We put so much effort and focus on the physical side of training, yet the psychological side is just as important. A positive mindset can help you to learn more easily, improve your ability to tolerate discomfort  and make progress more quickly. It can improve your enjoyment, your confidence and your self-belief.

If you are frustrated with your progress in your training or sport, have you ever considered how your mindset is holding you back? Are you making yourself (and others) miserable with a negative mindset?

Here are 8 signs you need to find a new way of thinking:

1. You skip tough WODs or conditioning sessions because you don’t like them. Or you do the workout but you moan the entire time! Maybe you frequently say, “I’m not feeling it today.”

2. You always stick with a lighter weight because you don’t want to be the last to finish (even when you are not injured or capable of going heavier.) You always revert back to the easier option- rather than doing quality reps at a more challenging movement suggested by your coach.

3. You have your own cheating habits and you enjoy getting away with what you can. You secretly skip reps and you don’t finish workouts, you waste time and skip sets.

4. You avoid competitive environments and competitions as you’re afraid of being less fit than others – irrelevant of whether this is true or not. If you do compete you worry about coming last or not doing as well as you want to – this occupies much of your conversations with others- and many of your social media posts.

5. You hear yourself saying things like, “It’s alright for them.” Your language is full of excuses or justifications which you like to believe are true.

6. You’re still overcautious about an old shoulder/ knee injury sustained 5 years ago and rather than take responsibility to rehab it properly, you use it as an excuse to avoid new challenges or things which you don’t like to keep yourself ‘safe’.

7. You’re self-conscious and afraid of looking silly, you worry about what people think when the reality is they’re not thinking about you at all.  This fear prevents you from trying out new things and making progress, and you start to feel bitter about this. You may also blame others for your lack of progress.

8. You compare yourself to others and you let other peoples’ success make you feel bad about yourself. This mindset effects your motivation and you may quit the gym or your sport for periods of time.

It’s not always easy to be honest and face up to the fact that we are often the cause of our own problems. Of course, it’s far easier to blame others. But if we don’t think that we are responsible, then we have no sense of control over our challenges and we feel powerless and stuck. We may experience a plateau, motivation is reduced and performance is limited.

Yet, when we take full responsibility for our mindset and our attitude, and become aware of how we are initiating and maintaining these cycles we can start to break free. This mindset and attitude empowers us, creating energy and motivation!

If you nodded through any of these point’s that’s great because now you have the awareness and power to change them. The reality is that you will have days when you’re not feeling as motivated or focused as others. The problem comes when these negative behaviours become habitual.

Have any of these behaviours above become a habit which you have been unaware of? Make a note of anything which you felt instinctively defensive about reading and think again. With conscious effort and intention you can overcome any of these habits. Take on one change at a time.

This blog may seem a little harsh, but often honesty is the rocket that we need to change behaviour. I hope that you apply this knowledge and feel empowered to change, but if you need a further help, fill in the contact form and request further info about 1:1 coaching packages or habit breaking workshops.

Photo Credit : Gareth Smith

Athletes working hard at Function SFR

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