Last night Liverpool FC played Borussia Dortmund in a quarter final of the Europa League. This second leg of a two leg tie started 1-1 with Liverpool having the advantages of an away goal and playing at home. All they had to do was stop Dortmund scoring and they would go through. Liverpool didn’t have to score because of the away goals rule. Liverpool however don’t pay for draws so they attacked from the start. Unfortunately Dortmund are an excellent side who are not accustomed to losing. They are a talented hard working team who play with passion and they are clinical in their movements. So Liverpool attack and get Dortmund on the back foot but suddenly a bad pass and Dortmund have the ball, they break forward and show their class, cutting through the Liverpool defence. Goal keeper Simon Mignolet pulled off a great save but the ball fell to Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Dortmund and it was 0-1 to Dortmund on the night. It got worse, within ten minutes of the kick off Dortmund had two. Once you have a goal in a European tie you can’t have extra time. Due to the away goals rule, someone goes through and someone goes out. This meant to go through to the semi-finals Liverpool needed to score three goals against one of the best teams in Europe. Most people at this point thought it was all over and the remaining eighty minutes of play would be at best pointless waste of time or at worse embarrassing for Liverpool.
Liverpool however had other ideas, they fought back for the remaining of the first half looking the better of the two teams for much of it, but at half time they had failed to score. The second half started in much the same vain. This Liverpool team where not going to lie down and be beaten they fought back and eventually it paid off with a Liverpool goal. Not enough to get them through to the next round but it did show they could score against Dortmund even though Dortmund where playing better than they did in the first leg. Dortmund however where not sitting back defending and got another goal of their own in reply. Again many teams would have let their heads drop and taken what looked like inevitable defeat but Liverpool kept pushing forward. They scored another three goals to finish the tie Liverpool 5, Dortmund 4 over the two legs. Liverpool through to the next leg.
What this story tells us is the importance of belief, the Liverpool players believed they could pull the game back and take the win. No matter how bad the odds looked they just kept on pushing forward working as a team knowing that if it could be done, they would do it. They played with passion and refused to admit it was over until the final whistle, scoring their winning goal in the last five minutes of the game. We all face times like this in our personal lives and sometimes when it all looks lost we lose our belief that we can overcome our adversity and adversity overcomes us. We may then sink into depression or self-harm. Belief has a big impact to our future performance in life. If you believe you can overcome a problem you have a good chance of overcoming that problem. If you believe in yourself and look for the positive you’ll find the positive which helps you move forward. When we look for the negative then we only see the negative so often many of us can feel happier just by retraining ourselves how to think. Think positive. Example; I crashed my car into a wall, it will be expensive to fix = negative. I crashed my car into a wall but I’m not hurt = positive.
You don’t need to be suffering from a mental illness to do this. We can all benefit from retraining ourselves to think on the positive side, try it. Next time you think something negative stop and try to reframe it as a positive. A recent study has shown that self-made millionaires tend not to have pessimists as friends, in fact they will shun a pessimist when they meet one. Positive thinking is not going to make you a millionaire but it will make you feel happier. I will start you off with the first piece of positive thinking, no matter whether or not you currently suffer from a mental illness or how bad it has gotten I would like you to remember. you matter. Somewhere at some time YOU made a positive impact in someone else’s life and you will again. Some where there is someone who cares about you and this world will be a worse place without you.
Positive thinking can help you win a football match, it can also help you just open your eyes and face the world every day. Small steps can become a long fruitful journey, let’s walk.