Take Control of Your Internal Chatter
In my singles match against a strong player at the Huntsman World Senior Games this last week, I found my internal dialogue turning very negative and as it did, so did my game. I was playing terribly–double faults, mis-hits, into to the net, etc. I just stunk.
In the first tie breaker, I found myself down 4-2. It was then that I said to myself, “You’ve got to get positive here or you’re going to lose.” So I pushed the negative thoughts aside and, sure enough, I won the next 5 points and the first set. During the second set I consciously kept my internal chatter much more positive and as a result my game was also consistently better.
The way we talk to ourselves is so very important in everything we do in life. If you say to yourself just before going in front of a microphone, “I am not going to do well today”, your subconscious hears you and, yep, you’ll probably blow the presentation.
And it’s not just the negativity. It’s also the language we use. Studies have been done that show when, for instance, a tennis player says to themselves “I just can’t double fault”, a huge percentage of people will go ahead and double fault. This is because the mind sees the most descriptive part of that thought, the act of double faulting, and ends up subconsciously focusing on that potential, just as it does when you think negatively.
So be careful and pay attention to all that chatter inside your brain. When you’re in the moment, push the negative out and imagine only the positive.