Few weeks ago, a friend who recently retired from the NFL was telling me about the challenges he faced as a starting linebacker.
Being in the front lines, his body was not only constantly abused, but much of his efforts went unnoticed.
He said, a linebacker can go all game successfully blocking opponents, but people focused only on the one time an opponent slipped through.
They don’t look at all the times the linebacker was successful, but that one time that he trips up.
In many ways, this is how the mind works
Anytime we make a mistake or fall short, the mind releases a series of painful emotions.
These emotions can be of disappointment, doubt, anger, criticism, regret, or other feelings of being hard on oneselves.
When the mind does this, it doesn’t look at the situation fairly.
As with a linebacker, the mind doesn’t consider everything else that was done, done right, or whether something came up that was out of your control.
That means, you could be doing 20 things right, day-in-and-day-out, for months, but none of that is considered the one time you slip.
The mind looks at the one situation where you fell short and releases a series of chemicals.
These chemicals can be taxing
They can make you feel like you did something wrong, are a failure, let people down, or undeserving of anything good.
The emotional response can seem like the force of gravity has intensified, pulling you down as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders.
If unchecked, you can start to question what you’re doing, whether you’re on the right road, and even begin doubting yourself and abilities.
All because of one mistake or failure!
The more you do, the more this occurs
Again, the mind doesn’t evaluate all the times you succeed, just looks the times you fail.
In fact, a coach of mine once said, the more you go after what you want, the more you will get hurt!
• The more strangers you approach, the number that reject you will go up
• The more prospects you call, the number that turn you down will rise
• The more things you do, the more mistakes you’ll make
It’s basic math and probability.
Yet the mind doesn’t always get that
We hit a wall or make a mistake, and the series of emotions the mind releases clouds everything else we’ve done or done right.
Unless we wipe away the cloud, it follows us into future actions and efforts, bringing with it doubt, hesitation, and lack of energy.
As mentioned, it’s important to keep this response in check because we can have all the success we want, but the emotional impact of the failures can burnt us out.
Will discuss more next time…