Me, Myself, and I: Will Any of You Ever Shut Up?
Each of us has only 86,400 seconds in the day. How many mini conversations do you have with yourself?
The average person self-talks about 50,000 times a day and 80% of it is negative. This translates to approximately 40,000 negative conversations said to ourselves daily.
I remember one of those conversations from my football days.
Behind and needing a touchdown to win, it was 2nd down and we had more than 60 yards to go to reach the end zone with less than 2 minutes left in the game. In the huddle, our QB called a pattern where I would be the primary target of his pass. It was a pattern I liked and one which I knew I could shake loose my defender.
In the brief seconds from the huddle to line of scrimmage and throughout the completion of my route, I managed to say to myself, “Don’t drop the ball, Don’t drop the ball, Don’t drop the ball.”
Needless to say, I dropped the ball. It was a classic example of a “self-fulfilling prophecy“. Why didn’t I repeat a positive mantra, like ”Catch the ball and score!” or just visualize catching the winning TD pass and my teammates celebrating with me in the end zone? Fortunately, we had another down and my teammate caught a pass in the end zone clinching a victory.
That dropped pass haunted me for days. The good news is I learned from it and never again allowed negative thoughts into my head on the playing field. I try to only have positive conversations with myself on and off the field.
Valuable sports lessons I have learned:
- Stay in the moment!
- Go onto the next play!
- Failure teaches valuable lessons (get back into the game)!
- Build resiliency!
- Teamwork (rely on your teammates and ask for help)!
- Adversity happens!
Will leave you with a parting quote…
“There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”
—Morpheus, The Matrix
How will your future conversation go with yourself?
– Aziz Abdur-Ra’oof
Aziz Abdur-Ra’oof is passionate about personal development and seeing people develop and reach their full potential. As a former collegiate and professional athlete, he understands what it takes to succeed at the highest level. Currently, he works in the athletic department of a major university specializing in life skills and career development. You can follow him at @ziz87 or connect with on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/zizabdurraoof/