The importance of not letting things cloud your perspective

We are in the beginning of summer, for some this is your off season a time to prepare yourself for the next year, for others this time of year is right in the middle of your season. No matter where you find yourself during the heat of the summer the perspective you bring to your game and life is important to how you will ultimately perform.

Lots of things happen to us that aren’t very pleasant, from the small things, like a parking ticket to the larger ultimate sorrows. We have a choice though on how we deal with them. Those who choose to look at things in a positive way expect good things to happen and see setbacks as temporary circumstances.Those who choose to look at things in a negative way expect problems to occur and setbacks as the norm. For these people positive occurrences are temporary and will be paid for later on. One of the important things to know is that being positive does not necessarily mean being happy. Sometimes positive things are not fun, they may help us grow and develop into the people we are today, but are not things that we would ever want to go through again. The positive outlook recognizes that in difficult times there are dangers but also opportunities. Being positive is about acknowledging the danger while choosing to focus on the opportunity.

Thoughts, feelings, and images that you experience color how you view the world in dramatic ways. Picture first thing in the morning looking through a clear glass of water. Each experience during the day can change the clearness of the water. For example, you hear your favorite team lost again and it upsets you even just a little, its like a drop of ink in the water. Then you get a bad test or are cut off in traffic. Each experience creates another drop of ink in the water so by the end of the day, the water you are looking through is no longer clear but haze. The only thing that has changed over the course of the day is your perception.

Skills to help

1. Reframing

It is a cognitive skill used to consciously identify the opportunities in apparently negative situations. It is taking an apparent negative situation or failure and reframing it into a positive or opportunity. Everyday life gives us all kinds of information, “ I have a competition this weekend and I am feeling nervous about it,” “I didn’t get enough sleep last night and now I am tired for my game,” “the coach doesn’t like me,” “I am not good enough to compete at this level,”. We choose the style of frame we bring to the situation. There are tremendous opportunities when we look below the surface of some negative opportunities. Are the opportunities better than if the situation had never occurred at all? Of course not, but what ever did come into the picture has happened, it is now about making the best of it.

2. Positive Self Talk

You can’t expect to be the heckler in the crowd at you own performance and expect to be successful. Imagine for a second if you spoke to other people the way you sometimes speak to yourself. Negative messages create what we don’t want. Think of all the negative things you sometimes say to yourself, is it really what you want?

Confidence doesn’t happen over night, you are not going to wake up one morning and boom the confidence you have been waiting for arrives. Confidence is acquired by choosing to program yourself for it

3. Affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements that stand for what you want. They describe the behavior, feeling and accomplishment that you are seeking. Kind of like pre-programmed self talk. For example, “I step onto the field with confidence, enthusiasm and a laser like focus.”

Final Thought

Controlling and directing the way you choose to view the world, from a positive and empowering perspective, is considered a prerequisite to high performance. For some of you this will come naturally, for others this will be harder to come by, regardless a positive outlook is essential to the highest levels of performance and health.