How many times have you said to yourself, “This sucks.” or “I hate (insert your least favorite movement here).” We all have movements or exercises we dislike. These are called “goats.” But hating them only makes our progress and growth that much slower. Our mental approach to these obstacles plays a key role in that progress.
Your inner voice can be a huge motivating factor in your success. But it can also be your toughest competitor. Many times the biggest obstacle we face isn’t the workout but rather our own self-doubt. Our thoughts and words set the stage for our actions, which ultimately determine the outcome of our lives. Don’t’ let your thinking take a turn for the worse…even before the workout starts.
When negative thoughts begin to creep in, re-channel your thinking. Try to keep the internal dialogue positive and motivating. Push the thoughts of doubt, fear, and negativity from your mind and replace them with a winning attitude. For example, just before an extremely heavy lift, or when your focus begins to waver during an exhaustive WOD…this is the perfect time to refocus your thinking.
Here are a couple of things you can consider to help you stay positive. Try not to obsess about the workout all day. Butterflies before a workout is normal. Worrying about IT isn’t. During the workout, tap into that positive voice—refrain from using words with negative connotations. After the workout, reaffirm your progress with positive self-talk. Take a second to relish in your accomplishments.
The next time you’re facing your goat, try finding the positive in the experience. This approach may only yield incremental changes to the outcome, but they’ll be positive changes nonetheless. And before you know it, your continued success and growth may actually lead you to begin loving it.