Just a quick post this week about self-talk. Pep talks work. We all know they work – a great, positive, rousing speech can inspire a team to win a game, a candidate to win political office or an army to win a war. It can also help you to win a game show, and the great thing is, you don’t necessarily even need someone else to there.
As I mentioned in my last post, I had two weeks in between my two records of Temptation – I was two thirds of the way to Winning The Lot. With three games still to win, I had 14 days to dwell on that fact. So I wrote myself a pep talk. This was a document that I referred to countless times over that fortnight. It inspired me, it helped me stay positive and helped kick out any doubts that began to creep in.
For some reason, I had Friar Lawrence’s pep talk to Romeo in my head. This is the scene in Romeo and Juliet where the good friar convinces Romeo that his situation is nowhere near as bad as he thought…
What, rouse thee, man! thy Juliet is alive,
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead;
There art thou happy: Tybalt would kill thee,
But thou slew’st Tybalt; there are thou happy too:
The law that threaten’d death becomes thy friend
And turns it to exile; there art thou happy:
A pack of blessings lights up upon thy back;
Happiness courts thee in her best array;
But, like a misbehaved and sullen wench,
Thou pout’st upon thy fortune and thy love:
Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.
(Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene 3.)
The first time I heard this speech, the recurring phrase “There art thou happy” stuck in my head. It didn’t stick all that well though, because I remembered it as “There art thou blessed”.
“There are thou blessed” was the phrase I kept focussing on when I wrote my own pep talk, as you’ll see below. This is the actual document that I wrote for myself at the time:
Self-talk is really important. Make your own list of reasons why you’ll succeed, print it out, have it on you and refer to it often. It really helps.