Newcastle halfback Mitchell Pearce has opened up about the pain of being labelled an Origin failure and letting go of the bitterness that came with it ahead of his 250th NRL game.
29-year-old Pearce says he is no longer haunted by being blamed for NSW's string of Origin losses and the avalanche of criticism that came with his time in the Blues team.
NSW this year won just their second Origin series in 13 years, with Pearce replaced by Penrith's Nathan Cleary.
He was often made the scapegoat for NSW's many losses but he is now philosophical over the criticism.
"You can't be bitter in life and hold on to resentment thinking 'I wish I did this or I wish I did that'," he told NRL.com.
"I've let go of trying to battle it."
Pearce revealed how meditation helped him find peace with the criticism, move on from past mistakes and mature to the point of finding his feet at the Knights.
"I've always been a bit chaotic in the head," he said.
"You play your best footy when you're in your feel and trusting yourself.
"Meditation can open you up to that. With footy and different expectations that come with wins and losses and taking things to heart, it can all add to you playing from your head."
Pearce will reach the 250-game milestone on Friday when the Knights face off against the Warriors in Auckland.