I am a naturally nosy person (although I like to use the word curious when I can!), so when I have a moment to spare I will watch people, as people truly fascinate me. Restaurants, bars, airports, train stations are all places I will never be bored!
Over the winter, which I spent at a ski resort, I spent a lot of time on the ski lifts where I would watch people on skis and boards heading down the slopes. And something truly remarkable happened.
Beginner skiers would be skiing down a small slope and they would be doing really well, and then something would happen that would make them freak out a little bit (perhaps they were going a bit fast, or the hill got a bit steeper, or someone came flying past and put them off) and they would fall over. They had lost their confidence. They had lost their positive “I can do this” attitude.
Well, as you expect, there is nothing new OR remarkable about beginner skiers falling over. But I was amazed that I could could actually SEE the moment they thought “I can’t do this” and I was able to predict when they were about to fall over. It was the look on the face, the change in body position and it was as though you could see their confidence just suddenly disappear.
I was so amazed that I could spot that in others, and so easily.
As a result of watching it in others I started to notice the self talk I gave to myself too. While on the slopes if I thought “this is too steep” or “it’s too icy” or “I am terrible at parallel turns” then I would be terrible! But when I started to think “I can do this”, “Wow, aren’t I doing well” or “Look at me being all good!” then I could zip down the mountain with no problems at all. Or if I did get into a problem I was in the right space of mind to recover very quickly.
It seems so simple, yet it’s amazing how hard we as humans find this. It’s amazing how often that self-talk will turn negative if we don’t watch it.
If we want true success in our lives, then we need to ensure we are feeding ourselves with the right mental food. That food needs to be positive and up-beat and allow us to overcome the obstacles that will inevitably get in our way. It isn’t about being over-the-top or ridiculous about it. It’s about truly believing in yourself, the skills you have and the ability within you to do the task that is important to you.