We're only in May but if you take a look around the paddock you will notice that a lot of drivers are beaten already.
They have subconsciously decided that this season is not going to deliver what they had hoped for and they're not far away from pressing the panic button.
We've only just got going, drivers have only just made their second budget installments to their teams yet they are already on the downward slope (whether they know it or not).
This happens every year, drivers have had time to realise the truth, the truth about how they, their team and their competitors fair up. It's not always good news.
Even this early in the year drivers have had to face the following:
1) A quicker team mate
2) Pre-season pace not transferring over to the season
3) A teammate who has more of the team's support
4) Too many crashes
5) Not sure about having enough budget
6) Cannot get along with the engineer
7) In a championship that doesn't fulfill their needs
This all kicks their year off to a shaky start which would be fine but drivers are just not recovering from such incidents.
How Most Drivers Think
From what I have seen most drivers are not very good at coping with tough situations, mostly because they are so young. Something knocks their confidence at the beginning of the year and they find it hard to bounce back.
For example if they are being beaten by a teammate they will often start to overdrive, to hate that other driver, to become tense, to focus on distracting thoughts and lose their natural flow. As you know these are all ingredients for racing failure.
It's not long before that driver is making mistakes, crashing, losing their enjoyment for the sport and heading for the trash bin.
This is seen all too often, instead of getting excited about their crappy situation because it offers an opportunity for growth, they choose to dwell on how bad things are and to make it their story for why they couldn't succeed this season (their families often contribute to this protective way of thinking).
Don't get me wrong the driver will work hard on improving their situation but deep down they have already decided that the year is finished. They cannot find the magic pill to fix it so they only attempt things half heartily not really believing that it will make much difference.
What a waste of time and money, people get locked up for less criminal acts.
I only know a handful of drivers that have turned bad situations around (and enjoyed the process), ironically they are the ones that are in F1 or have solid racing careers. That says something about the type of mental skills required to make it.
If this is you.
If you are in this type of situation then it's time to stand up straight, take a deep breathe, exhale and hit this baby head on.
There is no other way to handle this other than by telling yourself to - "Get on with it and make this work!"
You may have your story for why things are not working out which is fine as long as you don't live there, accept the challenge and then set about using it for what it really is, a chance to become even more. You are only experiencing this challenging time because it's life's way of telling you that it's time for you to grow.
"When life thinks you deserve a promotion, it will throw you a problem to help you get there."
If you see every problem in this light then imagine how strong you would be.
It doesn't matter if this is actually true or not, the fact that you believe it will work out for you more often than not.
This is something that the super successful among us do, they fail every week at something and get people tearing into them all the time, but they have accepted that these adversities are only here for their own good. That's power.
No problem or bad situation can bring you down, nothing is bigger than you, you're a Human after all.
From Now On
If you are facing something already this year that is holding you back or destroying your results then do not wait, get on top of it now before the rot sets and create your own personal performance program, get people to help you, use ALL of your resources and enjoy the fight that is laid out in front of you.
Become a problem monster, know that each crappy situation makes you stronger, that they are here to help you and have the mindset that you need them in order to grow.
These few distinctions / beliefs can take you a long way, believe in them fully and you will feel the freedom and strength when needed most.