If You Spoke To Your Friends This Way They'd Be Furious With You

Imagine saying things like this to someone you think highly of:
 
"You're a complete failure."
 
"That was terrible."
 
"You can't do anything right."
 
"You aren't good enough to achieve that."
 
Pretty much no one speaks to their friends like this, because they wouldn't remain your friend for long!
 
As the old saying goes, with friends like that who needs enemies?
 
The thing is, though, this is exactly the kind of self-talk many young athletes have going on in their heads.
 
For some reason, many of us tend to be harder on ourselves than we are on those around us. Our internal dialogue can turn incredibly negative either when things aren't going our way, or when confronted with a challenge we aren't 100% guaranteed to overcome.
 
You see this in all types of skill level kids, too.
 
The high performer with poor self-talk will avoid challenges, for fear of risking their status as a top player and looking like a fraud. When games get close, they tend to disappear.
 
The average or low performer with negative self-talk will see every failure as a representation of who they really are, with successes being chalked up simply to being 'lucky'.
 
The funny thing about this is, we all have complete control over our inner dialogue. All of this is a creation of our own doing.
 
Which means fixing it is entirely within our control, too.
 
So how exactly do you fix negative self-talk?
 
For starters, understand that everyone makes mistakes.
 
Great athletes actually make lots of them! Consider the fact that Kobe Bryant, an NBA legend who most consider to be one of the 10 best basketball players ever, holds the all-time record for missed shots at the pro level.
 
With the understanding that success is not guaranteed, no matter how hard you try or how good you are, approach challenges head-on with the thought of "I may or may not succeed, but I'll give it everything I've got.".
 
See every challenge as an opportunity to improve, then put in the work to get better.
 
And more than anything else, stay in the present moment.
 
Negative thoughts are rooted in the fear of future events that could go wrong, or by dwelling on past mistakes you can't do anything about now.
 
When you really seem to be struggling with negative self-talk, as yourself these two things:
 
"What is going well right now?"
 
"What could be good if i come back to the present moment?"
 
Understand that sometimes you are going to fail, that positive self-talk, staying in the present moment, and hard work do not guarantee anything.
 
I can stay in the moment and have the best self-talk on Earth but I won't be winning a PGA event any time soon! Sometimes the challenge is just too great today.
 
But that doesn't mean we need to speak destructively to ourselves.
 
Negative self-talk is problematic on a lot of levels. Remember you have control over it, and try your best to speak to yourself the same way you'd speak to your friends.
 



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