Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Seeds of doubt can enter our minds, we water them, and they grow to dominate the way we perceive a situation. We look at the bar and shake our head saying, “that’s too heavy, I don’t think I can lift that”. I would be willing to bet that more often than not you won’t lift that weight or complete that movement if your mindset is negative going in. A negative mindset and negative self-talk are not only detrimental to yourself, but they can also become contagious and infect those around you. It’s easy to fall into this trap because it makes coping with failure easier. If you told yourself you couldn’t do something at the onset, then failing to do so seems to be the logical progression and doesn’t bruise the ego as badly. Don’t allow yourself to fall into this pattern of thinking.
I read an article this past week about a trainer who has a rule where if she sees one of her members shaking their head or hears any negative self-talk, she makes them do 10 burpees at the end of the WOD. Now, I’m not considering employing this tactic (yet), but I do think it is important to be cognizant of your mindset when you are training (and in other areas of your life as well). When you approach a weight you have never lifted before or a WOD full of movements you struggle with, do so with a positive mindset and do not let the possibility of failure enter your mind. Take a moment to step back and visualize yourself making that lift, or successfully completing that WOD. I’m not being naïve here and saying if you’re positive you will never fail. There will be times when you will fail and that is perfectly okay and normal. But don’t get pissed off and start berating yourself. Learn from your failures. If you realize what you did wrong that’s excellent, come up with a plan to remedy the situation and crush it the next time you make an attempt. If you don’t know what went wrong, ask one of us and we can come up with a plan together.
The bottom line here is don’t defeat yourself before the battle even begins. There are enough obstacles waiting for you out there; don’t allow your mindset to become another one. If negative people surround you, remove yourself from their company or bring it to their attention (they may not even realize the extent of their negativity). Positivity breeds success. Find ways to stay positive prior, during, and after a lift or WOD. It can be simple short phrases like “light weight”, “easy money”, “stay moving”, or “one more rep”; whatever works for you just stay positive. Turn those headshakes into head nods. Don’t allow negativity to creep in and take hold. Remember to train your mind as well as your body to truly maximize your potential as an athlete.
Whit did an awesome post about positive self-talk a couple months back and I wanted to piggy-back off that because I think this is a very important topic. I hope this helps. Stay positive, go hard, and believe in yourselves and know that we believe in you too.