Many athletes worry too much about what others think of them. These athletes worry that their teammates, coaches, parents, family, sponsors, social media followers, and/or friends might think badly of them. We call this social approval.
If you think this way, you want to be admired, accepted, respected, or liked by other people. Part of this is just human nature, but it can turn into a confidence killer for many athletes.
Athletes who worry about what others think engage in a process called false “mind reading.” Mind reading is when you make invalid assumptions about what others might think of you.
When you think others think you are not performing well, this can hurt your confidence. You end up becoming distracted that can result in making mistakes or atleast sub par performance.
Do you try to read the minds of your competitors or coaches? Or take to heart the responses of your social media followers responding to your posts?
Focusing too much on what you think others think. That’s called mind reading. You don’t know for sure but you believe what you think as if it were true.
The truth is you don’t know what they’re actually thinking unless they say something to you. There’s a difference between guessing and actually knowing.
What does guessing what people are thinking do to your confidence? If you assume someone, e.g., coaches, audience, judges think you’re not doing well, it affects your performance, i.e., ability to pose, execute a move, etc.
Who are you mind reading about? What are you mind reading about? What are the false assumptions or the narrative you’re making up in your head that’s creating havoc for you?
Worrying what others think becomes a distraction, confidence killer, and a source of pressure when you do mind reading.
If you catch yourself worrying what others think, what do you do? Step 1 is awareness. When you become aware you’re mind reading, cut it off. Picture a stop sign. Step 2 is recognizing what you’re doing and refocus on doing what is more important, i.e., the next pose/transition/action.
If you need guidance on how to handle worrying about what others think, please contact me at (416) 805-6155 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can help you refocus so you appear not to miss a beat on show/game day.