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I blew it!

Mindset Made Simple Tip #35 – I blew it!

If I only knew! Actually, I did know. But knowing and doing are two different things!

The last few years of my college coaching career brought a lot of challenges…losing my mom abruptly, injuries galore, kids coming and going and other personal and on-the-field loses and challenges all around.

The last few years of my college coaching career brought a lot of challenges…losing my mom abruptly, injuries galore, kids coming and going and other personal and on-the-field losses and challenges all around.

Losses happen, whether on the field or in life, and time moves on. What we don’t often consider is the lingering effects they leave behind.

When we lose a loved one, we are very clear of the “hangover effect.” We live each day in the hangover – and it feels like crap!

However, as we “lose” in other ways – in competition, job searches, relationship seeking - we tend to overlook the lasting effects on ourselves and others.

And this is where I blew it.

I mentioned the injuries that we suffered a few years ago – they led to A LOT of losses!

I knew such a dismal season was a fluke. To lose your top 2 pitchers, catcher, SS and CF then, throw in a few other injuries along the way all in one season, is a bad dream that keeps getting worse! You can’t even make this stuff up!

But, as they all do, the season came and went. We all survived. We planned for a new start and a new finish, but I did not realize that this experience – the painful losing season - ruminated in the minds of our players.

I didn’t think much about the lingering effects knowing it had not happened in 20+ years of my career and understanding that the likelihood of it happening again was slim. So we forged ahead, planning to get back at it once all of the injuries were healed.

However, the people who mattered the most – the players - did not have this vast experience from which to draw.

So, this was not a fluke to them. In their minds, it could easily happen again.

We didn’t talk much about it. We didn’t want to relive it. I didn’t fully consider the very REAL FEAR that existed!

We all know that worrying (which amounts to fear in most instances) about a recurrence of any undesirable event can affect what comes next! And I let this simmer under the surface - and I am certain it took its toll!

I was reminded of this learning curve this week as I talked to a few people who are going through scary stuff. One is being forced back into the world of work and the other is awaiting news from the doctor.

Although the fear these two are dealing with are very different than those my team experienced, fear left unaddressed can lead to stress, lack of concentration and diminished performance. It can also lead to us make choices from an emotional state instead of a practical or rational place. (Many of you who have attended my seminars know of my irrational fear of checking the lock on the window of our nursery when my son was young – yeah…kids get taken out of the window so often!).

Most of our fear and things we worry about never come true. Most FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. We catastrophize and fear the worst!

But we all know it isn’t that easy!

Fear, really, is based in our desire to avoid pain – and that window lock was going to save me from pain!

Most things we fear fall into four categories – Regret – Ruin – Rejection - Responsibility

· We fear we are going to do (or not do) or have done (or not done) something we will regret.

· We fear that we will be ruined if we make a mistake, don’t win, get the job, make the cut, etc.

· We fear that others will reject us. We aren’t good enough, pretty enough, fast enough.

· We even fear responsibility. We don’t want to lead or take on a new task. Or we are afraid to see

how far we can really go. I think this leads back to the other three in a way – if we do too much we may be rejected, we could be ruined, or we might regret that we didn’t try sooner!

When others are feeling afraid, it can be easy to overlook it from our perspective, thinking the losing was a fluke, they are going to be fine, I’ve made it through, so can you…

But helping them through it is our job. Getting them to move past the fear and on to reframing their thoughts can be a very impactful experience and helpful to performance.

One way to do this is to get them to DISPUTE their fear using Dr. Martin Seligman calls DISPUTATION.

· What is the Activating event – or in this case – the fear? A losing season.

· What are your Beliefs – both rational and irrational – about the fear? This is who we are. It can happen again. We aren’t good enough. We aren’t prepared well enough, etc.

· What are the Consequences of your beliefs? We play to our potential. Our energy is low. We don’t trust the process, etc.

· What evidence to you have that can Dispute your fear? It hasn’t happened in the history of the program. We have good players. We prepare thoroughly, etc.

· How do you feel after you look at other outcomes or possibilities? What effect does that have on your Energy, mood, thoughts, actions, results, etc.? I realize that there is a better chance that this won’t happen again if I expect a different outcome!

Since we know it is often easier to change our actions than our thoughts, maybe we can help those with fear find something to do to move them through what is holding them back. Or, maybe the simple act of answering the questions, particularly if we have them write it out, serves as our action.

Had I taken the time – or even faced my own fears through our losses - I may have helped our athletes find a place where they were playing with more confidence and positive emotion which we know leads to better performance.

And if I would have disputed my fear of someone climbing in our nursery window, I would not have looked so ridiculous and would have slept a bit more soundly! 😊

Here’s to rewriting the story and looking for bright spots!


P.S. Remember, if you are in and out of quarantine or need a positive activity to change things up due to cancellations, schedule a FREE STAFF or TEAM SESSION with me to talk about using the disruption to grow your team’s mental game – we can build dispute some stuff together 😊!

Julie Jones

Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach

SSB Performance • 234-206-0946



Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9

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