There was once a tennis player named Nick. He was an incredibly talented athlete with a fierce competitive spirit, but his negative self-talk often got in the way of his success.Whenever he missed an easy volley, he would berate himself with phrases like “you idiot” or “I can’t believe you did that again.” His coaches and teammates tried to encourage him,but nothing seemed to work.
One day, Nick decided to hire a new coach. He discovered Nick’s self-criticism was rooted in his past experiences. He had been criticized and put down by others before,and now he was doing it to himself. He now understood that this behavior was only making him weaker and ruining his chances of success. He decided it was time to change.To improve his opinion about himself, with the help of his coach keeping him accountable, Nick started implementing three easy tips.
The first was to be aware of his self-criticism and look for a solution instead of focusing on the problem. Whenever he caught herself saying something negative, he would stop and think about how he could improve in the future. For example, instead of saying “How stupid was that?” he would say, “Even the best players make mistakes. I just need to take a deep breath and focus on my routine when I’m striking my volleys.”
The second tip was to write down things about himself that he was proud of. Nick started small, listing things like brushing his teeth regularly and eating healthy. As he continued to write, his opinion of himself began to improve, and he started recognizing his own worth.
Finally, Nick learned to separate himself from his negative thoughts. He realized that his mental criticism was not his true self, and just acknowledging that fact gave him great relief.
As Nick continued to implement these three tips, he found that his self-criticism began to fade away. He started winning more matches, and his confidence on and off the court soared. He became unbreakable, no longer held back by his own negative self-talk. And the world was a better place because Nick was able to share his incredible talent with the world and become the role model for many young people, unencumbered by self-doubt.
Nick learned that whatever we consistently think about, becomes our reality. And sometimes it takes a new coach, a friend, or someone who cares, to remind us and keep us accountable.
Author, Business Mentor and Coach