Are you a Positive Peter or a Negative Nellie? Are you a Pooh bear type of person, who sees wonder in every little thing or a Tigger, bouncing around spreading joy wherever you go? Or are you more of an Eeyore?
Human beings tend to default towards an Eeyore-like tendency. It’s a protection mechanism to help us have an awareness of what dangers might befall us if we go ahead and do this or that. But in the 21st Century we don’t need quite the same sort of protection that we did in prehistoric times.
Out of ten things that happen to us in one day, nine of them can be good things and just one of them bad, but you can bet your bottom dollar that your brain will hone in on that one bad thing and bask in the glorious negativity of it. Picture yourself skating your programme and making one mistake. One tiny mistake – ok even a fall – in a whole programme filled with tricky elements and moves, performance and musicality. Someone compliments you on a great skate and what do you say? Yeah but I fell. Yeah but I made a mistake on my steps. Yeah but….
You focus on the negative and completely disregard all the good things about it.
This is why, on my “How Did I Do” exercise (page 12 in your SkaterPlanner™) I get you to think about what three things went well – before you head off to a corner and beat yourself up for one tiny mistake. Then you can think about what you would do differently next time (notice I didn’t say ‘better’).
When you default to the negative it’s really easy to become demotivated. You don’t notice the progress anymore (because you’re focusing on that thing you can’t do yet) and you start to feel like you’re just getting nowhere.
I’m not suggest you get all Pollyanna-like (Pollyanna was the title character in a film in the 1950s/60s who went about being excessively cheerful and positive) but you really do tend to get what you focus on – so it’s a wise idea to be focusing on the positive rather than the negative. And stuff you can control.
Who do you know that is constantly being like negative Eeyore? Bringing everyone around them down and making you feel just that little bit worse than before you met or called them? Because negativity is catching. Wouldn’t it be better to catch (and spread) a little positivity instead?
One of the best motivational and positivity exercises I know is the Ice Cool Success Sheet exercise, where you write down one thing every day which went well, or made you feel good and then rank them at the end of 7 days. My one to one clients all do this exercise from the very beginning of working with me. And if you have the SkaterPlanner™ you’ll notice it’s very similar to the daily “today was awesome because…” exercise.
Because by focusing on one thing every day which made you feel good, or made you smile, you will be looking for the good things in your life instead of dwelling on the bad ones. And if you do it for at least three months it will form a habit as those neural pathways begin to develop with positive thoughts instead of negative ones.
This month (from Tuesday May 1st) I am running a Facebook positivity challenge for ANYONE who would like to join in. It’s a special Facebook Group. You don’t have to be an athlete, a coach or a parent – you can invite your friends, relatives and colleagues to join in too. All you have to do is post a picture in the group every day for #100Days with a brief comment on what went well for you that day. And then comment on and/or react to the posts by other members of the group. Of course you do have to be 13 or over though.
This will be the fourth time I’ve done this – at different times of year too. And I KNOW it works. It even had a positive effect on the friends who were reading my posts and they began to look forward to what my ‘happy day’ moment would be. One or two other friends were inspired to start too – and so this time I’m creating a whole group and we can all benefit from the positive and uplifting space it will be.
So join me in the group and get ready to start Day One on 1st May!