Negative self-talk destroys your motivation and keeps you from meeting your goals.
I put myself to a little test last weekend. I ran a beautiful 5K on the Chicago lakefront and challenged myself to change my intervals a bit to see if it made a difference in my pace. During the race I went from a 1-minute walk: 1-minute run interval to a 30-second walk: 1-minute run interval. And do you know what? MY BRAIN WENT HAYWIRE!
I can’t breathe.
My shoes are too loose. (This was true, actually.)
OMG, I am so much slower.
I am so winded.
Why did you change this?
My legs feel like lead.
I am going to walk the rest of the way.
Why did you get new shoes?
Why are you so effing slow?
When I say haywire, I mean H.A.Y.W.I.R.E.
Use a mantra
Once I realized what I was doing to myself (about halfway through), I took a deep breath, walked through one of my run intervals, and started on my mantra: “I am strong and I kick ass, I am focused on my task.” And I just chanted it for the rest of the race.
I think about just a couple of years ago before I started working with Jill and how I would have spiraled down even deeper had I not learned how to coach myself out of a mental mindfuck. Back then, those thoughts would have been more along the line of…
You are such a horrible person.
Who do you think you are trying to run?
Look how fat and slow you are.
The world is going to end.
Okay, maybe not quite that drastic, but close. So while my thoughts were not that great, I realized that they were just thoughts and I could think anything I wanted to and actually enjoy myself. So that’s what I did. I breathed. I mantra’d. I finished. And with a great time, actually. Even with this giant, fucking hill at the end of the race.
Find room for improvement
What I did realize, though, is that I did not feel as physically strong as I would have liked. I admit that I’ve been slacking a little on my strength training. So I vowed to myself that I would up my strength-game and go back to Bootcamp class on Tuesday nights. A while ago I had stopped going because I wanted to try and do it on my own. I really was half-assing it and if I am going to show up fully trained for my two half marathons and Ragnar this year, I better full-ass that strength training. I am still only going to do it two days a week, and run three days a week, but I am going to work a little harder at it. After all, I am strong and I kick ass. I am focused on my task!
How are you going to change your negative self-talk?
See you on the path,