So, it’s in all of our best interest to think positively, and to look for the positive in everything!
“So, that’s it huh? Just think positive and I’m good.”
Not so much. I mean, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could always think positively, regardless of what life throws our way? I think it would be, but unfortunately that’s not quite how it works. Adversity, challenge, hardship, and struggle are and will always be a part of our lives. But here’s the good news, we do have control over how we choose to respond to the struggle. Adversity can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It’s up to you how you choose to view it and use it!
Your soccer career, your relationships, your school, your job, and absolutely everything you get involved in will have its ups and downs. They will all have their own unique stressors and challenges. Now, it’s easy to stay positive and believe in yourself when everything’s going right. However, it’s not so easy to do those things when things aren’t going right.
Here’s a real life example to better illustrate my point:
You hit a ‘slump’ in your play, which causes you to lose belief in yourself and your abilities. I’ve been there, for sure. It’s more common than you think. I see it at the Professional level all the time. But why does this happen to us? Maybe it’s because we expect ourselves to be perfect? Maybe because we hold high standards for ourselves and it discourages us when we don’t rise to those standards?
But is anybody perfect?
Correct, no human being’s perfect. In fact, we all make too many mistakes to count. Doesn’t it seem like we all understand this? Then why do we get so frustrated and discouraged when we make mistakes?
In soccer, mistakes will always happen. And there will be cycles and seasons where you’re not at your best every day. It’s vital that you continue to remain positive and optimistic. Sometimes, when you go through times like these, you begin to doubt yourself. You let external factors around you affect the way you think about yourself, how you feel, and how you act. You begin to second guess everything. You hesitate with your passes because you’re unsure. You’re too careful with your shot because you’re so focused on not missing. Your first touch is off because you’re thinking about it too much. You can’t let your mistakes go and you stew in them. All of this causes increased self-doubt and contributes to your lack of confidence. It can be a vicious cycle if you’re not careful.
Ever experience any of these things? Yeah, me too. Still do at times, even as a professional!
Nobody wants this. We all want to be able to play ‘free’ of self-doubt, as it truly hinders our progress and growth. But the self-doubt creates fear in you. And this fear ultimately deters you from doing or trying the things you need to do to succeed!
“Okay, Brandt, this sounds great, but HOW do I silence my self-doubt?”
Here’s what I got for you:
Think about what you think about. Be aware of what kind of thoughts you’re thinking and when you’re thinking those thoughts. When you’re aware of your thoughts, only then can you work to recognize and then change the ones that don’t serve you. Think about what you think about. Recognize when negative thoughts come into your mind, and then work to replace them with more positive and constructive thoughts.
Positive Self-Talk. I referenced this in one of my earlier blogs, but positive self-talk is a phenomenal practice that can help you silence your inner critic that’s always bringing you down. You can only think one thought at a time, so when you’re talking to yourself in a positive way, you must be thinking positive thoughts.
Positive action toward your goals. This puts the mind AND body to work. When you take positive action towards your goals, you’re not only getting better mentally, but physically as well. When you’re actively moving towards your goals, you’re gaining confidence, experience and resilience. All crucial factors in eliminating self-doubt.
Bottom line, work on talking to yourself as opposed to always listening to yourself. You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can always control how you respond to what’s happening to you!
You are made to be great! Think it, see it, feel it, believe it and then achieve it!
Charlotte F.C. #13