The other day I was playing a very competitive game of pickle ball. My teammate and my opponents were REALLY good. I'm pretty good too but I was making a lot of mistakes; hitting balls into the net, hitting it out, missing easy shots. I was costing our team a lot of points. You know what else? I was silent.
But it sure as heck wasn't silent in my head! I was saying a million things to myself and most of them weren't very nice. And then we lost. I'm a Mental Toughness Coach; you think I would know better!
The good news is, I noticed. I noticed I was quiet, I noticed it was noisy in my head. You know what else I noticed? I felt heavy, burdened. That heaviness was making me slow, making me hesitate, the burden was causing doubt. I also noticed it was all about me. "What's wrong with me? Why can't I make that shot? I bet my teammate thinks I suck."
Most of all, I noticed I was disconnected from my teammate. Between games I checked in with my teammate. "When things don't go well, I tend to internalize. I go quiet on the outside even though I'm steaming on the inside." She listened and then mentioned the word energy. Energy is something you can feel. And I realized when I became silent, I was blocking the energy. I wasn't allowing it to flow.
Energy is meant to be shared. It connects us to others, just like the old movie ET.
I decided to SHIFT and the next game I pointed out every time she did something well. I told her it wasn't a big deal when she made a mistake. I made eye contact between points. I celebrated when something good happened. And when I made a mistake, I still made eye contact. When I made a mistake, I continued to communicate. When she told me my mistakes weren't a big deal, I allowed those words in, rather than blocking them out. I SHIFTED and allowed the energy to flow. And then we won. Was this the only reason we won? Nope. There are many factors that go into winning and losing. But I know, FOR SURE, when I stopped blocking the energy, I felt lighter, quicker, more willing to go for it. SHIFT is a powerful word. Use it next time you internalize, go quiet, and are self-focused. It will allow that magnificent force called energy to flow freely. Want some help with that? Join me for Mental Toughness Master Class, starting August 6. It's three workshops for your entire family and the cost is $149 CDN. Save $50 if you sign up before July 15.