In history class, we all have learned about different types of wars. Generally, a war means that there is a conflict between two parties. This conflict usually becomes addressed when both parties cannot make a decision or can’t find a solution that everyone agrees on. Usually war breaks loose once the dispute has been going on for an extended period of time. You are probably wondering, “Why am I giving you a history lesson? I thought this was supposed to be a mindset blog about basketball?” Well, it is. Lets convert the analogy over now.
On a regular basis, we get caught in the middle of a war. This war isn’t necessarily physically demanding on the body like the wars you have learned about in history class. These wars attack and fight our brains. Our brain has its own mind and it is capable of being strong enough to fight those negative stressful thoughts, with a little mindset training. Without the proper mindset training, your mind can end up getting sucked into a negative stress cycle. The negative thought unwelcoming enters the mind, we try to tell the thought to leave, the thought wants to stay for awhile, we end up getting angry and start to fight the thought, the thought still doesn’t want to budge, and then the stress starts to flood your mind, body, and soul. If we don’t know how to deal with the stress, it will continue to cycle and escalate little by little until it explodes.
To prevent this down spiral, we have to have a clear understanding that some doubts are automatic and we cannot completely stop them, we can only stop the continuous stress cycle. To stop this mind game, we need to notice we have these thoughts, determine if it’s a good/bad thought, if bad, dismiss the thought, and move on with our day. Here is my example:
Step 1: Notice your automatic thought. “Coach shows favoritism to a couple of my teammates. Why doesn’t he do that with me?”
Step 2: Discern whether your thought is positive/helpful/predator OR negative/hurtful/prey. “This is a negative/hurtful/prey thought”
Step 3: Dismiss (gently & calmly) negative automatic thoughts like a bad movie/dream
and direct your thoughts toward a positive thought/predator mindset. “I play for myself. Who cares about being someone’s favorite.”