Mindset Made Simple Tip #25 – Anxiety! We all feel it, even if we don’t admit it!
Can anything else happen around us to evoke ANXIETY??
Of course, the answer is a resounding YES, unfortunately. No matter what, there will ALWAYS be something, large or seemingly insignificant, that will cause us to feel some anxiety…something to throw us off our game!
No matter who we are or what we do, we are not exempt from feeling a little (or a lot) anxious at some point in our lives.
We worry about what has passed or what is to come…and these thoughts are usually not full of sunshine and butterflies!
According to a recent survey of college presidents, student mental health concerns, including reports of anxiety, have escalated over the last 10 years and visits to counseling centers have increased more than 30%.
Knowing this, and knowing our athletes are facing anxiety at every turn this season, providing them with tools can be very helpful to them both in competition and in life!
Clearly, there are different levels of anxiety…and some of them need more than what I suggest below.
I have seen this firsthand! My sister had severe anxiety as a kid. It was no joke!
I would walk her to school, and she would walk right back home!
Anxiety can be debilitating.
It can also be just enough to keep us from moving forward or looking in the wrong direction when trying to performance at our best!
Disrupting anxiety begins with self-awareness which is essential to PEAK PERFORMANCE!
Obviously, self-awareness is something that must be cultivated through training and practice. Its benefits cannot be overstated.
In this case, it begins with understanding what makes us anxious and then CHOOSING to TAKE ACTION!
The action can start with a simple question – HOW DO I FEEL?
And, then…HOW DO I WANT TO FEEL?
Champions think about how they want and need to feel to perform, regardless of how they actually feel! This is what separates peak performers from others.
The truth is that when we are uncertain, anxious, uncomfortable, our negative nature rears its ugly head.
We choose to WORRY about what may (or may not) come!
…this goes for the aforementioned champions as well. They just don’t stop there.
I recently asked a team I work with “what makes you anxious?” An athlete answered, “one of our skills not being performed correctly.”
Since this is an acrobatic and tumbling team, this happening could mean major injuries.
This is what they are picturing PRIOR to actually performing the skills…
These thoughts are not exclusive to this team. WE ALL DO THIS!
We worry about what can go wrong, instead of VISUALIZING what we want to happen?
So, we can choose to WORRY (about stuff we can’t control in the moment because we are not worried about the moment…we are worried about the future).
OR…we can MAKE A PLAN IN OUR HEAD ON HOW WE WANT THINGS TO GO!
How do we get from the thoughts and feelings of being anxious to making a plan?
We need a simple tool to CHANGE OUR FOCUS!
We can use a count down from 5-4-3-2-1and then think of our favorite thing – the beach, or dog, a bowl of ice cream…
Or, we can practice using the 5-4-3-2-1 count, clear our mind and move on to our NEXT RIGHT MOVE. Whatever that is for the moment.
There are a bunch of other things we can do, and I will be sharing those things in an upcoming webinar in February (more on this soon).
But for now, the whole idea is to identify HOW WE FEEL.
Think about HOW WE WANT TO FEEL.
Then DISRUPT the thoughts that take us down the WORRY spiral and SEE WHAT WE WANT TO HAPPEN AND WHAT WE ARE MEANT TO DO at the time!
So here is to turning our anxiety into an opportunity to visualize and plan for what we want!
Anxiety will always exist. If we and identify it and use it for our good, we will perform better in the end!!
Wishing you a worry-free week!
P.S. Don't forget to check out the NFCA "The Dirt" podcast where I share ideas for getting through the COVID season! Click HERE to listen!
Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach
firstname.lastname@example.org • 234-206-0946