Whether it’s a race, a tennis match, or team sports, competition is always filled with random events that you couldn’t have predicted, and perhaps didn’t want to have happened. Scientifically, there are typically three main ways that people respond to these situations – fight, flight, or freeze.
Knowing how to respond correctly can help you thrive in the face of these situations, or at least have the ability to do your best. Here’s what you should know about the randomness of competition, how it relates to life, and what you can do about it.
Randomness Is Life
The first thing you need to consider is that randomness is the norm and not the exception. As humans, we spend our entire lives attempting to bring order to chaos. This is to our benefit and allows us to be productive, but it’s important to recognise just how much of our lives we have no control over.
This doesn’t have to be a doom and gloom situation. Your mind might go to car accidents or other misfortunes, but consider how many times you’ve run into an old friend or gotten some good news that you weren’t expecting.
Even when misfortune strikes, you’ll probably find that you handled things with grace or to the best of your ability at the time, more often than not. The key is to take the fear out of randomness and recognise that if it’s out of your control, it’s best not to worry about it.
We even reproduce randomness when creating things that we enjoy. People love card games because you don’t know what you are going to draw from the deck. Having full knowledge in advance would take all of the fun out of the game.
Online casinos are a prime example. These slots are built on Random Number Generator (RNG) software that lets you get a different possibility for a spin each time. If you were playing the Eye of Horus slot game without randomness, there’d be no point in getting free spins, you’d know every time the Horus symbol was about to pop up, and nothing about the pay lines would intrigue you.
Whether you win or lose at a game you play, there’s always a lesson to be learned. This applies whether you’re playing a leisurely game of slots or running the biggest race of your life. Learning to see it as all the same thing detaches you from the fear of the outcome and lets you act accordingly.
Learn to clear your mind
Having a cluttered mind is the main reason that people can’t deal with randomness. For instance, if the stress of a race is getting to you and you’re already fatigued and dwelling on it, your willpower and focus will drop significantly if you start to feel sore or suffer an injury that you’ll have to power through. It’s because instead of taking the event for what it is, you are not attaching it to the barrage of thoughts you had been focusing on.
Developing a practice for meditating or clearing your mind can help you whenever these events arise. Dedicate a portion of your daily athletic training to the mental aspect of the game. This can include visualization, breath work, and drilling worst-case scenarios.
Since life is filled with randomness, make it a part of your daily life to acknowledge and recognize this fact. The more you understand how common it is, the easier it’ll be for you to do something about it. Whether you need to play randomised games or simply acknowledge when randomness occurs so you can learn from it, develop this practice in your life so that you can grow. This will help you in competition and in life as a whole.