While taking part in my favourite activity at the weekend, a self navigating run (for those that are wondering this is a run where you are given the route instructions or a map at the start of a race and have to follow them, there are no marshals or arrows to follow - although there are checkpoints along the way to make sure you're on track) there were a couple of different instances got me thinking about speed vs. accuracy.
The reason for this was because if the run I was doing had finished at 3.5 miles I would have been on the podium despite the fact that there were quite a few faster runners taking part. The reason - they were so focused on going fast, they didn't read the route instructions clearly enough and therefore went down a few wrong paths before getting back on track. Being that we do these things for fun we did have a good laugh about it as they came past and for some when they came past for the 2nd or 3rd time... (By the way fun doesn't mean we're not also a competitive bunch!)
The same thing had happened the day before on another route and in the lull between instructions I started to wonder how this is the same as our thinking works - our brain works at such a speed we can be down the wrong path before we've even had a chance to realise there was more than one way to go! Or perhaps we are following the crowd, not wanting to be the one to say 'I think it's this way'
So we can back track the way we came until we find the point we last knew where we were, we can forge forward and hope to come to somewhere we recognise or we can find a short cut to get back on track. Depending on what we are doing all these options are perfectly valid. But what if we hadn't gone speeding past the turn in the first place, what if we had slowed down just a little to read the instructions and understand what was needed of us so that we could take the right path first time... Well in the long run it could save you time and energy. And just like on these runs - if you think it's a different way, stop and check, it could be that others are having the same doubts and together you can make sure you are all on the right path.
So the magic key in this instance is to have the right speed and accuracy rather than one or the other, they should be complimenting each other. Which means having the right strategy mentally
1. be sure of your own abilities
2. be strong - if you think others are following the wrong path, take the one that you think is right.
3. be ready to admit your mistakes and rectify them quickly
And above all have fun!
Working with a mental strategies and mindset development coach means you can make sure your brain is taking the right path at the right time with speed and accuracy.