inner voice

Ignoring your inner critic – Here’s a story: The Australian Davis Cup Tennis team is leading 2-1 against the USA in Brisbane and they are leading two sets to nil in what could be the deciding rubber. You would think this game was won and it was time to make a hasty dash for the exit, so as to beat the traffic. The tennis being played was inspired and passionate, with the player channelling his focus to outplay his opponent. He then smashes his racquet on the court, gets a new one out of his bag, and plays on. He now starts to miss shots, lose points and before you know it is down 4-1 in the third set. 

It appears this new racquet is causing his game to fall apart…. but is it really? For the first two sets he was focussed, fist pumping and responding to his coach’s motivational encouragement. Now it’s all about how the racquet isn’t as good as the last one, I can’t play with this, I’m going to go for big high risk winners rather than play to a plan… sound like somewhere we have all been before? Luckily for Team Australia he manages to refocus, changes his mindset, ignores his inner critic, gets spurred on by the crowd and goes on to win the match in three sets.    
Great story…So what does it mean ?

The Australian was the better player and was showing that for the first two sets, yet when his focus changed from ‘winning in three sets’ to ‘my racquet is an issue’… his game changed in an instant. We all have these moments where we move out of focussing on what’s happening, to focussing on our own inner critic and making it all about us. If nothing else changes, and we start to focus on the negative,  unhelpful and challenging thoughts and we are bound to drop the ball, hit a bad shot, make a less than suitable decision… all contributing to a less than stellar outcome.

A few ways we can overcome this: 

  • Ask yourself, is the inner critic I hear helping me? If not, then you need to change your thoughts

  • Am I focussing on the outcome I want, or am I putting challenges in the way of my success? If it’s the latter, then you need to change your thoughts

  • Ask yourself, would others act like I am in this situation? If not, If not, then you need to change your thoughts

This week, look at the situations you find yourself in and the scenarios that make up your days. Are you blaming your racquet and others for your current performance, or do you admit you have taken your eye off the ball. Refocus on what you want out of each scenario and do what is needed to get that outcome.

I’d love to hear about your challenges and actions. I will post this on the FB page and please leave comments.

Have an awesome week!