A few weeks ago, many around the world tuned in to watch Nike's Breaking2 Project unfold as 3 runners attempted to break the 2 hour marathon record. After months of training and teams of people working on the project, one of those runners, Eliud Kipchoge, came up just 25 seconds shy of achieving the goal.
Last night, in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, for 45 minutes it seemed as though the Cleveland Cavaliers were going to win the game to make the series 2-1. However, in the last few minutes of the game, the Warriors owned the court and won the game calling into question the Cavs hopes for the rest of the series and the ultimate title for the season.
Whether in sport or other performance domains, things don't always go in our favor and work out as we planned or want them to. An actor might not get the dream role he auditioned for, a dancer might not be given the lead after years of work as a backup, and the corporate world may not grant you with that promotion or job you've been working towards for years. So how do we resiliently walk away from these moments and use them to our advantage going forward? We can let our minds think and reflect on the situation on their own. But this might not be very useful and could result in rumination that points us in a negative direction.
Instead try strategic, critical reflection on the event (note: there are 2 types of reflection: in-action - thinking critically while engaging in an experience, and on-action - thinking critically after an experience). The purpose of this is to engage in an intentional learning cycle that informs your future performance. Essentially, you are using your experiences both good and bad to your advantage.
Here are a couple of frameworks I use with clients. I encourage you to think through these or even better keep a log of your answers so you can look back over your reflections when needed.
1. What did you do well? (here don't just think about what went right, but focus on your approach to the situation)
2. What could you have done better or different? (here don't get stuck on evaluating yourself, think about expanding your perspective, decision making, and ways you could approach situations such as this)
3. What did you learn? (what are the key takeaways from this experience that you can apply moving forward)
1. What should/could you start doing? (you haven't been doing it but think/know it would help if you did and/or you've done it before and it has been useful/effective)
2. What should/could you stop doing? (these things aren't working for you and/or don't lead to effective results)
3. What should/could you continue doing? (you are doing these things and they seem to be putting you in a good position; your keys to success)
Additional question: you can add in a fourth question here - What should/could you change? (anything that needs to be adapted, altered, or shifted in any way to be more effective; be clear about what changes you will make)
Note: to use this framework effectively make sure you aren't being redundant with your answers in each area
"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you might find, you get what you need." - The Rolling Stones