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DKorn

Self Image vs Self Awareness

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How do you separate your self image from an honest awareness of how you are performing?

 

For instance, if you find yourself shooting slower than is necessary on close targets, how do you recognize that it is a skill to work on in practice without negatively affecting your self image?

 

Obviously, you don’t want to ignore the performance, but you also don’t want to dwell on it. 

 

Is is the best approach a combination of focused training, reinforcing good performance by saying “yup, that’s like me, I can shoot quickly on close targets”, plus changing your self-image using techniques like the directive affirmation?

 

I have index cards in my dry fire area, range bag, and by my reloading press with a self image statement describing the shooter I am becoming in practice. (Reinforcing the new self image rather than focusing on the problems of the past)

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1 hour ago, DKorn said:

How do you separate your self image from an honest awareness of how you are performing?

 

For instance, if you find yourself shooting slower than is necessary on close targets, how do you recognize that it is a skill to work on in practice without negatively affecting your self image?

 

I don't have a self image.  I have a self worth that is intrinsic and not dependent on how I perform at my job or at my hobbies.

 

That's how I can look at my performance, no matter how bad, and determine not only what I need to work on but also stay motivated to achieve it.

 

Self worth > Self esteem > Self image

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Lenny Bassham book "with winning in mind" Is a fantastic read on this topic. 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Furrly said:

Lenny Bassham book "with winning in mind" Is a fantastic read on this topic. 

 

I’ve read it and guess I’m trying to figure out the best way to apply it. 

 

Honest assessment of what to work on requires honest critique of your shooting. “Feast or forget” requires focusing on good and forgetting the bad. Directive affirmation requires focusing on the desired self image rather than the current reality. I guess I’m having a hard time figuring out how to balance these. 

Edited by DKorn

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Start filming yourself if you are not already, post the vids on this site and you will get honest criticism.. 

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5 minutes ago, Furrly said:

Start filming yourself if you are not already, post the vids on this site and you will get honest criticism.. 

 

I have. What I’m trying to work on is separating the critique from my self image. It’s fine to say “I need to work on ___” and then incorporate it into training, but as soon as you say “I always do ____ wrong”, you’re reinforcing a self image that will hold you back. Instead, i’m trying to focus on the way i want to do it and say “Doing ____ correctly (whatever that means in the context) is like me”, and then do it that way a bunch in training. 

 

To take it out of a shooting context- if you notice in a basketball game that you miss a bunch of 3-pointers, saying “I need to improve 3 pointers” and then adding more work on that to your practice is productive. Saying “I suck at 3 pointers” will hold you back. Saying “It’s like me to hit 3 pointers. I’m good at it”, visualizing yourself hitting them, and practicing them is productive.

 

At least I think that’s the right interpretation of what’s in WWIM.

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Ok...I complete get where you are coming from. Here is my story, at my local Uspsa  match there is an all steel stage that I use to burn down with out hesitation, as my shooting improved I started putting to much pressure on myself because  I expected more out of my performance.

I started to really struggle with that all Steel stage middle of last year. Every time I walked up to that stage I started to get nervous and I kept telling my self "Don't screw up" well what do you think Happened??? Yes!!! that !!!. 

I went back a re-read Lenny Book for a 2nd time in less then year. I created a positive affirmation statement , pasted all over my house, my office, my garage where I dry fire and load. My wife thought I was Crazy, she thinks I am crazy anyways...read every chance I had for 45 days and during that time I did not shot a match, this was over the winter break. 

And what do you think Happened..My steel shooting has improved, I even win that stage in my division, Limited (major) and I no longer get nervous when we shot the stage. I embrace the challenge , even if do not do well i brush it off. 

 

You must reinforce positive affirmation there is no other way around it!!!!!!! and get rid of the negative thoughts ...another great read that will reinforce what we are talking about is "Peak" by Anders Ericsson. there is no other way to improve other deliberate, perfect practice...

 

Best of Luck..

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There’s no need to have a self image. Obviously believe in yourself and your capabilities, but no need to build up an ego. Just be honest with yourself and get better one day at a time.

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Posted (edited)

IVe been writing down everyday how I am going to perform at my next match and my goals for the upcoming shooting season. I also am a firm believer of AT LEAST 2a days. This way I’m nailing home the process of what it takes to do something correctly every time. Also, if doubt wants To creep in, it’s met with me saying “I’ve put the time in this week and either met or exceeded my dry fire and live fire training.  It’s go time.” Then on match day I’m telling myself WHAT IM GOING TO DO. I AM going to call every shot in match mode. IAM going to watch the entire sight picture to ensure speed. I AM going to win today because I AM going to exicute everything perfectly. I’m also a firm believer in not analyzing how I’m doing during s match. I’ve got the entire week to be thinking about that s#!t until next weekends match. 

 

This is whats helped me. 

Edited by nikdanja

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Lots of awesome responses from various viewpoints. I try to not dwell on things when they happen during the match itself. Try to get good videos as much as possible. Especially during dry fire or practice on the range. Look at your performance/movements/draws, etc. Then dissect it and figure out what priorities you need to focus on. Break everything up into chunks and work on them until they are stored into your subconscious and can happen without much thought or effort. Then move onto the next item. I think we then tend to focus on the easy stuff and not want to actually figure out what help we need and where to focus our training. You will be able to see where negative time exists then work to diminish that amount of time. Identify the dwell time and work to diminish it. When we are not shooting, we are losing points. So just work on moving as fast as humanly possible through a course of fire while shooting all alphas ;) Sounds simple right. But seriously, breaking things down and becoming proficient in micro tasks will help you work to become faster overall. Shoot me a PM if you have any questions or need anything.

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As an update, I went to the Buckeye Blast (Ohio state championship) with a strong self image of the shooter I’ve been working to be through practice. I committed to my process and analyzed, strategized, memorized, and visualize each stage. I then told myself “Grip the gun, see the sights, be aggressive” (Mike Seeklander’s pre-stage mental statement) and “Center the dot, call the shot” (Steve Anderson’s recommended statement). I then took two deep breaths and let myself relax and wait for the beep. After the beep, I let the stage plan run on automatic and watched my sights to decide about whether I needed any make up shots. 

 

The end result was my best and most consistent match ever. I took 2nd place in Production C Class and am looking forward to making B class soon!

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On 4/17/2019 at 8:20 AM, DKorn said:

 

I’ve read it and guess I’m trying to figure out the best way to apply it. 

 

Honest assessment of what to work on requires honest critique of your shooting. “Feast or forget” requires focusing on good and forgetting the bad. Directive affirmation requires focusing on the desired self image rather than the current reality. I guess I’m having a hard time figuring out how to balance these. 

Let yourself critique, give yourself credit for the things you excelled at or did well. Take time to see the achievements or mike stones you have made. When looking at your weaknesses or skills you would like to improve, do it in a positive manner. If you struggled at weakhand shots, use those self affirmation statements that you can make those shots and work at attaining that goal. Don’t dwell on the negative, focus on the positives. 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/17/2019 at 10:07 AM, elguapo said:

 

I don't have a self image.  I have a self worth that is intrinsic and not dependent on how I perform at my job or at my hobbies.

 

That's how I can look at my performance, no matter how bad, and determine not only what I need to work on but also stay motivated to achieve it.

 

Self worth > Self esteem > Self image

 

Agreed. Sorta. 

 

All this new age “Self Image” baloney is just narcissism with a suppressor screwed onto the end of it. 

A product of the “everyone’ A winner and gets a trophy” school of competition. 

 

When I win, I am a winner and feel good about it. 

When I do not win, I feel bad about it.

I lost because I was tested and did not measure up to the task. Therefore I failed due to my own shortcomings and need to work harder. 

 

Self Esteem comes from accomplishment, and accomplishments are ALWAYS judged by a fixed set of parameters or benchmarks we must meet or exceed. 

Those benchmarks are NEVER based on our personal feelings or an emotional grading curve. 

 

The power of positive thinking will get you nowhere without building skills and knowledge to succeed in life. 

 

Second sucks ... because it is just the “top loser”.

Edited by DixieBushcraft
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2 hours ago, DixieBushcraft said:

 

Agreed. Sorta. 

 

All this new age “Self Image” baloney is just narcissism with a suppressor screwed onto the end of it. 

A product of the “everyone’ A winner and gets a trophy” school of competition. 

 

When I win, I am a winner and feel good about it. 

When I do not win, I feel bad about it.

I lost because I was tested and did not measure up to the task. Therefore I failed due to my own shortcomings and need to work harder. 

 

Self Esteem comes from accomplishment, and accomplishments are ALWAYS judged by a fixed set of parameters or benchmarks we must meet or exceed. 

Those benchmarks are NEVER based on our personal feelings or an emotional grading curve. 

 

The power of positive thinking will get you nowhere without building skills and knowledge to succeed in life. 

 

Second sucks ... because it is just the “top loser”.

 

You and I are saying the same thing.  Self worth (or self respect if you like) lies above self esteem because it derives from who we are as a human being.  Self esteem derives, as you point out, from our achievements.

 

The power of positive thinking will get you nowhere without work and skill.  But neither will work and skill get you as far as they could if you lack positive thinking or attitude.

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20 hours ago, elguapo said:

 

You and I are saying the same thing.  Self worth (or self respect if you like) lies above self esteem because it derives from who we are as a human being.  Self esteem derives, as you point out, from our achievements.

 

The power of positive thinking will get you nowhere without work and skill.  But neither will work and skill get you as far as they could if you lack positive thinking or attitude.

 

Correct. 

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Life has many facets of which shooting is just one.

 

I try to keep the extent to which my personal identity is tied to shooting performance in perspective.  It's there but it's not everything.  I got a late start so my sense of self worth was well developed before I ever set foot on the competition range.

 

When I don't perform as well as I know I can, I only think about the work I know I need to correct it.  There's very little ego in it; however I naturally get some ego gratification out of certain match results that occur from time to time.

 

Most of us who've shot enough matches can watch a person shoot and quickly get a sense of what his commitment level is.  I get beat by those have some measure of greater commitment than I do.  I control whether I decide to match or exceed that level of commitment and become more competitive with those people.

 

Aside from that, it's about having fun.  If it ever stops being fun, I'll stop shooting.

 

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 I know when I have given a maximum performance.  So that's the self-awareness part.

 

  My self image is generally that I'm a nobody, and while that may not be healthy all the time, it helps keep ego out of the way when I'm shooting.  I manage high-end remodeling for a living and my style is to under-promise and over-deliver.  Likewise,  I purposefully don't wear shooting jerseys covered in logos, and I don't drool over the latest Atlas blingy limited gun.  If I did, I'd be thinking about what I'd be projecting and whether or not my performance measured up. As it is now, my only expectations for myself are for me to shoot to my ability, and that I whittle away at the inefficiencies.  When I get caught up in expectations for how I'll measure up in the results, placing 1 spot off can be hard and can ruin an event that was supposed to be fun.  I also have external help in beating down ego- Charlie Perez shoots nearly every match I shoot, and I'm always trailing him.  So, measuring my improvement is based almost solely as a percentage of him over the years, with his 100% establishing what it means to be "good".  It used to be a goal to be 75%, then 80%, then 85%, and now 95%. So, I'm getting closer good! 

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Competing, as in life, is a process.  Don't take yourself too seriously, have fun with the process of learning.

Not to be confused with being serious about one's endeavors and striving to win or do right.

Lanny Bashams book is good, might read Brian Enos's book also.

We all have a self image/ego/super ego (sometimes we don't even know what the super ego is) it's just not something we should share with anyone but those closest to us (and maybe not even them).

We are who we are and work on being better than what we are.

 

If you think of it there is undoubtedly someone out there who could be the best shot, passer, pitcher, runner, athlete but has no interest in those endeavors.

For myself I cherish the opportunity to evolve.

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The best way that it was explained to me, and trust me I'm still working a whole lot on it is this:

Completely separate yourself from the process and trust in the fundamentals. In bullseye it's focusing on each and every shot (which is completely exhausting), in USPSA it's on your plan.

 

Don't think about others watching you because chances are they don't care, they're more worried about where they place and their plan , and chances are they will forget about it by the next day. Don't dwell on the last shot, it's already gone.

 

It's all about the process, focus on that.

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I never let who I am as a person connect in any way to my shooting skill (or lack of it, when that happened to be the case). :D

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I have read Lannys book(a few times), and I listen to Steve Anderson’s podcast, last year I took a demotion and got a 8 dollar a hour raise, right now in my work I want to be the best, been there before but not now, harping on the negatives is a super hard thing to break, doing so is IMHO is the single biggest hurdle, once you are able to focus on positives, and think objectively on solutions the world is yours, my self image has grown, problem is my shooting is not my focus, work is, the conscience mind can only do 1 thing at a time.  

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On 4/17/2019 at 9:23 AM, DKorn said:

How do you separate your self image from an honest awareness of how you are performing?

 

For instance, if you find yourself shooting slower than is necessary on close targets, how do you recognize that it is a skill to work on in practice without negatively affecting your self image?

 

Obviously, you don’t want to ignore the performance, but you also don’t want to dwell on it. 

 

Is is the best approach a combination of focused training, reinforcing good performance by saying “yup, that’s like me, I can shoot quickly on close targets”, plus changing your self-image using techniques like the directive affirmation?

 

I have index cards in my dry fire area, range bag, and by my reloading press with a self image statement describing the shooter I am becoming in practice. (Reinforcing the new self image rather than focusing on the problems of the past)

I like the self image cards!  Part of mental conditioning is that you understand a few key concepts with shooting and training.  You get out what you put in.  One thing I read from Lanny Basham is Don't dwell on the negatives.  Once the stage is over, it's over! Go to the next stage and start fresh.

How many times do you see a shooter have a issue or problem with a stage?  That same shooter will be grumbling and mumbling 4 stages later about the issue.  Each stage he gets more and more upset and just carries his frustration over to the next stage.  Next thing you know all he talks about is the one stage that ruined his match.  He doesn't talk about the other 4 stages that he screwed up because he didn't let it go.  Treat each stage as an individual match.

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On 4/17/2019 at 10:16 AM, Furrly said:

Lenny Bassham book "with winning in mind" Is a fantastic read on this topic. 

Great advice :)

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