Getting back from the brink
I was playing tennis in a State Junior event when I was about 14 and learnt a very valuable lesson about process versus outcome focus. It is something that has always helped me reset, and something worth pondering, especially as we embark on the second half of the year where we get a second chance for 2015.
I was seeded Number One for the first time and therefore meant to win this particular tournament. I felt a bit of pressure from the get go as there was now an expectation. This was only enhanced when I was drawn to play on the show court against a player I had had some trouble with in the past, coupled with a significant gallery hungry to see some good tennis and the top seed perform. As it turned out I found myself down 6-0, 4-0, love 40 on serve. If you don’t know tennis, suffice is to say I was getting killed and it looked like a short trip left to a humiliating loss. I had played tight the whole match, worried about the outcome. It was like my worst nightmare was being self-fulfilled by my fear. And then after some serious soul searching, I somehow got into the moment and realised it was just one point at a time, in fact one stroke at a time that I had to think about and the start of each game was a new opportunity to turn it around.
Long story short, I won that game to make it 4-1 down and then proceeded to win the next 5 games after that to take the set and stage a pretty unlikely come back from the brink. I would love to report a Hollywood ending but unfortunately I ended up losing the match in a very close third set.
There were a couple of things I took from this experience and eventual loss which I can relate to fitness programs that seem like a great idea in the glow of New Years, but that may have now fallen by the wayside. Firstly, you need to get out of self-recrimination mode. You need to get back to the ‘one step at time’ focus. You need to get into the process of what needs to be done each day, things like eating nutritiously, controlling portion sizes and then working out.
You have the second half of the year laid out in front of you. Never mind what has happened so far if your first half wasn’t so stellar. Just forget about it. Dwelling on it causes paralysis by analysis and that inaction that comes with the ‘Not another wasted year’ mindset. Just think, you have the coming months spread out before you as an opportunity to get it happening again. You are starting from zero with a clean slate, kind of like the tennis player who goes back to love-all after each and every game and set. Process not outcome folks. Start the doing and the results will happen without you having to think or worry about it.
If however, you have done well in the first half of 2015, pat yourself on the back or give yourself the metaphorical high five, then plan out what your goals are for the coming months and get about the ‘doing’ again.
Remember, the only worse thing than being frozen to inaction because of poor self-talk is resting on your laurels!
Have a great active month.
By Anthony Gillespie