We don't have to be helpless victims of our own stories in 2023. On or off the court!

Losing is part of the sport.

We all accept that, on some level at least. 

The loss of a point, set, match.

And that in of itself is not so upsetting. Singular events.  Moments in time. It's only a game.

What IS upsetting is the judgements we make about the loss.  The stories we tell ourselves about what this loss means.

How it defines me as a person. How it defines my 'talent', my self-worth.  How it will ruin my ranking, wreck my chances of selection.  Who will it disappoint?  What will the 'others' say?  

More often than not, the loss will only re-enforce the story we've been telling ourselves for ages..

"I can't ever beat him/her"

"I'm no good at this"

"I never make finals"

'It's always me who double faults on big points"

So we enter the cycle, we withdraw effort, we become the victim, the 'hard done by'.  And it plays over again and again.  Until, at the end, we quit.

What's even worse is the fact we can become skilled story tellers before we've lost, before the final point has been played.  Picture the player beginning a (emotional) meltdown with the first set in the bag but losing the second by only the slimmest of margins.  Objective reality is lost, the 'inner game' does not match the outer.

But you know?  We do have permission to change the story.  

We really DO.

We can act differently.  

Even out of character.

We don't have to be helpless victims of our own stories.  On or off the court.