Wednesday, July 01, 2015

But Not For Long

I've got a secret weapon for mental toughness.  

The lyrics of a very popular song from B.o.B. featuring Trey Songz includes a phrase could be the most valuable mental conditioning tip you can have for dealing with adversity.

"But not for long."

Every athlete and performer makes mistakes and experiences errors during practice as well as during games and competitive events. Mistakes are part of the game, and there is no such thing as perfection. You can always do better, and you can always improve. Problems occur when errors weaken an athlete’s confidence and mental focus. Successful athletes are able to let go quickly after a mistake. 

When you focus on a past mistake, you create noise in the system, you increase mental distraction, your mindset becomes negative, and this can erode and destroy mental toughness. The negative self-talk we tend to get into after a mistake distracts us from the focus and concentration we need to achieve our best performance.

It is quite easy to get into a negative frame of mind, dwell on mistakes, and focus on failure.  We all do it to some extent.  We can get caught up in negative self-talk.  However, we need a way to get back on track.  We need a way to re-focus, to re-boot as quickly as possible.   

"I'm having a bad day."  

"I'm playing badly."  

"My opponent is making me look bad."  

"That was embarrassing."  

"I'm not ready for this."  

"This isn't working." 

"But not for long."

Try to be aware of your negative self-talk.  Try replacing your typical negative self-talk with this phrase:

"But, not for long."

Give it a try.  This is a great way to increase your mental toughness and improve your emotional resilience.  Let me know how it goes.   

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