Cheerleaders – do you do this? Jumping to Conclusions
This is yet another cognitive distortion that can interfere with cheerleading success. In this case, you go beyond the evidence you actually have and reach a conclusion that makes things look worse than they are. It takes three distinct forms: Labeling, Mind Reading, and Fortune Telling.
Today I will deal with Labeling.
Here’s an example – You are finishing a practice session in which you just couldn’t hit an inverted back tuck. Each time you tried, you rotated a bit too soon.
What do you tell yourself? If you tell yourself, “I’m a lousy flyer,” you are Labeling yourself. You are now “a lousy flyer.” Instead of saying, “I couldn’t get it right today so I better ask coach for advice,” you ended up applying a negative label to a complex event.
Labeling leaves out more than it includes and it ignores the complexity of a given situation. There could be many reasons why you are having trouble with an inverted back tuck, but if you quickly Label yourself a “lousy flyer” you are closing off the opportunity to learn what’s interfering with your progress.
Here’s a better way of handling this situation: “I seem to be having trouble with my inverted back tuck. It’s frustrating. I wonder what I’m doing wrong. I can ask coach or some of the other cheerleaders to watch me and tell me what they observe. Once I know what I’m doing wrong I can get help in correcting it.”
Do you see how this way leads to a plan of action? Once you have a plan of action, your frustration will diminish because you have hope that things will improve!
So, watch out for Labeling!