038 - the story of "what if"


It's the most common & the biggest obstacle we see young athletes and adolescents trying to battle and overcome - the "false-narrative" they tell themselves of 'what if'

And you'd have heard of all this before, whether you're aware of it or not, as you've battled this obstacle yourself

The never-ending loop of "what if "x" happens..."

What if can be all-powerful, just like "I am" is, but it can be incredibly detrimental too, depending on what thought patterns and words are used afterwards 

And what we find is that these next generations of young athletes and adolescents immediately look for the negative. It's so much easier to conjure up thoughts about our weaknesses rather than our strengths... we can always recall past failures quicker and more often than we can past successes... And young athletes and adolescents immediately take this path...

What if I'm not good enough...
What if it doesn't work out...
What if they don't like me...
What if I fail...
What if I miss the tackle...
What if the ball comes to me in the final second and I miss my opportunity...
What if I never make it...
What if I never get the marks I need to get into that degree or course...

What if... What if... What if...

It's all uncertain - nobody can tell you the answer to those questions. In fact, nobody can tell you if they'll even eventuate... This type of thinking can be good if we use it to see that our "fears" aren't justified and they're not that bad at all - it's a stoic technique called fear-setting made famous by Tim Ferriss.

But what if we get what we focus on in life... what if we focus too much on the negatives, and then draw them into our reality?

And there's always a simple perspective shift we can take to flip this switch inside their heads, and I remember the look on young Connors face when we hit him with this in one of our latest mindset workshops...

"I'm fearful... I mean, what if I'm not good enough?", he said...

And I stood there looking at him, a huge smile on my face... "Okay, I get that. But what if you are... What if you're so good that they can't take their eyes off you? What if you go out there and have your BEST game and not your worst? What if you make those tackles, take your chances, and show your best qualities... what then?"

The smile on his face said it all and you could see the breakthrough happening inside of him. See, we never know how we're going to perform or what the future is going to hold for us. What if you fail? I don't know, the ball is in your court as to how you respond to it... you can let if defeat and define you, or you can let it teach you a lesson, and you can go again

That choice is yours. How you perceive everything is your choice too. And the story you tell yourself about yourself and what's ahead for you - it's the most powerful story you'll ever tell

So choose to tell yourself an empowering story...


Actionable Tips/Questions:

  • When I ask myself "what if", do I normally go negative or positive?
  • Do I often beat myself before I even try and tell myself a false-narrative about the future? How can I shift this, how can I focus more on the positives and putting my best foot forward?
  • Play a game with yourself to catch yourself when the negative spiral begins, and see how quick you can shift it to a positive one



 

Nick Maier