Bite marks in the sofa…

There are still bite marks in the sofa from last night where I was watching England demonstrate the importance of practice.

They were rushed and hurried, tired and suffering from a couple of bad decisions. There had been a bit of needle along the way and understandably it all went wrong and ended badly.

When your team has a bad experience, how do you recover from it?

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be replaying it over and over again in your mind, each time becoming worse - hearing the sounds, amplifying the feelings to really make sure those bad feelings encode deep within your nervous system. To make sure it stays fresh, you might get together with others and talk about how bad it was.

When your team has a bad experience, how do you recover from it?

Practice makes perfect and if you practice feeling lousy often enough, you will make it real. Somebody told me once that disappointment requires adequate preparation. You have to make an unrealistic picture of the ideal state then compare it with your experience and keep switching back and forth between them until you feel disappointed.

Since we always get more of what we focus on, the answer has to lie in changing your focus. Here’s a useful question to help with this…

What do you want instead?

This question is particularly useful to use with yourself. It helps to refocus your perspective on possibilities and begins to change your feelings.

You've had a row and feel angry
(so, what do you want instead? And how would you feel if you had a choice?)

Your meeting went badly
(so, what do you want instead? And how can you do it differently next time?)

You boss ignores you
(so, what do you want instead? And how can you make it happen?)

You missed the penalty
(so, what do you want instead? And how can you get it next time?)

To become good at being really positive and full of new ideas you have to practice it. Simple really, since it is the same process as learning to feel disappointed or lousy.

Replay the ideal state over and over again, each time feeling how good it will be - hear the sounds, amplify the feelings and really make sure those good feelings encode deep within your nervous system. To make sure it stays fresh, you might want to get together with others and share plans for how to make it happen.

Unrealistic? Well, since you are practising it so hard, you are going to get what you are currently focused on. Eventually it will just show up so you might as well practice something positive…


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