#31 "Needs work!"

What to Say to Yourself When Things Don’t Go as Planned

What do you say to yourself when things don’t go as planned?

It could be in the middle of a big game or creative project or dinner conversation with the family.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to ruminate on the oops and turn a “bad shot” into a really bad game (or season).

Our gold-medal-winning friend Lanny Bassham has a great approach for this. He’s one of the best rifle shooters ever and tells us we need to “re-load” after every shot.

Shoot and hit your target perfectly? Lanny tells us to FEAST on that success. “That’s like me!” he says. (Micro-win? “That’s like me!” Another micro-win? “That’s like me!” All day every day as you build your self-image as a world-class performer.)

Kinda sorta hit your target? That gets an “OK.”

Miss your target completely? Like oops—I just acted like an idiot and really wish I could have that shot back kinda thing? Then we re-load by simply saying to ourselves, “Needs work.”

We DO NOT (I repeat, we DO NOT!) ruminate on all the different ways we screwed up and how much we messed up all hopes for the future.

Nope. A simple, “Needs work.” will do. Then we quickly go back to the moment we erred and think about what we could have done to execute the moment perfectly. We replay THAT moment in our heads.

The benefit? Well, rather than groove the negative outcome into our consciousness over and over, we thwart that negative self-image building and use the opportunity to LEARN something. (Remember: We win or we learn. More on that in a moment.)

I love to use this. First step: Catch myself. Quick, silent, warm neutral “Needs work.” Imagine what I could have done differently. Replay that scene. Done.

How about you? Made any mistakes lately?

Bring your most recent Oops to mind.

Let’s re-load it.

Replay the scene in your mind and think about how you could have pulled it off a little more optimally. Got it? Awesome. Now let it go.

Nice work! We just got a little better today, +1 styles.

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