Last night I directed 120 of my students in their Spring Music Concert. It all went fine, but when it was over, all I could think about was what went wrong, what could have been better, did I say anything to offend?!? After an hour or so of this madness, and after I barked at my wife a few times for trying to help, I said to myself, "Hey Dude, you coachteachers on this exact stuff! How would you help them?”
So, I started to ask myself very different questions. "What went well tonight? What went well these past weeks of concert preparation? What did I do to make it a success?" I'll admit, it was a slog at first. I resisted a great deal. But eventually I managed to come up with three things, just small things that went well during the concert...and it's amazing how my energy shifted. I felt a weight lift from my neck and shoulders, and I started to come back into my body and into the room. It last only about 10 seconds, and I was back anxiously remembering everything that went wrong…but throughout the night and again this morning I’ve continued asking myself "what went well Ryan?". And my students are just as bad, so in class this morning I helped them reflect on all the positives while we watched our concert video. That fills me up!
It’s not easy, and it doesn’t always feel natural, but when I’m struggling with negativity, it really boosts my mood and gets me back on track to remember what went well.