It can take a lot of self-discipline to get yourself feeling good
I don’t drink coffee, but I do rely on a supersize shot of positive mental attitude every day. It’s amazing that it’s still not taught in schools and I wish I’d known years back that I had the power to change my own thoughts and instantly feel different. Instead, it took me a long time to get to that point but now I make the most of it. As far as I can, I control what goes in to my conscious mind, feeding it with podcasts and programmes that are going to educate and stretch me rather than make me feel fearful, anxious and overwhelmed (like the News, for example!). Strong is definitely a mindset, and with much out there set to distract and lure us, it can take a lot of self-discipline to get yourself feeling good and sustain it.
For an athlete it is important to have a super-charged mind
A strong mindset may seem like an optional extra to most of us, but for those Olympic athletes just back from Rio, it is every bit as important to have a super-charged mind as a highly-tuned body. According to Rebecca Symes, sports psychologist with Team GB Paralympians, who was recently interviewed by The Telegraph, athletes are constantly focusing on 3 types of goals:
-Outcome goals – the ultimate achievement such as Olympic or World Champion. This could be several years in the making.
-Performance goals -key milestones for assessing performance along the way to the ultimate outcome goal.
-Process goals – the day to day training, diet, sleep, mental focus precision goals that ensure success from the micro-level.
These goals allow an athlete a vital sense of control that is complimented by having a supportive and trusted ‘Team Me’ and an ability to re-use successful past experiences to motivate future success.
Top tactics for a positive mindset
Dr Kate Hays, Head of Psychology for Team GB recommends the following tactics for creating a disciplined, focused and positive mindset:
1. Trigger words – using the name of a place where you have been successful in the past to recall that positive emotion
2. Let go of what you can’t control. Worry only about the things you can.
3. Plan – do- review. Understanding where and how you can improve is key to moving forwards.
4. Accept your mistakes. Grieve them, accept them and let them go. You can’t change them but you can influence your ‘right now’.
5. Breathing. A rapid way to bring ourselves back to just us in the present moment is to focus solely on our breathing.
Remember – you are in control
Author of Evolve Your Brain, Dr Joe Dispenza D.C., writes that “it is where we place our attention and what we place [it] on that maps the course of our very state of being”. Are we actually then self-sabotaging by not taking enough care about what we allow to permeate our minds? Just as when you are stood in Costa or Starbucks you make a conscious choice as to whether it is latte, cappuccino or espresso that is going to pep you up next, so too you have a conscious choice over the positive feed you give your mind. Try it – change what you put in and notice how it changes what you get out. It takes self-discipline and commitment, but it will change the way you feel and show up in the world. After all, strong is a mindset…not just how you take your coffee.
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