Mark’s Musings – Where Did We Lose It?

Where Did We Lose It?

Having had our little boy Finn recently, I can’t help but be reminded of how simple life is for babies and small children.  Eat, sleep, have someone to love you and there’s your recipe for happiness.  Everything is simple, we’re not scarred by life’s challenges and we have a go at everything.

fall-down-seveWhen we learn to walk we fall down a lot but get back up and keep trying. In fact everything we learn to do as children we keep going until we have mastered the skill. But as adults we have these barriers, we give up when it get’s hard and we also berate ourselves mentally when things don’t go to plan. 

As adults, at times, I feel as though we have lost our way in what being happy and satisfied is about. We get lost in wanting more, worrying about what others think and perhaps at times are too focused on a result rather than the journey that goes towards to outcome.  

In my professional life, I have been fortunate enough to coach/teach children and adults.  There are pros and cons to working with both however the main difference is children are less concerned with the result, have more fun with the process and are far more open-minded to trying new skills. 

Kids don’t worry about what others think as they’re more concerned with trying to develop the new skill and are definitely less inclined to give up when it gets too hard. Adults sometimes focus on why it won’t work, what will happen if they fail and what others will think. 

And adults will sometimes say the worst things to themselves, like I’m not good enough, that person is better than me and there is no way I can do that. Kids however haven’t learned these bad habits and just have a go.

Would you say some of the things we say to ourselves to your friends or children?  Of course not so why then do we say them to ourselves?  Why are we stubborn and resistant to change?

have-funSo where did we go wrong?  When did it become so much about what others think and worrying about the consequences of what some might perceive as failure?  It’s almost like some adults have a fear of success and are too addicted to their comfort zone. Can we be more like kids and just have fun?

By nature, I am serious person and have been told that sometimes I come across as scary when coaching.  I know I enjoy my coaching more when I have a laugh and aren’t worried so much about whether people are enjoying the session or if they are getting what they need from it.  I am certainly guilty of such thoughts at times, in fact I think most people would be. 

I find by being more relaxed I am more inclined to develop a connection with the athletes.  It goes without saying that the better connection a coach has with their athlete the more the athlete will respond.

It further affirms to me that our mindset controls so much on race day. At the elite level especially there is often very little physical difference between the athlete.  What then seperates them is a mind set. Their self belief, confidence, mental preparation.  I think this tweet emphasizes what it should be about, we fall down but we get back and keep moving forward and believe in ourselves to do what it required, whether that is walking or running.

 Why do we not adopt the same practices at age group level? I am convinced that if we trained our mind as much as our body we would be more satisfied, happier and less stressed.