The other day a good friend and I were speaking about slumps we occasionally experience, which inadvertently give us reason to doubt our own ability on the racetrack, and the discussion of how we overcome such adversities came up.
Many people successfully work through their disappointments. Somehow, they have the strength to take stock of what has happened to them, learn from the incident, and move on. In fact, they come out of such disappointments stronger. In many instances, disappointment can turn a driver into someone who can’t seem to regain their confidence and feel as if they have let themselves down or worse yet, shame. Unpleasant as disappointments may be, we can always learn something from them.
To deal with disappointment and achieve positive results, we need to first understand what has happened. Some instances of disappointment are predictable and preventable, or at least we hope they were. For instance, if we drive too fast or brake too late going into a corner at speed, it’s easy to predict the result is not going to be a good one. But testing the limits of a car and our abilities are exactly how we find that edge of the envelope. Yes, having lost control of our car can create disappointment, but it shouldn’t. In fact, we should pat ourselves on the back for trying. You must ask yourself, did all the fast drivers test their driving ability or the capabilities of their car? No one gets through this life without disappointment, and some are bigger than others, but everyone experiences it. Know that you are in good company and accept your state as perfectly normal.
When disappointment occurs regularly, it may be advisable to reevaluate your perceptions and behaviors. You can examine whether you are inviting disappointment. Not only can this be disappointing to yourself, but to others around you as well.
When we catch ourselves thinking negatively, we should redirect our thoughts and focus on positive solutions. From an unconscious perspective, we may be reluctant to let go of a disappointing experience. In the long run, it will be more detrimental to continue holding on. When we become too preoccupied with thinking about situations that have not met our expectations, we only create unnecessary stress. In other words, get over it. Move on. If you believe you’re better than that last spin, then you are. Disappointment is not meant to destroy us. If taken in stride, it can strengthen us and make us better.
Life is going to test you and possibly even throw you more disappointment as you move away from the most recent one, so continue to hone your skills and practice the techniques that make you a better driver, and ultimately a more confident one. As crazy as it sounds, if you’re doing it wrong, you’re doing it right.
I have little doubt my friend will get his confidence back quickly, and when he does, he’s not going to be disappointed.
The Count of Monte Cristo explained it best when he said, “Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine!”
In other words, if there are times when you falter, you’re doing it right, and the best part is you learn from it. The more you learn, the smarter you become, and with smarts comes speed.