Whether I'm watching tennis players Serena Williams or Roger Federer, golfers Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson, quarterback Tom Brady or pitcher Cliff Lee, I notice how they do what they do — the mechanical and mental aspects of their performance.
An important lesson — one many of us can learn from — is the resilience of people who are at the top of their game. They have an amazing capacity to quickly recover from the disappointment and frustration of their mistakes. The best don't wallow in negative reactions or allow that I-can't-believe-how-badly-I-messed-up feeling to last for long. They take the lesson from a mistake, let it go and move on.
Often times we get stuck in hurtful negativity, reliving our worse moments and beating ourselves up about something that happened in the past. We obsess about something we said, did or didn't do that we wish we could change, but can't. Fixating on our mistakes contributes to stress and triggers feelings of helplessness. It's that helpless feeling that is at the heart of depression and anxiety. But when it comes to how we respond to our own actions and behaviors, we are far from helpless. Conscious choice is on our side. We can choose to wallow in our sorrow, or we can choose to learn our lesson, apologize if necessary, or take action to rectify our misstep, then move on smarter and better prepared to handle similar situations in the future.
We all have the capacity to recover quickly. Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process and breaking new ground. Many of us have been programmed to believe that every time things don't go as planned, there must be huge consequences. We must suffer or pay a hefty price. Not necessarily so. That is one of the LIES (Labels, Illusions, Excuses and Stories) that limit us. This is an illusion that keeps us stuck in an imaginary place that has nothing to do with reality.
The first step for recovering quickly is to...
- forgive yourself
- correct your course and
- immediately start moving in the new direction.
Doing so will not just advance your growth, it will cut down your stress and anxiety.
The next time you hit one out of bounds, make a string of unforced errors or have a mental lapse, make the conscious choice to focus on recovering quickly. Let go of self-criticism and immediately turn your attention to what you need to do to stay at the top of your game.
Shake free of the LIES that limit you with a copy of my book, LIES That Limit: Uncover The Truth Of Who You Really Are. It holds the secret to conquering your fears and breaking through the imaginary barriers that stand between you and your authentic happiness.
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