Session two began with a discussion of how the zone blockers, notably The Toxic Three, can be utilized as positive triggers to zone in and perform at your best. I explained, “Owen, whenever you find yourself what-ifing, worrying, or beating yourself up, make the problem the solution.”
Owen looked at me quizzically as I continued, “Say, ‘Thank you what-if, for reminding me, what-will it be like when I play well and hit the ball hard.’ ‘Thank you what-if, for reminding me to remember my love for the game and my Personal History of Success.’ ‘Thank you self-criticism, for reminding me to treat myself like I would a teammate or a good friend.’
So, you see, the zone blockers, the symptoms, can actually be used to your advantage. Symptoms make you zone out and play poorly. Now, they really can be incorporated as powerful reminders, to zone in. And remember, the symptoms that take you out of your zone live in your conscious mind, which is extremely small and limited. But your zone lives in your subconscious mind, the place where you can really trust and support yourself, that infinite space that creates calm, confidence, and peak performance.”
Finally, I gave an example that I knew would be of personal significance to Owen, a lifelong Phillies fan. It went like this: “I want you to take a moment and remember the little league team you played on at the age of 12. Now, consider that the conscious mind that blocks your zone and creates anxiety is this team.” (His team was the Rockets.)
“Just imagine that your subconscious mind is a major league team, let’s say the Phillies. Could the Rockets, a bunch of 12-year-olds, ever beat the Philadelphia Phillies?” Owen rolled his eyes and laughed at this ridiculous question. “So, here’s the best part of everything we’ve been talking about: Your subconscious mind, where your zone lives, is the Phillies, and your conscious mind, where the symptoms live, is the Rockets.
The subconscious mind can’t ever lose to the conscious mind and I know that you already know that the Phillies would never lose to a little league team. So, your zone is extraordinarily stronger than any worry, why, what-if, or self-criticism. And now these symptoms can trigger your zone!” Owen’s comfortably curious look was becoming more and more hopeful.