Tennis Lessons

Do you ever have a reoccurring discussion in your head?  You know, the one that plays on repeat- "You are not good enough; You'll never achieve thus and such; You should've done this; You screwed up on that; How come you can't do...?"

Turns out, we are not alone.  Serena Williams the 2016 women's Wimbledon champion has had similar thoughts.  She had a couple of years where she was in the top rankings but just couldn't get a Grand Slam win.  During this time Williams states, "I had to start looking at positives, not focusing on that one loss per tournament which really isn't bad,,, Once I started focusing more on the positives, I realized that I'm pretty good."  

Huh?  She says that she is pretty good?  I would say she's more than that with her winning 22 major tennis titles.  But still she has/had her own demons.

From her losses at the Australian and French Opens, she said that she "learned that you can't win everything, even though I try really hard.  I do the best that I can.  I still am not going to be perfect." 

Life seems to be made up more of our failures rather than our successes.  Or at least that is how we think and that is how we think others, think.   In actuality we probably have just as many successes as losses, albeit small ones, but successes nonetheless.  We are "pretty good" when we just do the best that we can. 

There are times when our negative thoughts loop over and over in our brains.  It paralyzes us from moving forward. We can get so caught up with our failure to achieve perfection, that we miss the accomplishments that occur while striving for excellence. In our own way, we become like Serena and her quest for a Grand Slam tournament, almost achieving our goals but not quite. 

What to do about it?   A couple of days before I read the article describing Serena Williams' new mind set, I was thinking about my own situation and my slump of not moving forward.  I thought that I need to practice some type of strategy to stop this negative cycle of thinking. I remembered reading a tip:  For every negative thought, state three positives.  Don't even let the negative thoughts take hold in one's mind.  Try to banish them with three positives right away. 

What about you?  Do you ever play the negative thoughts record?  How do you stop?  Can you stop?  Do you not even start?  What in your life is "pretty good"?  Write those down for future positive comments. If you haven't achieved a big goal, what smaller ones have you done?   Is it getting out of bed this morning?  Depending upon your situation that can be pretty good. You might not have won any "titles", but have you gotten close? 

If for nothing else, can you see your negative situation as a teachable example for someone else? Sometimes our failures are the inspiration and encouragement that someone else needs.