If you follow CompTrain, Ben Bergeron’s training program, you have probably heard this before. At CrossFit New England, they encourage each of their members to live by this three-fold policy. It is critical to have a positive mindset.
The following excerpt is borrowed from CompTrain.
CompTrain has an unbreakable threefold policy:
Never whine. Never complain. Never make excuses.
Staying positive is difficult for humans, because our DNA is hardwired to hold on to negative experiences over positive ones, for sheer survival. Way back when our species was in survival mode, it was far more important to know and remember that the big furry animal with claws and teeth would kill you than it was to know and remember that the butterfly was pretty. We developed a survival instinct that is ingrained in a negative mindset.
Negativity, though, is immensely detrimental to performance. When you’re in a negative mindset, you’re slower and less precise. Positivity, by contrast, is directly linked to improved performance. It doesn’t matter what the task or profession is; you could be an athlete, a surgeon, a professional typist or a classical violinist. If you stay positive, you perform with greater speed and accuracy.
This is easier said than done. Not only is negativity hardwired into our DNA, it’s become ingrained in our culture: almost two thirds of English words convey the negative side of things. Positivity, therefore, must be a learned behavior. Some people are privileged to be raised with an optimistic worldview, but for just as many, it’s an attitude they consciously chose to have. We have to work at it. Every. Single. Day.
A lot of people will deny that they are complaining. “I’m just stating a fact,” they say. “It’s just reality.” But focusing on and verbalizing negative feelings or circumstances—It’s so hot out, I’m tired, This traffic sucks, My boss such an idiot—brings greater focus to things that are ultimately outside of your control and are potentially detrimental to your performance.
In no competitive or life scenario will focusing on negative uncontrollable factors improve your performance or stress levels. Period.
We all have stories we tell ourselves, and whether we realize it or not, they dictate what we are capable of. Our thoughts become our words, our words become our actions, and our actions dictate our destiny.