2022 has been a welcome return to my annual trek to play volleyball over Memorial Day weekend at the USA Volleyball National Championships. Each year I am a little older, the game a little longer, and the teams available to play become more familiar. And I learn something about myself along the way.
My usual team played in the Senior Championships in early May, a tournament postponed from 2021. For most of those players, one tournament in the spring is all they can do. That left me open to a new team for this second tournament, and like all of us, change is daunting. Learning how to play with new people, moving through rotations that aren’t traditional, and playing multiple positions were three big challenges for me in this past week. Translation to you – think about working in a new firm where they do things very differently than you have ever done while mastering accounting, human resources, and technology – now you have a sense of the pressure and overwhelm that might ensue. “I’ve done this before, I’ve got this, I know how to do this, I can do hard things,” were some of the words flowing in my mind during warm-ups and time-outs.
Fast forward to our playoff game where we fall behind. The captain calls timeout. This new team starts talking – “we aren’t that far behind, we can’t lose this game, we aren’t talking on the court.” Notice the difference? I’m confused by their comments, not understanding how we will win when we frame our discussion from what we cannot or must not do.
How about you? What does your self-talk sound like? Are you building your confidence through new challenges? Or, are you building your fear through what mistake you can’t make or achievement you can’t reach? Every day is a new day, so begin anew today. By the way, we lost that match. Are you surprised? We can only achieve as far as we can see, and the imaging starts in your mind. And, that’s the intersection of mindset and experience.