5/9/16

Conquer yourself




In my last blog, I talked about getting out of your own way.
I find that many athletes are so focused on what everyone else is doing that when it comes back to your own reality, you believe that you are not good enough, doing enough, fast enough, strong enough, working hard enough or lean/skinny enough.

Every day you are filled with thoughts and while some are positive, many of those thoughts can be negative interpretations of your weaknesses and mistakes.

Ultimately, when you believe in negative thoughts, you self-esteem drops.
It's easy to understand why so many athletes give up on themselves simply because of fear of failing and negative thinking.

Let's look at some of the ways that you may be limiting yourself from reaching your full potential so you can conquer yourself and achieve your goals.

PERFECTIONISM

Are you never satisfied with your effort or performance? 
Are constant negative thoughts filling your head as you are so self-critical with every action? 
Do you feel as if you are never happy with yourself or you can never do well enough? Are you  constantly wasting energy comparing your life to the lives of others?

Training and racing with a constant fear of failure and a very critical mindset will not only 
damage your self-esteem but it could also hinder your ability to improve. 

For better results in training and racing and in life, focus on small, manageable goals.
Even better, focus on executing to the best of your ability and just see what happens. 
Keep great enjoyment for your sport with a developing mindset. 
Stop the unrealistic, high expectations and focusing too much on the outcome. 
You are human.
You are allowed to make mistakes.
When you make mistakes, you learn. 

ANXIETY

Uncertainty and things out of your control can often bring anger and anxiety. 
Injuries, travel, a change in schedule, sickness, missed workouts, a bike mechanical, unplanned bad weather or GI issues.
Accept the fact that you cannot control every situation but you can control how you deal with it.

To perform to the best of your ability, you must first learn how to manage your emotions.
Athletes who can prevent frustration turning into anger, will stay more relaxed in training and 
racing.
Athletes who are confident in their abilities, embrace competition and don't stress about challenges and obstacles will notice a more relaxed mind and body. 

Identify what makes you so angry or anxious before and during training sessions and in your races. 
With every "oh no, this makes me anxious" situation that comes your way, create a go-to strategy to better handle your emotions. 


STUBBORN

It takes a lot of courage to stop doing what you are comfortable doing in order to change and work on weaknesses. 
In order to be open to change, you can't be defensive when you feel challenged or threatened, especially if you are trying to protect your ego when someone (ex. coach) suggests to try something different.
Being open-minded will allow you to experiment and to try new things. A closed mind will never let you grow. 
In sports, you can't keep doing the same things over and over and hope for different results. To be successful, you will have to make changes and with changes comes the possibility of making mistakes. 
Throughout your individual athletic journey, you can be optimistic and persistent but always be open to a different approach.   



DISTRACTIONS

Do you live a conflicting lifestyle? 
You have goals and you love to race but it can be a struggle to put in the work to train.
You know your diet is limiting your health and/or performance but you just can't seem to hold yourself accountable to your nutritional goals.

There appears to be an epidemic of being easily overwhelmed. With so much information available and the ease of being connected to everyone at anytime, there is a cost of being so distracted - it's very hard to focus on what works best for you.
Distractions are exhausting so consider how much energy and time you spend focusing on what other people are doing. How's it working for you?
Be an active participant in your life. Be present during your workouts, listen to your appetite and hunger cues during the day and always respect your body.