Don’t Let Your Conditions Determine Your Decisions.
There’s a Norwegian saying – “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”
I’m sure you’ve been there, you’ve intended on going outside, only to get to the door ready to go and it begins to pour it down.
So you kick off your boots and stick the kettle on.
The environment has helped you make the decision, an easy one.
Or perhaps you’re in a group and you end up making choices based on what everyone else is doing but deep down you don’t feel it’s right.
One of the greatest books written Mans Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, tells stories about his experiences in nazi concentration camps.
About how those that followed the crowd, gave in to the conditions, accepted what was, became injured, sick, or died quicker.
As opposed to those that survived, were those that actively decided to see their situation differently.
They chose to make the most of their dire situation, dream of the days seeing their loved ones again, and the hope of a better future.
To bring it back to sport, I have seen athletes giving up or getting irritated with the standard of their environment, the facilities, the food, or the conditions on the day not being favourable for them.
In a recent podcast with Dr Mustafa Sarkar, leading psychologist in resilience, we spoke about how your environment shapes your development of resilience.
His ‘Challenge – Support Matrix’ shows how in order to create a facilitative (growth) environment, you need high challenge with high support.
Yet an environment with low challenge and high support you’re in a comfortable environment.
Once we get too comfortable, we slow our growth.
Perhaps you’re in an environment that is stagnant – there’s little challenge, little support, you’re going through the motions and things just ‘are what they are’.
Some of the best athletes I have played with, against, or read about, sought out challenging situations and viewed them as times to learn more about themselves. Sometimes to even show their character they are, and develop it.
Away from sport, my experience with my condition has taught me to make the most of what I have.
I actively decide to find a way. Rather than succumb to what it takes from me.
The thing is, if you find yourself in a challenging environment.
We get to make a decision in how we view these challenges.
Do we see them as a chance to grow and learn? Or as threat to our performance, and possibly who we are?
It’s our decisions, not conditions, that determine our mindset.
We get to choose what our mindset is in any given circumstances, no matter how relenting, comfortable or stagnant it may be.
In order to be resilient, we can choose to find a different perspective, rather than accepting things are the way they are.
For you it could be to pull yourself out of a comfortable way of thinking, of doing what everyone else (the group) is doing, even removing yourself from an environment that is not serving you.
So ask yourself:
- Am I accepting things as they are too much?
- Am I becoming comfortable in my environment?
- Am I doing what others are doing (following the norm)?
If the answer is yes, I encourage you to look for that new perspective and decide to find a way towards growth.
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