Look For Ways To Win

Do you handle your life like a WINNER or LOSER?

Listen to this story about Will and Carey and find out who handles their emotions better, Will or Carey?

Will has just finished video taping a presentation for his next English class.

Students were asked to present a 5 minute videoed talk about themselves. To prepare for this, Will set the scene in his bedroom. He displayed all of his prized possessions and memorabilia out on his desk and prepared the main points by writing them in large print and sticking them to his cupboard door.

His dad videoed the presentation for him and after viewing the end result, Will thought that the teacher would be pretty happy. There were a few mistakes he felt disappointed about, but for a first attempt he felt he had done OK. He thanked his dad for helping him and thought about how he might tackle his next video presentation.

Carey felt very differently at the end of her taping session.

She prepared in much the same way, but things didn’t go quite to plan. She kept wanting her dad to re-film the scene because she felt it wasn’t good enough, even though her dad reminded her that she could edit any mistakes out in the final presentation. The more re-filming her dad did, the more frustrating it became for them both.

When it was finally finished, they sat down together to watch the video. With her head down, Carey told her dad she still wasn’t happy with it. She was very worried that the teacher would think it wasn’t as good as the other kids’.

She knew she had probably spent more time than anybody else but still it wasn’t good enough. Next morning she said to her mum that her video was no good and that she’d never be able to do it right. She went to school feeling very down after having worried about it all night. She told the teacher she hadn’t done the task because the video camera wouldn’t work.

Will’s way of thinking and acting can be called de-catastrophising – he recognised his achievements and looked at his disappointment in a realistic way. He made plans to learn from the experience and move on.

Carey’s way of thinking made a catastrophe out of a disappointment – she talked herself down and couldn’t look realistically at her achievements. She couldn’t move on from the disappointment she felt.

The things you say to yourself can affect the way you handle situations. Read these examples of positive and negative thinking.

Positive Thinking – De-Catastrophise

  • If this doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter because it is my best
  • I will have a go at doing this, even though I haven’t tried it before
  • This is OK for my first effort
  • At least I’ve tried

Negative thinking – Catastrophise

  • I know that I can’t do it
  • Why do I always have difficulty?
  • Everyone else is better at this
  • I’m going to give up if this doesn’t work out
  • I’m never going to get the hang of this
  • Why do I always get the hard things to do?
  • Why bother?
  • My sister is better than me

Talk yourself into winning, not losing. A failure is not a catastrophe. It’s a building block to success.