The voice in your head
Sports day comes but once a year, and this year it was a really big deal for my daughter. You see… she has a rival at school, Sasha, who ain’t so sweet, if you know what I mean. The kid is a bully. Sasha and my daughter are both the fastest girl runners in class and they were set to race against each other in the 400 metre run.
A week before the games, my daughter began to complain of stomach aches. In the evenings the aches moved to her head, then to her neck. The kid was a mess! I knew that the aches were nerves and I tried my best to coach her through her fears. I told her that she had nothing to prove, that it is just a game, that she is already a winner to me. It didn’t work.
The day came and the races began. Ready set GO…. off they run. My baby runs like the wind, great form, beautiful momentum, she is looking good. Everyone is screaming her name as she leads the race. But at around the 200metre mark she gets a cramp and starts to feel unwell. She slows down and ultimately….she loses the race. Needless to say she was very disappointed and felt defeated. All I wanted to do was run over to her, scoop her into my arms and make her smile… I also wanted to ship Sasha off to China….but I managed to behave. This is what I said:
“Baby, you may notice that a voice in your head begins talking to you soon. It sounds a bit like your own voice and will probably tell you some mean things. It may say that you messed up, that you let yourself down because you lost. It may tell you that you are not good runner and that you will never beat Sasha or anyone else again. It may tell you that you are not good enough.
Here is the truth about that voice. It is not right. It cannot see the future. That voice is scared, because it has been hurt. It is not considering at all the wonderful parts of you that everyone loves. It is not reminding you of that time when you baked cookies for the 100 year old man who was so lonely. It is not pointing your attention to all the friends you helped when they were sad or left out. It is not focusing on the time when you told the entire class to be proud of the class clown for winning an award. Not to mention all the awards that you have already won in school and out of school. And all the times that you have helped me to get up when I have felt down.
It is so important that you know how to tame that voice. Because it is only that which can stop you achieving anything you want in life.”