The Mental Game
The Big Thing
How changing the way I think about myself changed the way I run my life and business. Which spilled over into success. Why is your mental game so important? It’s the difference between whether or not you will continually fail… or only fail every other day.
Let’s face it. We all have it. It comes and goes. It whispers nefarious things in our ear. Or it runs us over with the force of a Mack truck. It eats away at our brain. At our soul. It fills us with self-doubt, with fear, with self-loathing, with intimidation, with longing.
But we don’t have to stay there.
The biggest thing you can do to find success is to have a mental game that’s ready to combat imposter syndrome (and all of its ugly cousins) whenever it creeps up. So how do you do that? How do you build emotional resilience?
It’s cliche. So cliche that when someone first told me to do affirmations, I balked. I seriously couldn’t see myself standing in front of a mirror giving myself a pep talk every morning. But I didn’t really understand then. It’s not about the action of standing in front of the mirror. It’s about catching yourself saying all of the negative things, and then immediately having an affirmation at hand to combat that negative thought. It’s about recognizing the truth and speaking it into your life. Affirmations are all about encouraging yourself when you are discouraged.
The second half of Affirmations is Self-Talk. How do you think about yourself? How do you talk to yourself? Are you playing the negative voices from your childhood on repeat? Or have you found a way to combat them. Do you talk to yourself the way you would let someone else talk to your kids or some other loved one? If you overheard yourself saying those things…how would you react?
Along with stronger Self-Talk built on Affirmations, you should have a Support System in place. Surround yourself with people who are encouraging. Who are enthusiastic. Who think you hung the moon. Then LISTEN TO THEM when they tell you that you’re great. It’s often those with an outside view of our lives that have the clearest view of who we really are.
My Big Secret
So what’s the Big Thing that changed my Mental Game? I created an email folder (now a tag since I’m on gmail.) called “The Bad Days.” When I am feeling especially on top of the world, I send myself an email about everything that’s going right. How good I feel for having accomplished X. For having completed that huge #37mi4my37bday walking campaign. For being asked to be a guest speaker. For getting that awesome client. For getting rid of the bothersome client. For having perfected my cheddar chicken recipe. For having my kid tell me the best thing in the world.
I email myself. And I drop it into “The Bad Days” folder. When someone else emails me to tell me I’ve done a great job, or to praise me, or to woo me, or to thank me, or to ask me for my input, or to tell me my book was great, then I tag it with that “The Bad Days” tag. I take pictures of thank you cards people mail me and email the picture to myself. I even save those emails that have hard truths about me lovingly conveyed by someone who cares about me. They all get put in that folder.
And then, on the bad days, the days that imposter syndrome eats away at my self-confidence. The days that I don’t think I can finish this horrible project. The days I want to burn everything to the ground and start over. On those days, I open up that file/tag. And I read. And read. And read. Until I’m ready to face the world again.
That’s how I win the mental game. By not denying the bad days. But preparing for them ahead of time. By recognizing them and having a battle plan in place. By embracing the dark parts of myself while being willing to shine a spotlight on them.
That’s how to win the mental game.
Owner, Adriel Wiggins Author Services and Consulting
Hello! I’m Adriel Wiggins, wife, mother of three, bibliophile, art geek, and all around student. I’ve been on a quest all of my life to learn as much as I possibly can about everything I possibly can. This has helped me tremendously in what eventually became my life’s purpose: to help other people become the best version of themselves. It is in that line that I became an assistant.
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