Today’s I'm sharing something that at times frustrates the coach in me, I won't lie. Perhaps more than almost anything. And I know it shouldn’t, because…well, it’s the humanity in all of us. But if only…
So what is it?
Our constant need to self-judge at every turn or moment, during training and racing.
Trust me, I’ve been there. We all have. It’s our universal human nature to do this thing, self-judging right in the midst of when we're out there training and racing, that can be so destructive if we let it.
Many years ago, a smart friend reminded me that expectations are often the worst thing we can have. In any situation, of the three possible outcomes, two aren’t very attractive and can lead to frustration and sadness. After all, if an expectation is met, you naturally nod and go, “well, I expected it (so no big deal). If its not met, you’re inevitably and disappointed. Frustrated. Even angry.
Every workout or training session you do ISN’T a pass or fail TEST, that determines whether your training is moving in the right direction, or if you’re fit, or even if you’re any good.
Every race you do ISN’T a reflection of your fitness or preparation. Or even your value as a human being! It's just a single race. One event. On one day. That's all.
When you go into any experience or training session or race with an expectation for it to be a certain way... or for you to feel a certain way, you’re setting up the chance of being disappointed. And the negative self-talk that comes out of that disappointment is sure to rob you of the joy of just being out there!
My friend, that sucks!
Because getting out there to train and race and participate on whatever level you are able, should above all else, be joyous. And affirming.
Don’t let what happens in any moment in time detract from you just DOING what you set out to do, the very best you can, in that moment. Take it all as it comes. Go with the flow. It’s neither “good” nor “bad,” it just is.
Take satisfaction from knowing you did the best you could in that moment. Pat yourself on the back.
**Select the words you use when you talk to yourself, with care. They will inevitably trigger thoughts, images and feelings, both positive and negative.
**Accept occasional setbacks and difficulties as normal and natural parts of life and training - decide to rise above them and carry on. Just do!
While it might not seem realistic at times, the simple truth is that we all need to talk to ourselves positively, not just some of the time, but ALL the time. Talk about things the way you want them to be rather than the way they might be in a moment in time.
Don’t let the inevitable ebb and flow of life (and training) suck the joy out of doing what you most love to do.
Al, we all have our negative inner critic, but never forget how awesome you are and how hard you’re working and fighting to do your best every day. Trust me, I’m right there with you!
To your success,
PS: A while back I recorded a short audio on "Self Talk" for my coached athletes. Many of them told me it helped tremendously to keep them focused on the kinds of self talk that leads to better outcomes. If you'd like to listen, CLICK HERE to right click and download it for listening now or later on. I hope it helps!