Positive Perspectives

“You must have a winning attitude.”

Life doesn’t come with shortcuts or cheat sheets. Everyone faces challenges and difficulties. There are times in life when trial and hardships are out of your control; the reality is that you can’t escape them. Challenges are part of life. However, you can choose to control your perspective. You have the choice to frame your reality in a positive way. The ability to overcome self-made obstacles through a positive outlook will transform your performance and sanity in significant ways.

What triggers your emotional reaction to an event is the way you perceive it, and your perceptions of yourself in response to an event can shape your outlook as well. A simple change in your perspective about the meaning of a particular event or a shift in your belief about your capacity to cope positively can change your emotional reality. While your circumstances may not change, your perceptions and interpretations of reality can.

It is amazing how far a positive mindset can take you. It can can give you inner strength and high self-esteem, release you from stress, and free you to perform to your highest potential.

One of the greatest enemies is anxiety. Students, athletes, and leaders alike face stress every day. There’s a difference between good and bad anxiety, though. Good anxiety keeps you motivated and determined. It helps you perform to your utmost potential. However, bad anxiety does the opposite. It can debilitate you to the point where you cannot perform.

It’s important to remember that situations are not anxious — people are. Anxiety happens when you accept a situation as one that creates anxiety or when you become consumed with a future outcome or consequence.

When you feel like stress is consuming you, keep these three points in mind:

  1. Your Character Is Not Defined By Your Success. Keep your own worth in perspective and know that it remains intact regardless of whether you meet a particular goal.
  2. Nobody is Perfect. Don’t set impossible expectations for yourself. You will be met with intense stress and frustration because you can’t be perfect at everything you do.
  3. The Outcome Is Not Everything. The excessive worry that destroys skilled performance usually comes from an exaggeration of the event’s significance. Your physical or emotional life is not at stake, no matter how important the event might be.

The best performers approach events physically ready and mentally focused. If they do have a disappointing performance, they draw out the benefits and move on to the next experience. The key is to refocus effectively and to keep things in perspective.

A Missouri Football student-athlete is characterized by his refusal to give up or give in. He is loyal to the family. When a student-athlete is overwhelmed, he cannot let it consume him. He is a part of a family that cares enough to sacrifice for the team. In order to keep focus and determination, a player has to change perspectives, build confidence, and reduce anxiety. These are not easy tasks, but they are possible.

Here are three ways to fight internal anxiety:

  1. Set A Goal To Update Your Attitude: Make the decision to think in ways that will uplift you and others, rather than in ways that will worry you. In the Mizzou Football program, everything is done for the family. A student-athlete’s personal motives are secondary to the family’s success. A winning attitude will uplift not only you, but also those around you.
  2. Find Support: Look for legitimate support within yourself and your environment to give you reason to believe in your capacity to meet the challenges you face. A family supports one another and encourages one another through hardships. It is crucial to find a support system.
  3. Remind Yourself of Your Abilities: You are fully capable of achieving your goals and changing your perspective if you constantly remind yourself to think and act in more positive ways.

A winning attitude can transform your confidence and inspire those around you. The key to success is not to distance your advocates and wallow in internal anxiety. Instead, focus on building a positive mindset just as you would focus on winning a championship. In the end, a team that builds on enthusiasm and loyalty can break free from the bonds of anxiety.