We are what we think!
We all have our little self-narrative. For most of us, that narrative is negative, most of the time. We don’t think we’re smart, we don’t think we’re attractive, we don’t think we have much talent, we don’t think we can paint, dance, sing, calculate, play chess, recall pop-culture, be socially ‘easy’ or fun. We don’t think of ourselves as good runners, good spouses, good parents or children or siblings. We see lots of room for improvement when it comes to organizing our time, keeping track of our finances or managing our social lives. In short, we spend a lot of time in our own heads telling ourselves what we can’t possibly do or be good at – and we can justify all of them a million ways to Sunday!
For me, it was a speed workout. Those things are tough and scary and uncomforta.. no.. they’re painful. Those are the things I tell myself about my speed work. Going into last night’s workout, my mindset was focused; think Michael Phelps with his angry stare! I was telling myself that ‘Yes! This was going to be hard and Yes! This is going to hurt, but you can do this!’, continuing, ‘You’ve run this pace before and you can just relax into it, make adjustments and keep pushing yourself!’. Even in the last two miles, I would think for a second that my legs were getting tired and starting to rebel – then catch the thought and counter with how my legs were actually still quite strong, still full of juice and more than capable of crushing the rest of this workout.
Thing is, if I had succumbed to my ‘weak legs/tired legs’ thinking, it would have been proven by slowing down, breaking down and giving up. “See?! Your legs were just too exhausted to go any more!”. But by changing my inner-dialogue, I was also able to prove how right I was, “See?! Your legs did have more to give – lots more – and you even sped up the last two miles!”.
As my buddy Robot Leggs has said, ‘Don’t under-sestimate the power of positive thinking’ (paraphrase!).
And it’s so important to recognize those negative thoughts, even true thoughts that are negative and critical, to stop them and replace them with a positive thought. If you get into the habit of thinking negatively of yourself, you will fulfill that negativity. Make it a habit, instead, to be encouraging, forgiving, kind and loving to yourself – defend yourself from the negative thoughts like you would defend your child or best-friend or lover – and make that the habit that allows you to live, love and succeed in running, in relationships, in your career and in life.