The Power of Perspective — choosing how you frame what’s in front of you.

It’s here: one of the busiest, most productive, and fun-filled months… depending on how you look at it.

One of the many lessons that is earned through being a figure skater is the ability to take on adversity and shape one’s mindset.

This sport guarantees that adversity will continually come into the picture: falling on jumps, changing of schedules, the ups and downs of training…

Figure skaters have built-in opportunities to practice being productive through whatever form of adversity arrives (or not!).

Here are two different perspectives to consider in the same (imaginary) situation:

The situation:
October has arrived and is in full swing with a demanding schedule, upcoming competitions, and other commitments pulling on both time and resources.

• Perspective of Skater 1 •
I can’t believe its already October — I am sooo not ready for this! Sectional Championships is coming up and I don’t have everything ready yet. I am nervous about the results and scared of all the homework I have to do on top of my training. This is too crazy and all I can think about is how many days of training are left… It’s not enough time! I just can’t wait for it to be over — what are we planning for Christmas?

This athlete is jumping all over the place; the past and future thinking is dominant and they are telling stories about what is coming up. The main state is one of distraction which leads to stress.

• Perspective of Skater 2 •
This is a really special time of year! My summer training has prepared me for this month and I am grateful to be ready to do my training ‘full-on’! After noticing how busy this month would be, I have scheduled a couple of relax days on weekends to recharge with my family. The best part is that we are getting closer to Sectional Championships where I get to perform my routines that I have worked so hard to perfect. It is a sweet mix of nerves and excitement. This is awesome!

The second skater has acknowledged the reality of what is coming up and is aware that the training of the summer will support the demands of this pre-competition training month. Although doing what they can to manage expectations by including rest days into the schedule, the general outlook is one of optimism. Most important, the second athlete is present. Present to what is and what they are focused on for this part of the training period.

What can YOU do?

This month, with all the hustle and bustle and schedules and stories… take the time to stop and listen to what you are saying about it and how you are framing it.

This can either be outloud to those around you or simply how you are holding things in your own head.

Watch out for overwhelm and too much drama around the story of what you are doing. It can be easy to slip into a story that not only drains you but gets in the way of your productivity.

When you choose to reframe what you are looking at, your perspective changes. Choose how you frame your experience and state what you are committed to.

If there really is a problem with the schedule or something that isn’t working, address it directly and put in the correction. Then, move on :)

Clarity can be so cleansing.

It can allow you the mental space to move forward and give all you’ve got to your training and life.

May you find the clarity of purpose you need to do your best skating this month — and enjoy it all along the way!

Please feel free to pass this article on to anyone you feel it would benefit!!

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