One of my favorite things to ask an athlete is “This is a yes or no question: Would you like me to ask you to tell us what you often say to yourself after a bad shot?” Universally the answer is “No!”
OK, next question: “How would you feel if I came up to you after a bad shot and said to you whatever it is that you say to yourself?” Answer: “I would be very upset with you.” (Or other much stronger words and feelings! Ha!)
My response: “If we are supposed to be our own best friend, why do we say such things to ourselves?” Response: “Uh….”
Culturally, we are conditioned to be hyper-critical of ourselves, others, and everything. This is sad. We look at our own activities and call ourselves bad names and have other negative self talk when we make mistakes. Making mistakes is part of learning!
Have you ever watched a baby learn to walk? They fall down quite a bit at first, don’t they! Have you ever heard a baby say to them-self “Stupid baby!” after falling down? No, of course not. They just get right back up and work at it all over again. No judgement and reaction. Just observation and action.
We should do the same!