Psychology of Performance – 14 Negative Emotional States

When you allow your mind to focus on negative emotions does your performance improve or deteriorate?

Negative emotional states arise from expectation violations and then get potentiated by adding judgments about the negative feelings. Does “whipping yourself” help you improve? I had the opportunity to play in the DAD’s day (Dollars Against Diabetes) golf tournament sponsored by the Colorado Building Trades today. Golf is a wonderful laboratory in which there is a richness of self-talk, expectations, and emotional states  available to observe in myself and others. A feature of golf is that each shot actually is independent of all of the other shots one makes (much like many aspects of our work). As we let our self-talk build, it can decrease performance; but, the mind has a wonderful ability reset itself in the moment and let go of the thoughts about the previous shot. Practicing a mindfulness meditation technique of just observing the thoughts, feelings, and physical experiences without judging them and then visualizing the shot (performance) you want can go a long way in improving your performance.

This works in the rest of our life as well

It requires gently returning to this technique each time as the old thought habit patterns return with force until you learn to to redirect and focus on the outcome you want, not the outcome you do not want.

Have a day filled with mindfulness,

Robert A. Mines, Ph.D.

CEO & Psychologist

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