What you say matters. The attitude and intention you bring to anything (work, relationship, the gym), matters.
Maybe you’ve heard about “self-talk”, the little (or big) voice in your head that tells you “you can do this”, or “no way, man”, or “wow, that was awesome”. We’ve all got it, and you know what – I bet we’ve all got the not-so-nice version of that voice too.. “why even bother, you’ll never get there”. And maybe you’ve heard the advice around self-talk, like the classic “you wouldn’t talk to your friends that way, why would you talk to yourself that way!”. Sure, great point – good advice; hard to actually do, though. Why?
Yes, why – why can’t I talk nice to myself? Because I know all my dirty little secrets!
Damnit. Now what? Integrity. The integrity, or the honesty in effort, you bring to any action is the driving force behind it. If we come to the gym and start in with the mental excuses before you even make your first effort, you’re kind of bound to fail. And you’ll talk bad to yourself for it, because you know you loaded up on excuses ahead of time.
So, how do we improve self-talk? Be honest with yourself. Am I going to hit a double-bodyweight deadlift today? Yeah!! No, no, I’m probably not. That’s ok. Am I going to put down the excuses, pay attention to my setup and make an honest effort with every rep? I can do that. Will I PR? Maybe. Maybe not. Will I have done my best today? Yep. Ok, now I can get behind it. Same goes for any skill we are working on – will today be the day? Maybe, maybe not, but if I make my best effort (whatever that looks like today), if I bring my whole attention to what I’m doing RIGHT NOW, then I can get behind it mentally too, and you will have improved your “self-talk” dramatically, guaranteed.
Its it scary? Absolutely! To bring your best effort to something and fail is super scary! On the flip side, to load up with excuses and never really put yourself out there is more like… disappointment, ick!
If you’re having trouble staying positive, look at the integrity of your efforts, look at your intentions. Change your perspective if you need to, and figure out how to make the best of what’s in front of you. Ask a coach or a friend how to approach it. At the gym, I promise, we will have your back!