Scoring Own Goals

Scoring own goals:
– destroy us or stop us from attaining something we want to attain.
– are sometimes accidental and sometimes happen because we are trying too hard.
– the professional fowl! If I can’t win then you won’t either! It can be something as easy as pouting, sulking or making people feel sorry for me.

They can happen when: I am not concentrating on what I am doing; I don’t have focus; I am out of tune with what’s going on or I act in a way that is contrary to the direction that I want to be/am meant to be going in.

The first thing to sort out is:
What’s my focus? Or why am I here? Usually we do this the other way around; we work out our skills and then decide our focus. Now put your purpose first, if it is truly your purpose then you will find that the skills you will need will come… you already have them within you.

The flea circus
First collect your fleas and then put them all in a matchbox. Listen to how they jump up and down until they get a headache! Then all of a sudden the noise stops. Now take them out of the box- you will find that they continue to only jump ‘that’ high. How many of us are like that? We’ve learned to jump ‘this’ high. Then even when the box is taken away… In this scenario the focus comes out of what we consider to be our capabilities.

How to train and support the best in yourself
a) Sometimes when we get close to our goal, at the last minute, we pull back. It is important for us to understand our purpose clearly and the benefit behind the attainment so as to maintain our courage.

b) Be clear about ‘what is needed’ versus ‘what I want’. We deceive ourselves when we go for ‘what I want’. We say ‘if only I had this I would be happy’ – we are putting conditions to our own happiness. Rather ask ‘what is needed here?’, then all will be benefited.

c) Aim for win-win relationships, from which both walk away feeling good. Rather than win-lose (I beat you) or lose-win (I give in so that you may win) or lose-lose (if I can’t win then neither will you).*

Competing versus doing my best. The best sportsmen ask themselves “Was it a personal best?” Not did I come 2nd or 3rd, but did I perform or exceed my personal best? Then we are all winners.

e) Understand the power of your thoughts. We score our own goals by thinking negatively about ourselves and others (judging, criticising, etc.) Change your thoughts through gardening your mind…dig out the weeds and replace them with flowers.

f) Work with the positive, not with the negative. The brain doesn’t understand the word ‘no’. So, for example, if I am playing golf and saying to my partner ‘don’t hit that tree’… watch the ball hit that tree! The brain doesn’t hear ‘don’t’ all it hears is ‘hit the tree’.

g) Most things we do we do out of habit. To truly change my behaviour I need to replace the bad habit with a beneficial one. I have to unlearn it and learn something new. Beware to not over-analyse. Ask ‘why’ and the usual response is ‘because…’ i.e. I’m now defending myself and re-enforcing the bad habit! Instead ask: what made me do that?

*An added bonus of win-win relationships is: as I am generally feeling good about myself, my purpose and what I’m trying to achieve then at those times that I slip up instead of beating myself up I stop to examine what’s happened, learn the lesson and get back on the ladder.

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