Dealing with Uncertainty in Sports
There is a lot of uncertainty in the world of sports right now, and even when sports are operating in a normal way, within sports there is a lot of unknowns, which is part of the beauty. For most people they try to deal with the uncertainty through other people or things outside of themselves, this is what they do to build trust. Trust is super important for dealing with the unknown and uncertainty, but it needs to come from the inside out. We need to develop self trust in order to really be able to handle things. Self trust is knowing that you can adapt and overcome anything that comes your way. That you will figure it out.
How to Develop Self Trust
There are a number of ways to develop self trust, through reliability, accountability and integrity. However, for this post I wanted to hone in on one way in particular. The reason for this is that I find this one thing to be a major factor in self trust, most athletes and people I work with may be good with being reliable, accountable and have good integrity but this one thing often is what is impacting their level and ability to have a healthy level of self trust. This one thing our judgment and in particular how this comes through in the way we talk to ourselves. If you think about how you speak to yourself, would you speak to another human being that way? Or if someone else spoke to you in that manner how would it make you feel? Yet we speak to ourselves and judge ourselves in a way we wouldn’t want anyone else to judge us or how we wouldn’t speak to others.
Jar of Marbles
If you think of trust like a jar of marbles, and each time you talk to yourself in ways that help build self trust, for example “I will figure this out”, you get to add a marble to the jar. When you speak to yourself in ways that are negative, and judgmental you are eroding the trust you have with yourself, and thus taking a marble or two out of the jar. The amount of trust we have with ourselves comes down to how full that jar is of marbles. If you are building yourself up through how you speak to yourself more so than you are tearing yourself down, then you will have more marbles in that jar. For some clients I even have them get a jar and actually put marbles in it, to create a more concrete representation for them.
Trust must come from you. If you want to get through uncertainty and the unknowns and feel good about yourself and your ability to do so, then you must look within. The rest is noise, and only gives you a potential brief moment of trust, before it can change due to what someone says or does. Use the time you have right now to your advantage and look within and build the inner trust you need to succeed long term.
To your success,
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Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction)
Masters General Psychology (with distinction)
Sports Hypnosis Certification
Muscle Activation Techniques Certification
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