Negativity is always a self fulfilling prophecy
You always hear people say that your thoughts become your actions which in return become your reality. I’ve learned this to be true, especially when thinking negatively about a situation. The funny thing is, even though it’s obvious that negative thinking gets you absolutely nowhere, it took being removed from the situation, my comfort zone and some self reflection while running to really understand how my thoughts impact the outcome of a situation.
While self reflecting on past events in my life, one time period that came to mind was the time I spent with the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders organization as a member of their Training Program. Thinking back, the first year I auditioned for the MVC I didn’t believe in myself. I always thought that the other applicants were better dancers, more flexible, in better shape, etc. So you can imagine my excitement when I made the Training Program – a group of high potential candidates who work with coaches over 10 months to polish dance style, technique, fitness levels and everything else related to the world of professional cheerleading.
Even after making the Training Program and experiencing success I still had negative thoughts about actually making the MVC. I was blinded by my self doubt, and couldn’t see my improvements and successes even though they were being recognized by coaches and my fellow teammates. I would brush off the positive comments and chalk them up to everyone being nice. After looking back, I’ve realized that those comments were real, I just didn’t believe in myself.
As time went on and we got closer to auditions I started telling myself that I was good enough to make it back to Training Program, but that I wouldn’t make the team. Guess what? I made it back to Training Program. Shocker, right?
As the next season started I began to notice how talented my teammates were, but failed to recognize my talent. Long story short, I began to doubt myself even more. Thoughts about never being able to make the team became more frequent. As the negative thoughts became more frequent my performance levels took a dive. Just as my coaches and teammates noticed my improvements, they also noticed my slow decline.
In the end I let my pessimism get the best of me. Reflecting on my second season as a Training Program member makes me sad in the respect that I could have excelled if I would have just believed that I would excel! Self doubt, comparing myself to my teammates and negativity made a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, I look back and know that I have learned an incredibly valuable lesson. While it took losing out on a dream I wanted terribly, that feeling will stick with me, and I will continue to learn from that lesson.
Moral of the story
The deep down feeling I had about never making the team my have had some legitimacy. However, more than likely, that feeling kept me from achieving my goals. As humans we are inclined to take the path of least resistance. Whether that be avoiding a tough conversation, not questioning a situation you think is wrong, or thinking you’ll never succeed, simply because those options are easier.
You will almost always fail if you think you’re going to fail! Thinking you’re going to fail is taking the path of least resistance. It’s so much easier to fail than to succeed. It’s easier to grab McDonald’s for dinner and watch TV for the rest of the night than it is to workout, study, practice dancing, cooking a nutritious meal or whatever it is that will take you one step further in your journey. Failing is joining those who give up on self improvement, and succeeding is rising above your current situation and achieving goals.
I must say that I am not perfect. Even with this realization I still have self doubts. The difference is now I’m making note of my self doubt and working to change that feeling. This is a work in progress, and I enjoy the fact that I am becoming a more positive person.
Just remember that negativity will always produce negative results. While it’s possible to experience some successes while harboring negative thoughts, you will have many more successes in life if you simply believing in yourself!
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