Play Like You Don’t Give A…

Someone once told me that if I really want to be successful I should play/live/write/speak/coach like I don’t care.


*I don’t care about winning.

*I don’t care about what people think.

*I don’t care about my ego.


It’s good advice.  It’s also really hard to do.


But I’ve found, for myself at least, that just trying this attitude on is when I find my best self.


It’s pretty hard to do ALL the time. But when I let go of thinking ‘what will they think, or what will I lose, or what am I risking’ and just TRUST, the end result is better. It’s definitely scarier but also more fulfilling. Like, writing this blog for example.


I COULD worry about saying f***.


I COULD worry if I’m offending people.


I COULD write in the hopes that you’ll like me, or take some action or purchase something.


But when I do that, I’ve noticed that it doesn’t actually work all that well. The only thing it really does it protect me from true rejection. After all, if I’m not truly showing myself to the world, I’m safe from people not liking the true me, right?


I make it sound like I’m so brave, so tough, so devil may care. But the reason I know this is true is because I spent a TON of time in my early playing career being a pleaser. Even at the time, I’m not sure it came across that way (note to coaches and parents: SOMETIMES it’s the athlete you are sure doesn’t care that cares the most. But you already know that…)


After all, I was never the pushover type personality but on a deep, deep level I wanted to be liked (don’t we all). To be honest, At the time, I’m not even sure I was aware of it myself.  Because let’s face it, it’s a human experience to want social approval.  AND, it’s a really good thing for our survival as a species. So it’s not all bad.


It’s just not that helpful when every action you perform has to be thought through the prism of ‘what are they going to think’. Not only does is make things slow (i.e. try weighing the pros and cons of shooting vs. passing DURING a game), it also slowly erodes your trust in yourself.


But I do think for most of us, it takes some work. It takes sitting down and purposely letting go. It takes choosing to be vulnerable. It’s recognizing the fear, doubt, and worry that comes from risking TRUE failure and then doing it anyway.


THIS is why we as mindset matters so much and we have to LIVE what we teach. We don’t get to encourage our athletes to play fearlessly, unconcerned by social rejection, and then avoid asking for the raise we deserve in our job, or taking a risk, or showing vulnerability in our own lives.


So, let’s do it. Let’s LIVE like we don’t give a f*** (even if it’s only for an hour today).


Lindsey Wilson, Founder

Positive Performance Mental Training


Lindsey Wilson, a former collegiate and professional athlete who felt a strong call to help other athletes optimize their mindset and fulfill their potential founded Positive Performance Mental Training in 2008.

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