Tennis has taught me to judge less and self-monitor more.
Some days I cannot make contact with the ball to save my soul. On days like this I might hit more balls into the courts next to us than the one I’m playing on. Pete has learned not to get too irritated about this, but I’ve had a habit of reluctantly accepting my part in the bad play of game. I’m tempted to think that if he would just show a bit more sportsmanship (hit the ball right back to me in perfect return position) and less gamesmanship (capitalizing on my many weaknesses), I wouldn’t keep interrupting play on the court next to us.
On days when I’m playing below par even for me, I must be careful about how I handle the situation. I’m learning how to pay attention to what I’m thinking as well as how I’m hitting. I have to talk back to my blaming/judging/critical self, and say, “Hey, girl. This is a game with winners and losers. Trying to win is part of the game. What fun would it be for Pete to have to always hit it right back to me?” Honestly, that wouldn’t be fun for either of us.
Do you have a tendency to blame, judge and criticize others when you are having a sub-par day? Me too! But we can change that! It helps me to have some go-to mantras to remind me of what I really believe. Here are a couple that work for me:
My big dream is not lived by winning, but by showing up.
I am not here to win, but to enjoy the relationship.
If winning isn’t my priority, then nothing can spoil the fun of this time on the court.
Remember who Pete is, and then you won’t be tempted to ascribe false motives to him.
What mantras might work for your specific situation?