Today I want to simplify one aspect of how the mind affects our performance.
You all remember this graph of the CBT model, which is a nice and easy model of how humans function, and all the factors contributing to our overall state of being:
To make it even easier we just concentrate on the A – B – C
A being the “Activating event” or ‘trigger”
B the “Belief” / thought that popped into your head
C the “Consequence”, and in this case the “feeling’ and ‘body” consequence
Usually the first thing we notice is how we feel. You might be aware that you get anxious or angry relatively easily and that this gets in the way of how you want to be in a game, or in training.
So the first step for you is to hone in on some of the situations that have occurred.
If you want to start increasing your overall awareness of your inner processes, one thing you could do is, at the end of each day, pick one situation where your mood changed.
And then practice slowly to become aware and learn what was going on in your mind.
You ask yourself:
Just before I got anxious, – what happened?
That’s probably your ‘trigger”, or “A”.
Then you go one step further and you ask:
What did I make of this situation/ event? What did it mean?
Typical examples of this might be “If this keeps going this way I am gonna loose” or “I am going to disappoint my parents / coach / friends” etc etc.
So far so good, – and relatively easy.
But that is not all we are after.
Imagine that your “Thoughts” and “beliefs” are actually layered, – a bit like an onion.
On the surface there is a thought you are usually easily aware of, – like “I might loose this game”
Now anyone might think that. That’s not a problem. You can imagine Peter and Jack both thinking this, and Peter getting really angsty and nervous, while Jack takes a deep breath in and focuses on the game.
What ‘s different? The difference is in the next layer.
How do you get there?
You just use the first thought and ask the same question again: “If this is true, what does it mean? What does it say about me? What does it say about my future? “
And this will reveal the next layer.
For Peter maybe : “I am a looser, no good at anything”, and for Jack “Ok, I’ll focus on learning from this mistake and improve my game”.
Jack does just not go down that track of mistakes saying anything about his ‘worth”.
And that’s the important difference.
But before you jump into changing your thinking from Peter’s to Jack’s, – slow down. First you need to become more aware of what your mind is telling you in these situations.
And then we will go from there. Step by step.
Do this exercise everyday, for one or two weeks. It should take you 5 minutes only, – and you’ll learn a lot. Most likely there will be 2 or 3 underlying beliefs or ideas that will pop up repeatedly, in different situations, – and they are the ones we will discuss.
If you feel free to discuss and share, then do this here in the comment box. Same for questions you might have.
If you want to discuss something anonymously you can just email me, or use a made up name in the comment box below, up to you.
Before you go, – one more thing:
Please make suggestions and share your thoughts on topics you are interested in to hear more about. Either here per posting, and / or when we meet next at the final presentation!