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What if…?

The Olympics is over – it is unlikely to be in London again, certainly during my lifetime…and yet I feel I didn’t make the most of it because I ‘failed’ to take full advantage of the opportunity and get tickets for the ‘experience of a lifetime’.

I did try to get tickets, right from when the first ballot was launched…but this morning, now it’s over, I find myself wondering – did I try hard enough? What if I’d had one more attempt to purchase tickets online? What if I’d just decided to go down to the Park and soak up the atmosphere? What if…?

I expect there will be a number of Olympic athletes waking up this morning and thinking something similar? What if I had done one more training session? What if I’d kicked out for the finish line 10m earlier? What if…?

So, how do we manage those ‘What if’ moments, those regrets which manifest themselves on occasions? Well, I usually rely on these three tips:

1. Reframing

Athletes could remind themselves that even if they came in 30th in a field of 30 for their event, they were still 30th in the WORLD – that is really successful by most people’s standards. As for my ticket experience, think how upset I would have been if I had got tickets for the wrestling (not my favourite sport) …and then I had missed Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford winning gold on that memorable Saturday evening, even if I did only watch it on TV.

2.  We all do the best we can with the resources we have available at the time

Athletes face challenges in just the same way the rest of us do, and with the amount of drive and determination they seem to have, I am sure they did the very best they could on the day. As for me, yes, maybe I could have stayed up another evening until 2am, pressing refresh on my laptop – and I decided that in the grand scheme of things, sleep was more important, so I could continue to perform well in my duties the next day!

3.  What will be, will be.

Quite often, there is an element of luck involved – would things have been different if the fencing clock hadn’t reset itself, or if the referee had judged something slightly differently?

Luck falls both ways and I know I have had luck on my side in the past, in different circumstances which have had a far greater significance in my life. How lucky would I have been if I had found myself in Cardiff, watching Team GB lose on penalties and missing 3 gold medals being won in the Olympic stadium!

Its just a case of getting things back into perspective…

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