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There are two ways to proceed in this situation. Believe that we can. Or believe that we can’t. Let it defeat us or overcome this obstacle. Not knowing how to resolve the problem can scare us as athletes. The most important thing we can do above all else, is believe in ourselves.
WHAT IS IT?
Positive self talk is that inner voice saying “You can do it.”. Positive self talk should make us feel good about the things that are happening right now in life! It is easy to be bogged down by negativity or striving for perfection because perfection will always be a pursuit, not a destination. With that comes the positive voice saying “I’ve worked so hard to get here, and have improved so much” to turn a possibly negative mindset into a positive one. Positivity starts from within!
The most successful and driven individuals are those that can identify their weaknesses while still staying positive. Those that can are able to find the bright side in the most challenging and grim circumstances. We can all think of that one person; the world is crashing down around the team, and they will be the one still smiling and encouraging.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
If positive self talk is something not already practiced, it can be very challenging. Maybe say we can’t more than we realize. Possibly around friends we joke that we are stupid and can’t learn this or that. Those things that we don’t even realize saying, are what actually sets the tone for the mindset for life. These are crucial factors in our self esteem and confidence!
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE?
It is a process in changing how we think. More times than not we may think we ARE positive… when in reality it couldn’t be further from the truth. How do we test our positivity and change our mindset?
Listening to Self Talk- Listen to what is being said; every exact word. Do you say can’t frequently? Make notes and journal the positive and negative things you think about yourself and when you are completing tasks (whether school, social, or athletics).
Identify- After journaling and writing down notes, go through what you write and think to determine if it’s positive or do you tend to talk down about yourself? Do you whine about new challenges? Or give unenthusiastic breaths when asked to try new things? Do you doubt yourself? Are you present and care about what you’re doing right now? All of these are easy questions to truly see what your mindset is right now.
Confront Your Thoughts- After identifying where you are on the posivitity scale, ask yourself:
Is there any REAL evidence to the claims of “I can’t” or “I’m not good enough”?
What would you tell one of your best friends when they say that to you?
How can I change the way I feel or think about that specific thing?
Make the Change- Make a list of all the positive things you can think of about yourself. For instance, instead of saying “I can’t” try “what can I change to help me be more successful with this.”. When you identify what is making you feel that way, you can in turn find the solution to improve. This will not only help your self talk, but your general success and self-confidence.
DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF, QUESTION THE PROBLEM
When we make statements that are limiting, like “this is too hard”, it not only immediately adds additional stress to the situation but it also stops you from finding the answer to the problem. Implying anything is “too” hard or “impossible”, tells us that we aren’t able to accomplish it and leads to us saying “can’t”. This limits our ability to overcome and our brains from searching for what we need to fix. Next time you find yourself in that type of situation and you or any of your teammates say those words; stop, take a step back, and ask “How can I handle this?” or “What can we do to make this better?”. Immediately that insurmountable problem just became a door to opportunity and a path to success.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY
We are our best source of inspiration and motivation. To be better. To succeed. To stay positive. Why? Simply because we are always there. It seems silly and redundant but it is true. It is no one else's job to motivate you, and make you better other than yourself.
Easy steps to try at home:
Journal- Write in your journal every single day. Good, bad, or indifferent. Not only will it provide insight to when you may be most negative or positive, but also remind you of all the hard work you put in, on bad days.
Surround yourself with inspirational quotes and pictures- The more good things we surround yourself with, the more our brain naturally soaks in. Waking up and seeing a quote that arouses positive thoughts within us is the best way to start a day.
Help your friends and family be more positive- More times than not, our friends, siblings, and even parents can be negative. When we’re positive and we always have negativity around, it wears us down. It’s like taking light away from a flower. It can only last so long, help them do the same. Support your friends as they support you!
Changing your mindset will change your life. The difference in those that are successful is they thought they could, when other thought they couldn’t. The more good you put in, the more good that will come from life. But it starts from within; help be the positive light that leads yourself and others from darkness.
This article was brought to you by Justin Schneider from https://www.cheerconditioning.academy/ - as a member of the academy you can access a number of resources to help bring your team's skills to the next level: not just in respect to your skills and conditioning, but also to help grow your leadership & team success!