Friday, October 16, 2015

How to Get Rid of Embarassment Feelings

During the Best of the Rest playoffs for my women's league, in the middle of the second day, during a tough, close match, I noticed one of my teammates walked briskly outside after she lost her match.

Being the person that I am, I went outside to talk to her and see how she was doing.

She sat on this cement ledge and was pretty much in tears.

I asked her what was going on and she wasn't sure.  She had just lost another match of the day, though, and was trying to figure out why.  She played timid today and didn't play like her normal self, but she couldn't figure out why.

And she was so upset at herself for losing because we were in a tough, close match now. I tried to explain to her that it is a TEAM event and that I personally had just lost a match, too, and so we had both contributed to the lopsided score.

She was in tears, "but I play better.  And now we are losing...." her voice trailed off and she had to look away from me.  She was sad, upset, and ashamed.  I felt so badly for her to be in such turmoil.

I told her we haven't lost yet!

She was then trying to figure out, while talking out loud with ideas, what the hell was going on with her.  Why was she missing so much.  Why was she not playing like usual.  After brainstorming together, she finally realized that she was embarrassed.  That something had happened earlier in the day and now she was not confident (like she normally is) and she was missing and worried what others were thinking or judging her.

I IMMEDIATELY shared with her what Phil Capelle shared with me when I went through this for a several brutal, tough months many years ago.

I told her the only way to get through this was to keep her mind busy.  You do that by thinking ONLY about your fundamentals, only about the balls on the table, only about what your options are on the table, only about staying down, and the execution of your stroke.  I explained that concentrating on those "items" keeps your mind preoccupied and wont give it enough space/time in your brain to feel embarrassed because it will be busy.

I know - embarrassment is a very negative feeling that can almost paralyze you.  IT SUCKS. lol.

She let the words sink in and then we had to go back inside to play.  Her and I were both up.  We both had to win our matches.  It was GO time. 

I looked over at her table and I saw her playing with more confidence and making more balls!  She wasn't timid anymore, she was in control and confident.  And she played GREAT - like she had the whole year.  After she won, she looked over at me and she was smiling SO big, and then she blew me a kiss with extreme happiness!  I don't think I've ever seen her smile with that much passion and happiness before!  She was ECSTATIC.

I won my game too and since that was the hill-hill game (that she handed to me to win because she won), we were still on the winner's side of the playoffs!.

I joked with her later that I helped her from jumping off the cliff to her demise (since she was sitting on that cement ledge that was 2 whole feet off the ground, lol).  She hugged me tightly and whispered. "thank you so much."

Hope this helps others someday, too!  Enjoy!

Here is another tip about reversing those feelings into positiveness (click here from a past blog entry).

No comments: