I find character a topic that’s very hard to digest. How we handle ourselves in times of adversity, times when we’re out of our comfort zone, times when we’re vulnerable – that’s what true character is derived from. In the past 48 hours, character has been tested in two specific events with two separate very close friend’s of mine. Yesterday, I saw it in sport.
We all go through it as competitors. We beat ourselves up about almost anything. We get into our own heads and then our future performances tend to suffer. Why? Well, my argument is that we allow for negative influences to psychologically stress us out. Allowing ourselves to remain wrapped up in history does nothing good for the now. Can stress kill? Absolutely. If you let it. Channel it for the better and you can actually use it to your advantage. Check this TED talk out. https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend.html
Remember to just go out and have fun. Forget about what you did last night, what you did last week. Approach each race, each training session, every single time you strap on the blades.. approach that as if it were the first and last time you will do it. I think you’ll see better results that way.
The second example I have been a part of was in relationship woes. The more I pursue sport the more I tend to see so many commonalities between the psychology of sport and the psychology of relationships, so this is interesting to me.
We can sometimes be bullied into situations we feel obliged to react a certain way. Sometimes it’s for fear of rejection or acceptance. Sometimes it’s because we don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings. Whatever the case, we are put in a situation that we are coerced into a fight or flight response. No one should ever have to feel as though they were forced into a relationship against their will. Part of that is both parties actually knowing one another, caring for one another and building a foundation of trust, friendship and respect. Ironically enough, I believe my biggest slip in the past 5 years was not doing just exactly that with my previous relationship. You can’t expect to respect each others intentions or care for and empower one another without a basic knowledge of who that person really is on the sofa watching Old School and eating a chicken-veggie rice bowl with you. You just don’t have the rapport. Purely physical relationships do not last.
How’s this play to character? Well, one’s ability to recognize fault, stop spinning her tires and make the necessary adjustments to stand up for herself is an incredible test of character. That’s some hard stuff to pull off. You don’t want to hurt the other person, but you definitely need to get out of the troubles you’re in from a purely selfish perspective. The sooner the better. Have the talk, be caring but firm or you’ll get sold all over again.
Rise up. Bring it.