Believe in yourself – that’s the place to start.
When I went to the last game of the Hamilton Bulldogs season, Devan Dubnyk was sitting on the bench. He had begun the 2013-14 season as the #1 goalie for the Edmonton Oilers, but was traded to Nashville in January, got stuck behind a hot goalie in Carter Hutton, and only played two games. He was traded to Montreal 49 days later for future considerations, but never dressed and was sent down to their AHL farm team, the Hamilton Bulldogs. It was a tough year for Dubnyk, both professionally and emotionally. “I didn’t want to talk to anybody or talk about it at all. Going from being an NHL starter to the AHL was embarrassing.” This year he has another chance with the Arizona Coyotes and is confident that he still has the ability to be a good starting goaltender, though he knows it will be difficult to get there.
Facing adversity can teach you a lot about yourself, and it’s hard not to lose some confidence when you’re struggling. But to push through and find your way back, you have to believe in yourself, sometimes when it seems like no one else does. Instead of listening to those naysayers or toxic thoughts in your head that tell you, “I’ll never be a good goalie/writer/artist, etc…”, ask yourself, What can I do to become better? Be your own cheerleader instead of your own worst enemy. It’s difficult to get rid of self-doubt entirely, but when you can start to believe in yourself, that confidence will grow stronger and you can begin to overcome whatever comes your way.
Game Plan: Make a list of successes that you have had in the past, big or small. Self-doubt often reminds us of all the times we have tried something and failed, and we forget all of the awesome things we have done, and difficult things we have accomplished. Keep that list with you and refer back to it whenever you have lost your way. Be kind to yourself.
Quote source: Venus Williams