And how they are connected to your performance
Ever feel like something is holding you back, like you’re stuck in a pattern and can’t get out not matter how hard you try, but not sure why? Maybe you’re supposed to take a rest week but can’t relax, or you’re having pre-race jitters that get your stomach worked up, or you rarely ever feel like you did well enough in a race. Your mind might be going in circles, maybe even spiraling, deep into the night, until it keeps you from getting any quality sleep. Does any of this sound familiar?
Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore how these thought patterns start and how we can work around and beyond them. So to start, let’s look at what these patterns are in the first place. We we encounter a challenging situation – a race, a workout, an interaction with a person, etc. – our mind forms an opinion about the situation right away and then calculates the options on how to tackle it. In a perfect world, the brain says “Ok, let’s see what this is and we’ll figure it out as we go along. We’ve got this!” Sadly, this is rarely the case when things get tricky. Instead, our brain already comes with negative beliefs about ourselves (we’ll discuss where they came from in one of the next weeks) and these beliefs begin to limit our options, before we ever get to move into the situation.
The main types of Negative Beliefs
While there are many different variations of messages, there are four over-arching themes. These negative beliefs we hold about ourselves are:
1. I am not enough (flawed)
2. I should have done something
3. I am not safe
4. I am not in control
Even though these are the messages we may be telling ourselves, it DOES NOT automatically mean they are true. These messages are simply beliefs that we picked up somewhere in life and held onto them, without at that time being able to discern their validity.
Over the next few weeks we’ll explore in more detail where these negative beliefs may have originated, how they can affect us, and how to work with them going forward.
Something for you to try...
But for now, here’s a bit of homework for you that will prep you for the next weeks.
Whether on your phone, laptop, or on paper, for the next at least 7 days, pay attention to any of these messages that you may be telling yourself. You may not yet be aware of them yet, so be kind and patient with yourself in this process. And when one of these messages pops up, note it down, no judgment needed. Simply take stock of what’s there for now. The more you notice, the more you’ll write down. If you notice the same message multiple times, write it down as many times as you notice it.
Want to talk with a coach about how this can apply to you?
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