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Up Your Mental Game! (Positive training)

"Can't isn't a word"

This is what my Dad used to tell me growing up, I used to have an excuse for every poor performance. I can openly admit I didn't take it to heart until I was older, I still complained when things didn't go my way. Such a small phrase but it is key to a mindset that can take you to unprecedented heights.

That is a bold statement but it is true, mental toughness is just as important as physical ability. We have all had situations where we are more than capable of completing the task but don't because our head talks us out of it. Small complaints like "I missed that lift because my hands hurt from pull ups yesterday" can become the cornerstone of a negative mindset. We are creatures of habit, so practice positivity regularly and you will flourish.

This can be broken down into 2 main sections:

1. Self fulfilling prophecies,

We act to manifest our beliefs, if I believe I am good at something I am happy when it happens and actively seek it out, it doesn't matter if it is running or using technology. If we actively avoid what we are bad at we will not get any better at it. This is far easier said than done but it all starts with your self talk. I used to really struggle to run further than 5K. I used to tell myself i hated running and that i preferred to cycle, because of this I actively avoided running and never got better at it, if anything I got worse!

This changed after hearing a podcast (i can't recall what the podcast was) discussing actively seeking out short term discomfort for long term gain. They discussed how positive self talk can reduce perceived exertion, it feels easier if we believe we can achieve it.

I took this to heart, i began doing 4/5K runs at least once a week, i would tell myself I was good at running and when I finished it was worth it. Soon the runs became 7/8K then 10K and so forth. Now when someone mentions a run my first thought isn't "Uh Oh" it's "Let's go!"

It is common to use visualization to help with this, picture succeeding and then deliver on it.

2. Selective attention and Confirmation Bias

Selective attention is when you learn something new and then notice it more often. Every since i learned about kyphosis and medial rotation at the shoulder (hunched posture) i now see it every single day. I can't help but visually assess the positioning of each persons shoulder girdle.

Confirmation Bias is what constantly reassures our new attention. In this case me seeing more people with kyphosis on a daily basis.

When we start to see things positively we see them that way more and more. This is something we can implement today. Try not to complain but focus on what went well and what you can do to improve going forward. Over time this builds the strength of belief that allows you to tackle anything that comes up in life.

Are you willing to take the first step to improving your mindset today?


Building Athletic Lifestyles

This blog was inspired by my Dad and aided by books like Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron and various podcasts.

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