The foundation of recovery is acceptance. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a negative sports fan. As I watch games, I prepare myself for the worst and hope for the best. I’ve come to realize that this makes watching a game with me incredibly annoying. As early as the first quarter, I’ll start giving up, saying things like "it’s over", "wow we are bad" and "I can’t believe they would do this to me".
After Sunday's roller coaster Patriots game, going down 21-7 in the third quarter, only to eventually coming away with a 52-28 win, I think it’s time to look myself in the mirror, apologize to all my friends and family, and start making some changes to my attitude.
As I begin this process of healing and introspection, I’d like to share a text message exchange with a close friend that occurred during Sunday's game.
Friend: "The run is over. The Pats are dead." (Patriots gave up a first down on a 3rd and 15)
Me: "It makes no sense. Embarrassing."
Friend: "3rd and 15 on their own 10…any idiot knows its a screen or a draw."
Friend: "And there it is" (Patriots gave up 68 yard TD on the next play, making it 21-7 Bills)
Me: "Wow. Joke"
Me: "Reeling us back in just to screw us over in the end." (After Patriots touchdown to make it 21-14)
Friend: "Yep. I’m waiting for it."
And that was it. After that exchange, the Patriots went on to score 6 touchdowns in a row, accumulating 42 points in the second half, the fourth most in NFL history. Looking back at that conversation, what bothers me most isn’t really what was said, but rather what wasn’t. There were no words of confidence or congratulations during the Pats comeback and eventual utter domination. It’s either negative, or nothing.
I think the main reason for my negativity is because of my expectations. I expect the Patriots to score 52 points against the Bills. I expect Brady to throw for 400+ yards. When I see any opportunity to doubt them, I do. And that’s not right. Not that there is anything wrong with high expectations–but there is something wrong with a poor reaction if those expectations aren’t met.
Negativity and doubt are a dangerous game–not only in sports but in business. As I now mix the two in my pursuit of Spogo, it’s time to change my outlook and attitude. As David says, "negativity breeds negativity". And he’s right. If I’m down, it affects both those around me and the work that we do, just as it does to those who are lucky (or unlucky) enough to be watching the big game with me. So, on my road to recovery I have, at the very least, completed step one: Acceptance.