We want it all or we think we have nothing!

11 03 2009

Shaun GoodsellIf you spend any time at all listening to people talk about their lives you will notice very quickly that not too many people are at peace with their lives. It is also true that talking to young athletes reveals that not many of them are satisfied with their performance. I think there is a correlation here worth exploring.

Why is it that peace and contentment leading to satisfaction and fulfillment is so hard to acquire? I think the answer to this question has many levels of explanation. In this article I do not want to explore meaning and purpose but, I would like to talk at a very practical and basic level. I think many of us set ourselves up for stress, frustration, disappointment, and failure because we want it ALL or we think we got NOTHING! In the athletic sense we go into competition expecting unrealistic success, impact, and results only to find that the other competitors have similar goals and ambitions resulting in most walking away believing they failed or played poorly because they didn’t achieve ALL that they could or should have. The end result is a sense of failure and feeling frustration and disappointment.

In many cases this is completely avoidable by exchanging an ALL or NOTHING mindset and expectations for realistic expectations that can lead to a greater satisfaction and peace about your contribution and performance. Here are some examples of realistic expectations:

1. I will try to stop 75 percent of the shots instead of 100 percent
2. I will seek to make one out of 2 baskets.
3. I will workout 4 days a week instead of 7
4. I will try to play my hardest 80 percent of the time.

If you experience very little fun or sense of accomplishment, start by looking at how realistic your expectations are. How do they compare to the realistic expectations above? Creating expectations that eliminate the words always and never is a good first step to helping yourself avoid unnecessary inner turbulence that steals from the opportunity to experience the joy of participation and contribution to a team or individual sport.

If you would like more information on this topic or to discuss setting realistic goals, please contact us at Shaun@MentalEdgeNow.com

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