We all have the little voices/thoughts in our head. Those voices that tell us good things – and thoughts that can also hold us back or hold us down. What do you do with them?
Some of those voices are good for us. Those voices and thoughts that are positive and affirm our worth. Some of us also struggle with those negative thoughts that hammer our self-worth.
Although I have not had any issues with low self-esteem nor have I had to battle depression as some of you might. I am NOT familiar with those struggles, but I am aware that they are REAL.
However, allow me to share a story with you that happened to me this weekend as it may shed some light for you and maybe give you some ideas on how to approach these little voices!
I play tournament racquetball.
I am an average player right now. A year ago I was tired of losing matches that I thought I had the talent to win. Taking nothing away from those opponents that beat me, I knew that I was not playing up to my potential. So this past year (2016), I set a goal to get in a lot better shape physically and get some coaching on my game.
This past weekend, I was playing in the same tournament that I played last year where I made the decision to make some changes to improve my performance and move toward my potential.
One of the negative voices in my head was that “you always lose in the first round”. This time, I counter attacked those voices with thoughts of “I am going to go into this first round and WIN“.
Against a tough opponent.
BOOM! Victory #1.
Then – the thoughts were: “Ok – now what…you have to play an even better guy, you will just lose now.”
Game #2 – I tell myself that I am going to win this next match and make the semi-finals.
BOOM! Victory #2.
So – now I am in the semi-final against a guy who I have watched play the last several years and KNOW that he is really good. UGH! Now I am really fighting the negative thoughts that I can’t beat this guy. I am telling myself – “Just go in there and play your game, John…just do it. You can hang.”
I win the first game – 15-10.
OK – “John, just go in there and do this…win game 2.”
He beats me bad – 15-4.
Now we play the tie-breaker to 11.
He goes up on me 6-1.
The voice in my head is saying, “Well, at least you made it to the semi-finals. That is good. You’ve never done that before.”
I tell myself. “I am so close to the final! I can do this NOW! Stick to your game-plan…keep doing what you did in the first game.”
I tie it at 7-7.
I lose my serve but hold him on his serve.
I go up 8-7.
Then he goes up 10-8.
I am on the verge of losing.
I am screaming in my head louder than the negative voice – “I can do this! I can do this!”
I get to 9-10.
“I CAN DO THIS!”
I tie it at 10-10!
“I CAN’T BELIEVE I am this CLOSE!”
The negative thoughts: “He is going to swipe this right out from under you.”
He is serving for the win.
I hit a great shot to win my serve back.
WHEW!….”I CAN DO THIS!”
It is my serve for the win.
He returns my serve………
His return shot is a shot right in my wheelhouse…
I kill it and WIN!!!
Things that I learned from this EPIC breakthrough:
- Talk to yourself more LOUDLY than the negative thoughts!
- Be more persistent with yourself with the POSITIVE thoughts.
- Don’t even acknowledge the negative.
- Distract yourself from the negative with more positive.
What are some of your struggles in this arena? How do you deal with them?
btw…I lost in the final. (It wasn’t even close…so I would have needed performance enhancing drugs to win that one!) BUT – my frame of mind was in a great place, though!