Psychology

Mind and Matter 101

 | August 5, 2011


Undoubtedly, time spent pursuing excellence in sport is invaluable. Often athletes can reach a plateau and find themselves unable to make a breakthrough or even beginning to find that they no longer enjoy themselves as much anymore – especially after many, many months of training. I have experienced this first hand and it sucks.

The key here is what goes on in the mind. The answer to almost every mental challenge is hidden in the subconscious mind. The subconscious is very powerful and is far less easy to communicate with than the conscious mind.

My tip is to concentrate on internal self-communication and in particular the way you focus on your goals. I’ve heard many people focus on what they don’t want when talking about their goals. The trouble here is that the subconscious mind actually doesn’t understand negatives: i.e. phrases like “do not”, “will not”, “should not” etc. So if someone tells me that they keep telling themselves that today they “won’t be eating chocolate” the subconscious mind hears only ‘eat’ and ‘chocolate’. So guess what their subconscious mind is going to focus on? Yep, you’ve guessed it—chocolate! Mmmm.

The key is to focus on what you do want. If you want to have a powerful and strong healthy body, focus exactly on that and how you are going to achieve it. Let’s not suggest to our subconscious mind what we don’t want to do.

This principle also applies to sport. You can say “I will not fall today. I must make sure that I don’t mess up this run. I hope that I don’t embarrass myself in front of my team and let my coach down.” However, it’s more effective to feed the subconscious with a statement like this: “I have great balance. I’m going to learn new skills and have an amazing training session. I’m going to provide my team with a great game.”

Enjoy speaking to yourself in a positive sense. After all, when others speak to you well it feels good, so why not speak to yourself in the same way?

Train yourself to have an awesome day!

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