Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Life Skills Approach: Frustration of your Handicap

The Life Skills Approach: Frustration of your Handicap

I was poking around a new service called looking for an interesting read when I came across the above article. In the comments section one reader asked what happens to old habits when you are in what athletes call "the zone"? Yeah, that's what I want to know.

The Frustration of your Handicap doesn’t come from what is wrong with you; the real hassles come from the way you interpret what is going on. You may not have the power to change your disability, but you have the power to control your interpretation.

The zone for those of you who are athletically challenged like me is that place where you hit your perfect stride. Nothing can stop you from your best performance. There seems to be a mental switch that fires when you are in the zone which blocks your natural fear (not your apprehension) of a new or challenging situation. You are fully aware that the situation is stretching you beyond what you are confident you can do but you are able to overcome your fear and perform at a level above what your confidence level tells you you can.

I want some answers. I just experienced this in a condensed French class. I took this class, not having spoken, read or written French for hrm...thirty plus years, figuring if I got a C, good deal. To my amazement, I was banging out an A- consistently. Then I shot myself in the foot.

I allowed fear and lack of confidence to sh*t-can a week's worth of work, dropping me to a low C. The catalyst was a situation with two other students where we had to present oral dialogue every week. I was totally uncomfortable with the content of the dialogue and had a panic attack the second time we had to present. Instead of getting up there and risking getting half credit, not only did I not do the dialogue, I did not turn in my homework or take that week's test.

The good news is that I switched dialogue partners and worked extra hard to claw my way back to a respectable grade. Last time I checked I had brought the grade back up to a B, prior to the final exam.

So it would seem that throughout the class I was performing in 'the zone', then I let the outward circumstances dictate how I would perform. My reaction was in part, my lack of confidence in my ability to carry off an embarrassing dialogue. So I did actually shoot myself in the foot regardless of what the other participants did.

I found the other content in the above mentioned website worth exploring. I'll pop back in with other comments as I explore this site.


hooligan said...

Bravo! A year ago you would have most likely bailed on the class. I'm glad to see that you found the zone again. Have a nice spring break. I kinda miss you!