"I'm gutted" - (Or why I believe the @TheNotoriousMMA had already lost before he entered the Octogon yesterday)

/// THREAD ///
A professional MMA fight took place in the Yas Marina island yesterday between two of the best fighters in the lightweight category: Connor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

One is Irish, the other is American.

One is loud, the other quiet.

One lost, the other one won.
I don't know much about MMA, but I've spent several years studying and researching what constitutes the core psychology of peak performance. This eventually drew me to Connor McGregor's figure some years ago (and made me follow his latest match against Poirier).
A bit of context: the last time these two clashed was in 2014 when Poirier was an established player in the lightweight division, and McGreggor an aspiring champion.
At that time, the MMA world wasn't as popular as it is now, and only the charismatic persona of McGregor made the sport somewhat mainstream.

The 2014's Poirier vs McGregor match was an important milestone for the Irish fighter, who only needed 2 mins to demolish Poirier.
That match inaugurated McGregor's realm, who has shown off his charisma and personality on and off octagons and rings.
Yesterday, 7 years later, they both rematched.

Yesterday, 7 years later, Poirier won.

So what happened?

Why did the underdog triumph against a rival that inflicted him a lot of physical and psychological damage back in 2014?
Positive shadow integration (or lack thereof) is what happened.
See, as Jung said, every human carries a shadow that comprises all the aspects of their personality that are deemed shameful, unacceptable, and ugly. These can be envy, jealousy, hate, fear, pride, desire for power, or trauma incurred in childhood and usually kept hidden.
Think of the Shadow as a "dark side".

While all people carry a Shadow, not many know how to integrate it within themselves successfully. Those who do have a massive advantage over those who keep theirs under the rug.
Top performers aren't some robotic beings who have eliminated the sense of guilt or anxiety from their lives, who seem fearless and immaculate. Top performers feel all those things, even stronger than the average person, but learn to use them to their advantage.
Instead of a drag, their Shadow becomes a lever.

Successful shadow integration originally was a crucial element in McGregor's ascent to fame (he channeled his pride, envy, and lust for power through intelligent risk-taking and relentless dedication to the craft).
He became a double champion in the MMA through his self-belief's irrational power, predicated mainly on his ability to create a success story that was as powerful as it was unlikely.
No Irish had ever mattered in the fight game, and few people from his Dublin neighborhood "had ever amounted to much". He transmuted the anger of an underfitting childhood into fuel for a powerful mission.
After Mayweather defeated McGregor in 2017 (and rightly so), the Irish's Shadow nevertheless seems to have grown past his ability to control it. It has turned him into a self-promotion machine that lacks the same work ethic, spirit and track record it once had.
The unique allure McGregor once had is now gone.

What he once said we would allow happening ("the external overpowering the internal"), seems to have happened.
On the other hand, the successful integration of the Shadow that allegedly grew within Poirier after McGregor first demolished him in 2014 is what has kept him in the game all these years (turning him into a Champion), waiting for a chance to revenge.
Yesterday, Poirier got his chance.

He didn't waste it.

This short story proves the point of this email: high performance is predicated on leveraging all emotions, both good and bad, for your purposes.
Using whatever life throws at you to serve a sense of mission that is vertically-coherent with who you are, who you want to be, and who you share your journey with.

If every fiber of your being isn't aligned to where you want to go, you'll eventually fail.
It is just the way it is.

All high performers know this.

Especially the two that fought yesterday in Abu Dhabi.

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