Brain, shut the hell up!
It is so easy to convince yourself that you NEED to quit. That it is too hard. That you are tired. That you can make it up tomorrow. That you just aren’t as good as they are.
Mentally self-imposed limits are as real as they come. For every individual, they’re different but they’re no less real. This week I want to talk about these limits and how to push past them (something I’m still working on myself).
For every individual, mentally self-imposed limits are different. If you’ve been a lifelong athlete or been trained by the military, chances are your mentally self-imposed limits are different from those of the “average joe”. You’ve spent years developing your mental strength and you have learned to meet barriers set by your brain and then push through them.
For many of us though, CrossFit is the first “sport” we’ve played in a long time and being competitive in this field is a first. I know for me, growing up as a gymnast and then cheerleader, there were fears I had to push past when tumbling passes were challenging or when I split the beam (ouch). However, those self-imposed fears are nothing compared to the barriers I face with CrossFit.
You see, in CrossFit, more times than not I’m fighting a battle against myself. Sure, there are other people doing my same workout, and I would like to do better than them, but more than that, it’s my own brain that is limiting me.
I can’t tell you how many times during a workout I’ve told myself “you’re tired”, “rest before you hurt yourself”, “you can’t do that weight”, “she’s already ahead of you so what’s the point”, etc.
It has taken me years to learn to tell myself to SHUT THE HELL UP. To speak words of affirmation when I’m working out. To tell myself “I can hit this lift”. I’ve had to work hard on being my own cheerleader. It really is so much easier to talk negatively to yourself than to speak positively. And that’s a damn shame really.
Why is it so hard? Well, I first blame society. Especially as a women, we are always trying to live up to a standard that seems to be unachievable. Secondly though, I blame myself. Personal development takes time and effort, both of which can be hard to find. I’m as guilty as the next. I have to set aside time to practice positive self-talk, or it just doesn’t happen.
So, my advice to you. First, learn to believe in yourself. Secondly, take some time to tell yourself positive affirmations. Write them on your mirror in the bathroom. Before a heavy lift, say “I can do this”. Visualize yourself being successful at what you want to accomplish.
And always remember this – thoughts will ALWAYS become things.