my neck.” And her coach said to her, “Athletes like you don’t break their necks.” And during one of her practices, she does the move, she makes that slight misstep and she lands on her chin and she breaks her neck. And she’s a quadriplegic for the rest of her short life.

This young woman said that when she was laying on the mat now aware that she could not move any part of her body, the first thing that she thought was, “Thank God I don’t have to go to the Olympics.” She died at 46 from complications of her quadriplegia. Again, this wasn’t an example of a woman in her badassery. Was she a badass? One hundred percent. She was an immensely talented, extremely dedicated athlete beyond what I will ever fully comprehend. So one hundred percent, she was an absolute bad-ass. But doing that move, at that particular time, was that an example of her badass? We know that was an example of her caving into pressure of people around her who were not ultimately concerned about what was absolutely best for her. She was surrounded by people who wanted to win at all costs. They wanted to win. That is what they cared about. They wanted to win, they wanted her to be prepared to win, her victory was their victory. And that was what was most important.

This girl became a quadriplegic and her coaches and trainers went on to continue having long, lustrous careers. Simone withdrew from the Olympics. She’s the most decorated gymnast of all time, she is the world champion many times over and pretty much every event, she is an Olympic gold medalist, and she pulled out of the Olympics. And people are calling her quitter saying she let go of her team, saying that her mindset is not up to snuff, that she is weak, that she is fragile, and I don’t see that at all. I see a woman making a choice that all these other women before her did not feel they could. This woman is so deeply in her sovereign that she is able to be like, “I don’t give a fuck. I know what’s best for me.” And here’s the thing, I don’t actually think she doesn’t give any fucks. I think she gives many, many fucks.

I think she cares immensely. I think that she had all sorts of voices in her head saying, “You can’t do this. You’re going to let so many people down. What are people going to say? You’re never going to get another deal. You’re never going to compete again. You’re a champion. How can you do this?” The fear in her I’m sure was on overdrive. “You can’t do that. That’s not what people like you do. You got to tough it out.” That’s what the fear voice sounds like. “What if people are really mad at you? People are going to have so much to say. They’re going to be so disappointed. You’re never going to get another sponsorship again. What if you never get to compete again? What if people think that you’re a bad sport? What if they say that you let down your team? What if your teammates hate you? What if your parents are disappointed in you? You’re letting down your whole town, you’re letting down your whole city, your whole state, your whole country, the whole world is going to be let down. You can’t do this.”

I don’t doubt that she had that voice in her head saying all of those things, telling her, “You cannot do this. You can’t do this. This is not what athletes like you do.” And she had to say, “This is the choice that I have to make for me. Nothing and no one outside of me has power over me, and my mind and my body are telling me, “Stop. You have to stop right here.” And she could have all of the fear and all of the doubts and all of the concerns, and she had to pull up every bit of her strength to say, “I am on the world stage. There are millions of eyes on me and I am doing what’s best for me. I am protecting myself because if something happens to me, I am responsible for the consequences of that. No one else. If I have an injury that changes my life, that is on me. I will live with that. And that is what I am more afraid of. I am more afraid of that than the judgment from any other people.”

I am more afraid of doing something that does not serve me. I am willing to let people go. I’m willing to let people down, I am willing to face disappointment on a global scale, on a scale that few people will ever understand. I am willing to accept that I am not willing to let myself down. I am not willing to harm myself. I am not willing to do something I am not ready to do.” The amount of sovereignty that it takes to do that, to say that, to face that, oh, absolutely next level. Anyone wanting her to compete when she did not feel ready for what? To what end? We’re so used to people giving up what feels right for them to please others. And she was like, “I am not for your consumption. I do not exist for your entertainment. I am a person. I am a sovereign being and I am making the choice about what is right for me and my body.” I’m getting choked up talking about this because this is something that we are so not conditioned for.

We are so conditioned for women, in particular, to do what’s best for other people, not to let anyone down. “Whatever you do, do not disappoint other people, do not let people down. Don’t be a quitter.” This is not a woman who has been coddled. This is not a woman who was fragile. This is not a woman who was raised without coping skills. This is a champion. Oh my God, this woman is so strong and so powerful, and to have the wherewithal to be willing, to let down so many people, to be willing to face the scrutiny and the ridicule she will inevitably face for her decision. She has a level of mental toughness I will never know in my life. The vast majority of us, 99% of us, will never know. It is just laughable to me people who are so far from her level criticizing the choice that she is making for her. But what’s powerful about what she’s doing is that she’s now laying the path for the women and the girls who come after her to say, “Yes, this sport is important to me. Yes, I am dedicated to being the absolute best. I am committed to excellence. I am committed to winning and my commitment to myself is greater than anything else. Nothing and no one outside of me has power over me and certainly not a medal, not a title, not the glory of excelling in my sport.”

This woman is a champion. She’s a champion so many times over, what does she need another medal for if she can not face herself? I don’t understand the argument. What does she need the medal for? What for? For people saying she let down her team, it’s not fully on her to carry the team. It’s a team. Obviously, she’s committed to her team, she’s been devoted to her team, and I just feel like it’s completely inappropriate and unfair to make the team’s victory completely reliant on one person. I think that Simone has a level of emotional intelligence and mental fortitude that we can all really appreciate and look up to you, because she’s not like most of us.

She does not have the problem that most of us have. For most of us, the problem is we need to keep going. That is not something she suffers from. She does not need to keep going. She has to be willing to say, “This is where I stop. This is what I stand for, this is what I will and will not do.” And that’s what she did. She clearly has a vision for her life and she is taking responsibility for fulfilling that vision. And when she was able to look at what she wanted to create in her life, she was able to say, “I’m willing to sacrifice this medal, I’m willing to sacrifice this competition because I know what I want for me. And the potential danger that arises if I step away from that, well, that is something I will not face.”

She is laying a path for the other girls and women who follow to step into their own sovereignty to be willing to say, “My mental health, my physical health, my own safety is more important than what other people want from me, what other people demand from me, what other people think they are entitled to,” because that’s the truth of it. People think that they are entitled to something from others. We are not entitled to anything. We’re not entitled to anything. She wasn’t entitled to the gold and she’s not getting the gold. She wasn’t entitled to it, but we are not entitled to her. We’re not entitled to have her compete. There’s a whole other part of this conversation that I’m not going to go in-depth into because I don’t feel like I’m the person who is best equipped to speak on it. But I do think it bears mentioning because I decided to record this podcast. I read the post, the post that I was speaking about, I read it last night or this morning and I was really fired up about it.

And I was talking to Kobi, my husband, and he said something that I thought was very telling. He said, “I probably don’t need to ask, but the woman who wrote the post, was she white?” And I said, “What do you think?” He said, “Definitely.” I said, “Yes.” And it was just an interesting observation for him to make and it makes sense. It’s not a surprising one. And I said to him, I said, “Why do you think that? Why would you say that?” And he said, “Because she wouldn’t have said that about a white athlete.” And I said, “Why do you think that is?” And he said, “I think that a lot of people still have in their mind that black athletes and black entertainers are still meant as performers. They’re meant to perform for us.” And first of all, I was like, “Kobi, my brilliant husband.”
I was very impressed that he understood that, that he took that in because that’s definitely something I see.

And I think that there’s a long history of this idea. I mean, I don’t think. I know this. I know that there’s a long history of this idea. It’s a very interesting component. Like I said, it’s not something I’m going to go in-depth into, but it obviously bears mentioning because I don’t think you can take that aspect out. The other thing that’s really interesting is that what I’ve seen from a few people, I’ve seen a couple of comments about how it would be more understandable if she had a physical ailment. If she had hurt herself, it would be more understandable than if she was dealing with mental issues.

And I think it’s a clear indicator of how far people have to go in terms of accepting mental illness, mental blocks, and the role that our mind and the mental aspect play into things. Going back to Elena Mukhina, one of the things that she said to her coach was “I’m going to break my neck.” And he said to her, “Athletes like you do not break their necks.” And it’s an interesting thing that she said and it’s an interesting comment that he made because what he’s saying is, “You’re a world-class athlete. You’re one of the most talented women alive. You have trained for this for so many years. Your athleticism is unparalleled. It’s not going to happen.” But what you believe and what you think, creates your reality. It has an impact on your reality, and it can not be discarded.

So did she want to break her neck? No, that’s not what I’m saying. That’s not what I’m implying. I’m not saying she manifested, that she created this, she wanted this. No, God forbid. But the fact that she believed that she could break her neck meant that she could break her neck. And maybe a month before or a year before, or even on a different day, that wouldn’t have been the case. But if she felt like this is a possibility, that this could happen, then it could happen. When you’re doing something that is so mental, that requires a level of focus and concentration, then fear or doubt is going to stop you. And what people are overlooking about Simone having a mental block rather than a physical injury is that her mental blocks can lead to physical injuries. And obviously, if she’s competing, then a broken ankle will stop her, but the amount of injury that is possible is immense.

Elena was paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of her life at 20 years old, and Simone doesn’t want that. Everything she does when she is competing is insanely dangerous. And here’s the problem with us as spectators is that she makes it look easy. They all make it look easy. They get up on these apparatuses and it’s like, “Oh, I could do that.” No, you could not. No, you could not. These are the most talented, dedicated, hardworking athletes in the world. You could not do what they do. And they make it look so easy that we forget that they are literally defying death, that a misstep could mean that they have broken their neck and they die. This is not about breaking your ankle or twisting your wrist. Even though those are injuries that could stop their careers, this could be a matter of life and death. And if she feels like, “I am scared, I could really get hurt. I could kill myself,” then she could really get hurt. She could kill herself. And that’s the bottom line. She does not have to do that. She is a sovereign being.

She gets to make a choice and it’s disgusting that people think that she should not be able to. And that through so much of the history of this particular sport, girls and women have not felt like they’ve been able to make a choice. They’ve received so much pressure from people that they trust, that they’re supposed to trust, who they feel like have power and authority over them, that they have not been able to make those choices. So I love that Simone made this choice for herself. That she decided that what she wanted for herself and that what she thought was best was more important than what anyone else might say or with anything else that could have happened. For most of us, we’ve got to keep going. For most of us to create what we want in our lives, we have to keep going. But there’s always going to be those people where that is not their problem, where they do not need to keep going, where they really need to know where to stop. So I hope that this served you well. I hope you took something from this.

This particular episode is one very much from my heart. It’s very present on my heart and mind right now, and I’m proud of her. I’m proud to be an American. I’m such a patriot. I always feel proud to be an American when I’m watching the Olympics. It does something to me, I get very emotional about it, and certainly, America has more than a couple of faults, but that’s not what I’m focusing on at this moment. I think she was a fantastic example. I think she has been, and I think she will continue to be an amazing example of a champion and I’m proud of her. I’m fully behind her and I hope that this different take in terms of what it truly looks like to be sovereign, to be willing to stand up for yourself despite what other people may think or say, I hope it really serves you well. So that’s all that I have for today. You’re amazing. I love you, and I will talk to you again soon.

In the meantime, make sure to check out some other episodes like The #1 Way To Speed Up Your Manifestations




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