One of my favorite coaching paradigms is: “Everyone is winning the game they are playing.”
The paradigm resonated with me the first time I read it, but it took a bit longer to truly register with me. If you are a regular reader of blogs published on The Wellness Universe, you may have read the June 8, 2018 blog I wrote about this paradigm. It’s time to take another look at it and introduce you to a solution for consistent winning.
Life is A Game:
I thought about this for a time and when I thought about life as the game we all play, a new window opened to another dimension of the paradigm. Every life is unique, and every life has its own cast of players.
The game actively begins the moment we are born and ends with our final breath. Although life experiences come to us in an array of emotions ranging from joy to sadness and every emotion in between, at any given time we are all winning even when we feel as though we are losing. How can winning feel like losing? That is totally counter-intuitive!
How are You Playing the Game?
Think about all the people you know; in fact, think about the entire human race as they play the game of life. Some people play the negative version of “everything always happens to me” or “why does the bad stuff always happen to me?” game. There is the “I’m too old to (fill in the blank)”, the “I’m too young to (fill in the blank)”, and the heavily used “I can’t (fill in the blank)”. You have the “No matter what I do, it never works” game and the “this will never work, what did I expect?” game. I could continue to list every negative example I can think of, but you get the idea. It’s all about self-talk.
Banish Negativity from Your Self-Talk:
When your thoughts are negative, when your perspective of life is negative, when your self-talk is full of insults you feel unworthy of the things all human beings crave such as survival, safety, security, and love.
For example, let’s look at the very powerful negative emotion of “fear.” Fear is felt when loss of survival, safety, security, or love is threatened. When fear strikes, the “fight or flight” instinct kicks in and we act upon that feeling regardless of the fear’s origins. Simple examples of fear could be physical, such as loss of life (survival), or emotional, such as the fear of public speaking (which might feel like the loss of security). Rational or not, our reactions to fear are often negative; thus, we are winning the game of being fearful.
Learn the Art of Re-Framing:
What if we put a positive spin on every negative experience over which we have some control? How could we re-frame the negative self-talk? To use the example of the fear of public speaking, instead of allowing anxiety to overtake us by saying “I am no good at public speaking”, why not re-frame the statement: “I know my topic, I am prepared, and it’s okay to feel a bit nervous.”
It is helpful to acknowledge the feeling (fear in this instance) without judgment. When you approach a situation with curiosity instead of judgment you allow room for acceptance without agreement. Play the game of being open-minded.
I am reminded of an acronym for the word FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. The acronym looks at the word in curiosity as to its meaning in an emotional situation. Apply the acronym to determine if the situation warrants the “fight or flight” response.
Practice Positive Self-Talk:
Try to re-frame any negative statements you might utter. Begin with re-framing your negative self-talk. The simplest method of changing negative self-talk is to talk to yourself as you would a most-trusted, most-loved, and most respected person in the world. Would you tell that person “you’re not worth it,” “you’ll never learn anything,” or “I hate you because you’re different?” If your answer is a resounding “NO,” then it’s time to tell yourself loving and positive comments.
Celebrate the Gift:
Life is a precious gift that is meant to be celebrated. Celebrations are positive experiences, and winners should celebrate. Take some time to examine your rules of play in the game of life.
It’s not the experiences that shape our lives; it is our response to life’s experiences that shape our lives. For every experience in your life you have a choice; good, bad, or indifferent. Examine the experience and choose a winning response. As I mentioned in the previous blog, you always have a choice. A choice is not “heads I win, tails you lose.” A choice is more of an “if, then.” If I choose to be negative, then I will feel unhappy, frustrated, angry, or sad. If I choose to be positive, then there is a chance for an expansion of opportunities. Negativity closes the doors of opportunity.
Create a New Paradigm:
See your experiences and reactions through the eyes of curiosity instead of judgment. There is no right or wrong in curiosity. Curiosity expands your perception, judgment narrows your point of view.
What game will you choose to win today?
Author’s Note: I’m passionate about helping people reach their health goals. As a transformational coach, I guide my clients through the process and hold the container to their highest vision. Together we define their B.A.G. (Big Audacious Goal) and create a strategy to meet it. I provide the system and support they need, they provide the accountability, and desired results follow. Learn more about me and ways to connect on my website.