I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about life and I keep coming back to this concept of perspective. It's becoming more and more clear to me that perspective is super important. The outlook we have about situations can affect how we think, feel and behave.
For example, some see setbacks as a negative, some see them as opportunities for growth. Perspective.
Some would see losing a job as a door closing, others might say one door had to close so another could open. Perspective.
Fear of failure? How about embracing challenges. Hate making mistakes? How about accepting mistakes as necessary steps to learning and improvement. Hate traffic? What about a reminder to slow down sometimes. Perspective, perspective, perspective.
This concept comes up a lot in the work I do with clients. What is another way to view the situation? Is that perspective helping me or hurting me? If it's more harmful, why not change to a perspective more useful! I'm sure you've heard of the analogy, "The glass is half full or the glass is half empty." Which side do you tend to lie on? I'm more of a glass half full kind of person overall, but I definitely have my days where that glass is half empty for sure. And that's normal. As long as I can eventually get myself back to the glass half full side.
Positive perspectives can help us approach a situation, challenge, or experience with energy, motivation, and balance. Negative perspectives can leave us with fear, anxiety, and low motivation towards a task or experience. To me the choice seems an easy one, to choose a positive outlook. But I know it's easier said and done.
So here are some tips I follow and share with my clients:
Ask yourself these questions...
Why do I have this perspective?
Is this perspective useful?
Is there another outlook that would suit me and this situation better?
An exercise I like to do myself and with clients is called Bad News, Good News. It challenges us to look a situations from another perspective. For example, let's say I was late to a work meeting. I might say, the bad news is that I was late, but the good news is that I know what time to leave next time.
Here are a few more examples of how to use the Bad News, Good News exercise:
The bad news is that my serve in tennis went way passed the baseline. The good news is that I know what adjustments to make for my next serve.
The bad news is that my friend had to reschedule our hang out for tomorrow night and I was really looking forward to it. The good news is that we are going to meet up a few days later instead!
The bad news is that practice was cancelled today. The good news is that I can use this time to train my brain!
Give it a try and see what you think! Challenge your perspective when you feel it's too negative or has a debbie downer feel to it. Once you get the hang out of, I think you'll like the affects it has on your life!
Until next time.....
How do you define success?
Is it by winning? By beating another? Is it by achieving your goals? This is a question that every athlete, coach, parent, employee, employer, and performer should ask themselves. I think most of you would agree that confidence is a major component of performance. High confidence can result in high performance, and vice versa. How you define success can have an affect on your confidence level.
Let me explain.
If you are the kind of person who measures success by winning and losing, you are probably very disappointed with a loss, which in turn affects your confidence and motivation. Because you’re so caught up with losing, you’re missing out on the many positives and opportunities for growth that come along with it.
Try this: Adopt the mindset that it’s WINNING AND LEARNING not winning and losing.
Taking a step back to recognize that there are positives that come along with losing can have an important influence on your confidence level. Changing what success means can change everything, and give you a better perspective about outcomes. You can and should be learning from every experience, win or loss, triumph or setback. Michael Jordan has a great outlook on success...
"I've missed more then 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
Don’t get me wrong, everyone wants to and should want to win, but winning doesn’t have to be everything. If success is defined only by winning or other external factors, most of us are probably disappointed a lot. Such wonderful growth can come from losing. Winning is a byproduct of many other things like preparation, effort, and hard work. Even when we do those things, we still may not win. So try not to get caught up in the notion that winning means success. Success comes in many shapes forms, and our definition of success is a choice.
Over the next week, take some time to evaluate how you define success. Ask yourself what’s most important to you. Winning? Beating others? Achieving your goals? Self-improvement? Overcoming a challenge? By recognizing how you define success, you can begin to make changes to your performance, and see a difference in your motivation and confidence level. The key to all of this is that you are in control. How you define success is a choice.
A good book to check out about success is John Wooden and Jay Carty’s Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks For a Better Life.
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” – John Wooden
Hey! I'm Katie, and I specialize in Mental Performance. I believe greatly in mindset and the role it plays in life.