Gary Mark, author of “Mind Gym,” explains that “We all have conversations going on inside our heads. I call it self-talk. Every athlete hears two competing voices. One is a negative critic, and the other is a positive coach. Which voice we listen to is a matter of choice.”
What voice do you listen to? What do you say to yourself when you step up to the barbell? What thoughts do you have when you look in the mirror? To change your self-talk, start by monitoring what you tell yourself and identify your negative thoughts. Challenge these thoughts by replacing them with positive statements. Develop a positive mantra you can recite when you feel the negativity creep in.
Using affirmations are another way to develop positive self-talk. Affirmations are powerful and meaningful statements or quotes that foster a positive mindset. You don’t have to say them to yourself in the mirror or write them down in your diary, but affirmations will help train your brain to think differently. Shower yourself in positive statements by writing them on post-it notes and hanging them in your bathroom, on the fridge, or in your car and recite them to yourself throughout the day.
What we tell ourselves on a daily basis determines how we feel, and how we feel affects how we perform. In the book “The Champion’s Mind,” author Jim Afremow explains that positive and negative self-talk resemble a good and bad wolf. It’s up to you which wolf you decide to feed. Take control of your thoughts and you will improve your physical performance as well as your daily outlook.
By Conner Edelbrock