Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are absolutely right. We need to start believing in ourselves more and saying positive things to ourselves more often. To have a strong mind, we need to keep it healthy. In order to keep it healthy, we need to remain positive and try to find the good in situations instead of the bad. I have to be honest, a bird shit on my shoulder the other day and I was furious. I could only see the negative in the situation. I thought, How unlucky am I to be in this massive park with all these people around and the bird shits on me? When I told my girlfriend and her best friend about it they said to me, “That’s good luck!” My immediate response was to counter their argument, however, I understand how that superstition came about. Whoever came up with that was clearly trying to find the positive in a shitty situation (get it?).
Recent studies have shown that positive self-talk and mental imagery improves strength. When I read this I nearly jumped for joy. This is huge! A hunch many of us have had for years has finally been proven. Furthermore, it helps emphasize just how important keeping a healthy, positive mind is for long term success and for breaking through previous boundaries.
I remember training for the Beast Tamer challenge. Something changed in my mindset from my first attempt to my second. I went from from thinking I could not press the Beast because it was heavy to thinking I will press it because I am strong and I have prepared. Regardless of all of the obstacles I faced, heading into my second attempt, I remained positive. I kept telling myself I got this. My training partner, Tom, had confidence in himself and confidence in me that was contagious. Positivity breeds positivity, while negativity breeds negativity. Without even realizing it, or maybe he had, Tom created a mantra, “Too easy.” I would say it over and over again. Even when the weight may have felt heavy, “Too easy. I got this.”
There are a few ways you can go about feeding yourself some positivity. One of them is to say positive things as often as you can. A lot of us pepper ourselves with negative comments all day, seldom taking the time to notice all the shit we do well or are good at. Don't take for granted all the things that you are good at. Bring attention to them and compliment yourself. Compliment how good you look, how well you do X, or whatever it may be. Tell yourself you are going to smash your goals. That you believe in yourself. The more positive things you say the more your mind will start to actually believe it and the easier it will become to accomplish your goals, to feel better more often about yourself, and to say positive things more naturally. This past Super Bowl the Patriots, though I hate to say this, did an outstanding job of remaining confident and being positive in a situation that should have been impossible to do so. They were down by 25 points yet the players said they all believed, none of them lost hope, and they were able to make an incredible comeback. Talk about positivity.
Another way to feed yourself some self-confidence / positivity is to practice some mental imagery. Specifically, some positive mental imagery. Picture yourself performing whatever task you wish to complete and knocking it out the park. This is a skill often taught to high level athletes. All week picture yourself doing your role and doing it well. Often, many of us have this habit of picturing shit going as badly as possible. This is good if you are doing something that is high risk, as it may make you think about ways to make it safer. However, if you are about to go for a max back squat, picturing it going insanely bad is not good for accomplishing the goal. Picturing yourself succeeding is amazing for maintaining mental toughness as the going gets hard.
Pay attention to the way you speak to yourself. The world will have all kinds of things to say to you, some positive, some negative, some just plain disrespectful. The least you can do for yourself is to pepper yourself with positivity and to pepper the people around you with some positivity. Positivity is like fresh oxygen to the brain, whereas negativity, especially coming from your own mind, is like poison. It will slowly destroy your mind. Be positive. Spread the love. Enjoy life and the Power of Strength that comes with it.