Ever come across the term ‘Confidence is Key‘? I have and I’m sure most others are familiar with the phrase. I’ve taken that key and tried so many times to unlock every door possible. As each door is about to be unlocked, I’m greeted with a presence that hinders me from opening the door. A negative presence. It got me thinking. Thinking about how I can vanquish this presence and be greeted with a positive one. Turn the confidence-LESS into confidence-LESS. 

Lately, I’ve come to the realisation that my personality feeds off confidence. It was a realisation I always knew was present at the back of my mind but it’s starting to become more dominant. Two weeks ago, the realisation became a startling reality. I had been playing a match with my local football team. It wasn’t an important match, just a friendly. It was a sport that I was relatively good at, with confidence not being a problem. I started the match quite well, but had just been on a week long holiday with my friends and wasn’t feeling too good. Let’s just say we enjoyed ourselves a little too much that week! Each run was presented with an unpleasant feeling in my stomach. Usually, I could run for days and still feel as fresh as a daisy, but this particular day I couldn’t run five yards without wanting to faint. This meant that my usual long runs up and down the field were limited. Obviously, my team mates didn’t take too kindly to this. I wouldn’t mind only I had still been scoring, just not tracking back as much as I should have. I’m a firm believer that when someone is having a bad day and isn’t playing like they normally would, that you never shout, scream or say any negative things to them. Unfortunately, the exact opposite happened to me. Most of the time, it does not affect me and I can brush it aside. This time though, it took over me. The negativity. When you’re part of a team, it is expected to always stay positive and never discourage your team mates. If you drop a ball, you keep your head up and try to concentrate on the next one. If you hit the ball wide, you compose yourself and try again next time. If your team mate is low in confidence, boost it, don’t drop it even lower. However, some of my team mates decided to defy the rules that make a team succeed and shower it with negativity. To be fair, not every team mate was negative but I guess it only takes one or two to sink a ship. 

As the game went on, each mistake I made was presented with one or two players shouting and abusing me. ‘Will you ******* run!‘ being one comment, and as for the rest, well I won’t even dignify them in this post. I can understand that I wasn’t running as much as I should have, but it doesn’t mean I have to hear these kinds of words every few minutes. When I joined this team, I didn’t expect anything like this to happen. The game I once loved has turned into a game I don’t enjoy playing. I found that every score, pass and track back  I could always do with little effort was becoming impossible to me. It was like I had forgotten how to play the game. The game I had been playing since I was ten years old. Only making it worse, as more negativity was served my way. I crumbled. Not showing it on the outside, I didn’t want to make a scene, that’s not me. But inside, it was as if my whole world was falling apart. Holding in the tears. Restraining myself from just walking off the pitch. In that moment, it hit me. That confidence moulds me. When I think back to anything I’ve ever succeeded in, it was due to the fact that someone or something was always providing me with confidence. I strive off it! Even a simple compliment or positive talk rockets me into a propelling boost of mind and performance. 

Then I begin to think about athletics. Maybe that’s why I’ve succeeded so much with track and field. I started the sport half a year ago, and since then I’ve never heard a single negative line. Genuinely! It’s such a positive sport. The positivity has led me to, not only passionately enjoy the sport, but see huge gains in performance and mentality. I’ve never been happier. 

So, I’ve decided. I’m hanging up my football boots. The sport I once loved will no longer be in my life come next year. As I have joined this year, it’s only fair to my team and to myself that I finish off the year. I will fight through the negativity and give my all but once it’s over, it’s over. Surrounding myself with positive people and a positive sport will let me grow more than I could ever have imagined when playing football. 

I guess my underlying theme is that if you want to keep a positive mind set, you need to surround yourself in positivity. You can’t allow negativity to creep in. Whether it be in sports or even personal life.  After all, you’ll be a lot happier with people that feel the same as you. Not only will you feel happier, but you’ll succeed and reach levels you thought were impossible. 

As I’ve said before, ‘Confidence is Key‘. 


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