What does the feeling of being disappointed in yourself do to your movements and decisions?
You have just given up a point (or a goal) due to your error, or what turned out to be a bad decision.
Now the score is against you because of something that you tried that didn’t work out.
You took a risk and bet on your skills, or strategy, and it didn’t work out.
What happens next inside your mind?
Do you spend some time;
- telling yourself what a useless idiot you are?
- fighting against the idea that you are not as good as you think you are?
- experiencing disappointment with yourself/
- worrying about being a disappointment to others?
or do you
- shift into the learning mode you have been practicing and design a response to that error that makes you stronger/faster/smarter?
Are you a perfectionist?
Perfectionism makes this worse. Every single error triggers self-criticism and self-doubt.
The danger here is that your self-criticism and rising self-doubt
- impair your ability to pay attention to the essential elements that allow you to perform well in the moment, and
- cause you to take fewer risks.
Eventually, you will find yourself playing so conservatively that the only skills you are using now are the ones you felt comfortable with several years ago.
You have regressed to the player you were years ago. In this way you are getting further away from your skills as an athlete.
Identifying the key elements of your successful performance and practicing refocusing on them after a distraction, makes your positive focus stronger. Having strong focus makes it so that distractions are less able to derail your performance. You stay connected to your strengths instead of losing touch with them.
Everything you try and fail at gives you good information for the next attempt.
The key is to look for this important information even when the failure stings. Our natural tendency is to avoid paying attention to the unpleasant error.
Practicing shifting into a growth mindset will help you deal constructively with errors.
Eventually, you will have the sense of impending growth along with the sting of the mistake.
And you will be less inclined to stop taking risks.