Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy
Written by: Coach Slater
You may have heard that Coaches Lexi and Steve had the opportunity to attend a special training camp in New York recently. Two of the big takeaways from the weekend were “intensity” and “mindset”. I asked Coach Steve if he’d like to write about what he learned, and he’s working on that article now. In the meantime, I wanted to touch a little on the “mindset” concept, because every week, I see someone having a string of bad training days, and I want to remind you: don’t be your own worst enemy.
Feeling like you’re in a rut with your training is frustrating. You know you can perform better, and you know how to perform better, but something just isn’t clicking. There are times when we need a confidence boost; a reminder that we’re much better than we think we are at that moment. Here are ways to break out of your rut.
Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself
I put this first, because it’s the easiest trap to fall into. If you tell yourself a workout is going to suck, you’re probably right. Your body can handle so much more than your mind thinks it’s capable of. When you feel like dropping the bar, knock out five more reps instead, then decide what to do next when you get there. Maybe you’ll tell yourself to do another three reps. If you take a break, don’t sit there and think about it. Don’t question your ability. Get back on the bar and move. Don’t leave the workout with regrets or questions.
Did you trip up on a few box jumps? Did you miss a couple snatches? Did you no-rep yourself on some handstand pushups? Did you not get your toes to the bar this week, but last week you did? That doesn’t mean you suck at those movements, and it doesn’t mean you’re never going to get them right. An isolated incident doesn’t mean you’ll never improve. You can decide to keep a positive mindset and avoid an over-generalization. Stop yourself, recognize this negative feeling, and don’t do it again.
Don’t Be a Victim
Someone with a positive mindset doesn’t complain, cast blame, or find excuses. Negative mindsets are contagious, so one of the best ways to avoid that kind of helplessness is to surround yourself with positive, motivating people. They view events with positivity. They’re not victims. They express gratitude for small things… Did you get a PR today? Did you reach 90% with better technique than last week? Did you perform one more pushup when you didn’t think you could? Great work! You can teach yourself to not be afraid of success by building on this small win. Acknowledge how good this moment feels, so you can visualize it later.
Let Go of Your Ego
You can’t reasonably expect yourself to be good at something before you even try it. And, comparing yourself to others, or being worried about failing is just holding you back from doing your personal best. Get rid of your need to win, or lift something heavier than Jane Doe, or avoid being the last person working in a WOD. If you’re too worried about “putting yourself out there”, you’re going to avoid your weaknesses, and never give yourself a chance to improve. You know full well that the only way to grow is to try things out of your comfort zone. Improving is all about being better than you were yesterday, so have confidence in your ability to adapt.
Help Someone Out
The previous three issues are inward-facing, but this last one is about shifting focus from yourself to others. The way you act and think toward others has a big effect on how you act and think towards yourself. Be more kind to other people, and you tend to be more kind to yourself. Congratulate someone on their performance in today’s WOD, and you may find yourself being more accepting of your own performance. You can’t be your own worst enemy if you’ve changed your focus to help someone out instead. Self-pity is easy, but luckily, it’s also easy to be nice to someone else.