Ever stare off into the distance and see the beautiful mountains or skyline. Stand on a mountaintop and look down into the valley and see a blaze of color. I would guess that you have, as most of us have from time to time. Then there are times we look out and see nothing but grey. Gray trees and gray water. What changed for us? My son with his B.S. in Physics might say that the light refraction at the time you were looking washed out the colors. My brother would tell me to get my eyes checked as I’m getting old. Still another friend would say it was just that sort of day. My dog would say what’s wrong with gray? Of course she can’t see in color anyway. But I think things at times get grayed out inside us.
Just as when we are happy, things seem bright and colorful; our world can be filtered internally by our thoughts. This should be a signal to us that all is not as it should be in our little world. We sometimes talk about those that see the world through rose colored glasses. Our meaning is clear. You need to see a little reality and reality is gray. Nonsense really. Reality is not gray. My son can prove it. The only one I know that sees a gray world as it is my dog. For the rest of us the world should be full of colors. We should see the bright blues and greens highlighted with all of the colors of the rainbow.
So when the world looks gray, and this is not a hit on the place I live called Seattle. Then it is a signal to us that something out of the usual is going on with us. Recognition, as with most things, is the key. Feel the sun on your face, Yes even on occasion like today in Seattle and all is still gray. Then turn inward and examine what is wrong. Is your head filled with negative thoughts? Are you worried about something outside your control? If it is within your control, what is your plan? Understanding where you are and where you are headed is critical to your success and well being. How we view the world, how we see colors and brightness is an indication of how and what we are thinking about.
Working with athletes often involves teaching them to avoid negative thinking about their performance. Teaching them cognitive behavioral therapy as a means to understanding how to deal with negative thoughts is part of the issue. Most of the athletes I work with would say I don’t have negative thoughts. I often have athlete’s journal their thoughts for several days. They are often surprised how negative they are. One woman I remember in particular said she was always positive. She came back the next week with ten pages of negative thoughts. It is because we often lack awareness that we don’t understand our feelings.
Athletes, just as any individual is affected by these thoughts and feelings. It affects confidence, and causes us to not deal properly with anxiety and stress. The bottom line might be an interesting question. Can you win or set a good performance mark when all you see is gray?
So the next time someone tells you to look on the bright side, take them at their word. Look out and see the colors and brightness (unless you live in Seattle) and take note. If the sun is out and all still seems kind of gray, then monitor what you are thinking and work on those thoughts. It will make you feel better. It is our thoughts that affect our feelings and how we see the world, but we get lost in gray and sadness at times. The Athlete within You is in control. You just have to allow them to see clearly. Pay attention and enjoy the sunshine. It’s not just the sun that makes you feel good. Take control of your thoughts before they turn skies gray.
This is some text prior to the author information. You can change this text from the admin section of WP-Gravatar Mike Margolies: Sport Psychology Consultants ; TheMental-Game.com Mike Margolies is a Sport Psychology Consultant, Certified Mental Trainer® (CMT), Author, and Professional Speaker. When you want to be the best that you can be and the one thing you might be missing is the right mental game - what can you do? Well, athletes from all over the country have been seeking out Mike Margolies for over three decades to help them reach their potential. His clients include professional, elite, colligate and youth athletes in every sport. They have sought his counsel and unique teaching style to learn about the game within the game, or what mental training can do to help them become the athlete they want to be. He has trained professional and elite athletes and helped guide many to world championships and even the Super Bowl. Mike has trained more than 2000+ athletes. He has taught at four Universities and completed research at the United States Olympic Training Center. His new book is called The Athlete within You- A Mental Approach to Sports and Business. He currently works with individual athletes, teams and businesses around the world, both in person and via SKYPE. Mike is based out of the Pacific Northwest. Let him encourage you to play the game within the game. The Athlete within You is waiting to come out play. Learn the rules to the mental game to help realize your potential. Read more from this author