As an athlete, we know that there are good days, great days, days that feel ‘normal, and just plain old bad days.
It’s a normal part of the process–not all of our days can be our best. But in my work with athletes, I notice that instead of seeing it as a natural part of the journey, they’re scared of it. At one point, I was also scared of it; it made me doubt my commitment and even my love for the game. I can never say enough about how normal these kinds of feelings are–we are human after all. But when that self-doubt comes in, it can take up an overwhelming portion of our mindset and consume our thoughts…making everything seem like quite the roller coaster.
The other part of the equation that factors so heavily into this is that a lot of the time, while we’re in the middle of the journey, we forget to notice the good and great days when they come along. We forget to practice gratitude for the good days when they come but, more importantly, to ourselves and all of the work we’ve done to get us to that point.
Let’s face it, in the hyper-competitive environment we live and thrive in, positive feedback is not always abundant–so, if we want to make the journey enjoyable and sustainable, we have taken on the responsibility of finding it for ourselves. Including a practice of gratitude in the athletic journey helps us notice all of the positive things going on around us, makes us feel more confident in our abilities, more encouraged daily, and happier.
Practicing gratitude is an opportunity to find positive feedback, so it’s an absolute must that we do it.