Let’s say you are about to attempt a new PR at a front squat. In your mind, you are thinking, “Oh my gosh, this is going to suck.” You take it off the rack, start to descend and you cave like a flimsy sack of potatoes. Crap. You re-coop, rack it again and this time you tell yourself, “Eff this bar, I’m gonna get it!” Then you take a deep breath, hold it, descend and stand it back up. This is my own personal example of positive self-talk vs. negative self-talk.
“All day long, most people have a running dialogue with themselves. If you actually stop and listen to these messages, you may wonder how you accomplish anything at all” (Quinn 2011.) How true is this for some of us? Your body tends to follow what your mind tells it to.
Another important factor of positive self-talk is that it must be possible and believable. Squatting a weight that is 10# over your previous max is more believable than saying, “I’m going to win the CrossFit Games.” Baby steps…
Visualization also comes into play. The phrases and words you choose should be those that you can immediately create a mental picture of yourself doing what you say.
Do not ever say can’t!
“A few months ago, as I was gritting through my last round of handstand push-ups, Nuno suggested I start kipping them. Me: I can’t do the kip. Nuno: *long, meaningful stare* Me: Um…I mean…I’m still learning it. The rephrasing from “can’t” is significant, and not just because it pacified Nuno. It’s the difference between shutting down the very possibility and acknowledging that it’s a work in progress. Maybe I’ll be “still learning” the muscle-up another two years from now, but I’ll never think it’s flat-out impossible.” (B. 2012.) I’ve never met Nuno, but I like him already. The important thing that I want you to think about in this quote is that you are a work in progress. You will ALWAYS be learning new things and progressing here at the box. Stay humble and keep a good attitude.
Oldie but goodie
And this because it’s funny/cute
B. Toby, “Top 10 Lessons I’ve Learned from Invictus,” http://www.crossfitinvictus.com/blog/top-ten-lessons-ive-learned-from-invictus/, Jul 22,2012.
Quinn, Elizabeth, “Does Positive Self-Talk in Athletes Improve Sports Performance.” <http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sportspsychology/a/Positive-Self-Talk-And-Sports-Performance.htm> Oct 12, 2011.