constantly self critical. always analyzing his own behavior. he’s constantly improving and forgets to enjoy himself right now. when he fixes this or adopts some trait that he thinks is better is when he’ll be happy.
The problem is that I am self-critical subconsciously. Or I’m aware of it, but it’s like my default setting, so I am used to it.
I wish I could accept myself whole heartedly. However, according to Alan Watts just that mere statement is why I’m in this habit. I can’t hope to achieve it. According to him, I have to look inside me because there’s nothing to attain. There’s nothing to attain if I already have it.
I’ve been practicing, and I’m constantly analyzing and finding something wrong. I honestly believe I’m trying to find something wrong. I convince myself that I didn’t hit well and suddenly I’m considering taking a flight home. I hate my complacent attitude on court. Today, as well as every day, I see two competitors across the net. One is accomplished, self-assured, experienced. The other is unstable, trying to make it, full with self-doubt, and surprised when he competes with players that are the same level. I’m the latter.
The whole time I’m thinking during the match about what’s occurring. Then I start thinking about my thoughts. Then I start worrying that I’m thinking about my thoughts. The whole time when I’m supposed to be focused on the match I’m wondering what I’ll say to people after the match when I lose a close one. A tough battle. And yet, I’m currently in the battle when I think this. Like currently playing the match. I’m predicting the outcome by betting against myself.
When I lose, what will I tell my friends. Will they be proud that I went three sets with an elite player? They’ll think I gave it my all and it was an admirable fight. And I did give it my all. I just could have done better by shutting off my mind. Playing the present moment.
I’m almost scared to go “on a run” in matches. To go on a streak. Why? I’m afraid it’s not my real game. It’s temporary. People will think it’s lucky. I start winning and subconsciously I’m waiting for him to regain the momentum. I don’t take a breath and strategize when I am a bit off-track. I tell myself it was inevitable; I knew it was going to happen and it was just a matter of time. He’s an animal after all. At least you can tell your friends that you were winning in the second set. That it was exciting and tense. Then you can write about how you fought hard on your blog Ben.
With bad habits like this one, it’s hard for me to forgive myself. To like myself. In my third post, I talked about bad habits like eating candy and concluded that I should accept myself from the start. It’s just hard for me to do it here. I’m participating in such a detrimental activity to my tennis game and to me as a person. And I know it. When I do this off court, it causes so much mental stress upon me.
Should I accept that learning to overcome my fears is taking time? It’s very difficult for me because I want to do it right now. I want to stop doing this because I know it hurts me. Being hyperaware on and off the court is something that drives me absolutely nuts. I know I’ll be happy once I manage this. But, is that thinking a mistake? Should I find happiness even with my flawed thinking. I have to find a way to be easy on myself because after all, I’m trying my best to improve. I am. And I have no doubt my OCD exacerbates the problem.
I don’t want to theorize what something means on the tennis court. I don’t want to come up with prewritten stories on the court. The truth is that I don’t know future. But I can influence it by waiting for my opponent to come back or by thinking that my opponent is just another level. A stronger player. A mentally-strong player who just doesn’t break down like me.
It’s just hard for me to accept myself when this shit is in my head non-stop. There’s really only one way to fix this. Be kind to myself, accept myself, and just be a beast. Not be a beast in ways I’ve done before. I’m going to read this and my other notes before I play each time. I’m not here to give it a shot and I’m not here to see how my game holds up.
For me, not thinking about everything is a fear of mine. It won’t be easy. But it’s something I want to do. I will tackle this.
There’s no prewritten story in anything. It only exists in my mind. I control my fate. Things may happen for a reason, but I can still change my fate. My path. I just want to leave it all out there on the court. I don’t want to process everything single thing that’s occurring that minute. I want to be in the heat of the battle. Reviewing strategic decisions I’ve made in the past is good, but I don’t want to reflect while I’m on court. I don’t want to think about how the match is going or what the story looks like to an observer until I’m off the court.
But, I’m going to be kind to myself right now before I make these changes. I’m trying the best I can. I’m allowed to be frustrated with this, but this will not be more fuel for my self-criticism.
Great post. Also loved yesterday’s video/ the wet doggie head shake. Don’t cut your hair. Jk. It’s your hair!!! 🤦🏻♂️