How do you talk to yourself at the gym (whether out-loud or just in your own head)? When you see the day’s WOD, do you find yourself saying, “I hate to run” or “I suck at pull-ups”? Nuno Costa states, “Our words create our reality, our perception of what happens to us, and what we are capable of achieving.” When we choose negative thoughts and words we victimize ourselves, whether we are in the gym or just in life in general. When we chose positive words or thoughts, they empower us to be confident, take risks, and go after goals and challenges that we have before us.
Victim language may include statements that start with things like: I can’t…, I hate…, I am terrible at…, I’m too old/young/big/small/etc… I’m sure that we can all add to the list of things that we have said or heard that would qualify as “victim” language. If you talk to a sports pyschologist they will state time and again that what we think and say has a huge impact on what we do. If you keep telling yourself that you will never get a muscle-up, chances are you won’t, or it will take a lot longer than if you have more positive thoughts.
Of course it takes more than just positive thoughts and statements to reach your goal. We need to think positive, powerful thoughts like: I can…, I will…, I choose… but we also need to take action on these thoughts. If your goal is, “I will get a pull up” (instead of saying that you can’t do a pull up) you also have to practice to reach your goal. You can’t just sit around and think positive thoughts about the pull up, you also have to do the drills and strength work to achieve your pull up and believe that you will accomplish that goal.
If you are unsure if you tend to speak and think in victim language, listen to what you say and your thoughts for a day or two. Notice if you speak and think more in positive language or in victim language. Remember, we are the master of our own fate! If you notice a lot of negative thoughts and statements coming out of your mouth, try to change it!
Henry Ford says it best, ” Whether you think that you can or you can’t, you’re usually right.”