You know what I love about tennis?
It’s not the athleticism. It’s not the excitement. It’s not even the pimms…
It’s the ups and downs.
Every single match is a rollercoaster of emotions for the players – you can actually see the momentum shift off the back of split second decisions and tiny margins.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to Wimbledon for the first time, and witness those ups and downs right up close. And it got me thinking. Life is a lot like a game of tennis.
I sound like Forrest Gump I know, but hear me out.
You have days where you feel in a great place, where everything just seems to come easy. You make great decisions, handle pressures and conflicts with ease and you’re super productive.
You feel on top of the world.
Then, something seemingly inconsequential could happen, and it throws you off. Knocks the confidence out of you.
And in an instant all that momentum seems to desert you; the things you found so straightforward yesterday suddenly seem a real struggle.
Everything just feels tough.
Sound familiar? Well unless you’re a Jedi-master it should – because as humans we all have these peaks and troughs, these highs and lows.
And I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but there isn’t really much you can do about that.
However what you CAN change, is how you respond.
You see that with the very best tennis players. They’re able to acknowledge what’s happening, accept it and then, as the enigma that is Taylor Swift would say, shake it off.
If anyone happened to watch Serena Williams last night, she literally did exactly that after a sketchy couple of points – she physically shook herself off, regained her composure and immediately picked her game up.
Many of us go through life hoping against all logic that every day will be a red letter day, which means we respond terribly when that inevitably isn’t the case. It feels like everything is falling apart, we make poor decisions as a result and lose momentum.
So the next time you feel like it’s going to be one of those days, just pause for a moment.
Step back and see it for exactly what it is. A blip. An inevitable low which we need, in order to experience those magnificent highs.
So, do a Serena, shake it off and trust that it will pass.
If you can do that, then you’ll find those tough days a lot easier to weather. You’ll make better decisions, and find you bounce back a lot quicker too.
And in my line of work, that’s a pretty powerful skill to possess. It can be the difference between success and failure in fact.
So the next time you spot one of those days coming, remember – be more Serena…or Taylor Swift…you get my point. And you’ll win more points, and sets (see what I did there) in this big old game of life.