Overcoming Negative Self Talk for Improved Performance

Simple truth: Each of our individual realities lies in our mind. What we think becomes how we act and eventually impacts how we perform in the real world. When it becomes flooded with negative messages it easily begins to show in our performance in athletics (I'm too tired, I'm weak, I can't do this) or at work (I'm not good enough, this is too hard, I don't have enough time). Which is why beginning a mental training program is just as important as any physical training program.

The following is the outline for simple, proven strategies to overcome negative self talk and improve performance and productivity and overcome pain

1. Recognize

The first step is to recognize and acknowledge when our mind goes to the ‘dark side.’ Gaining that awareness will allow us to redirect those feelings to more productive and positive thoughts.

2. Override

Once we’ve improved our ability to recognize when this negative self talk is creeping in, have a set of positive affirmations that you can repeat to override this self talk. It doesn’t have to be anything life changing or mind blowing, just something positive and relevant to your experience to remind yourself of your strengths.

My go to ‘I am strong. I am confident. I will succeed’ is repeated at least 10 times a day. Any time I feel my mind start to wander, I repeat this phrase five times and move on to the next thing.

3. Get Busy

‘An idol mind is the devil’s playground.’ I think that’s actually a Bible quote. If not, it should be. The idea being that immersing yourself in another task is a way to take back control of your mind’s focus. Even if it’s something quick and easy like some kettlebell swings. Free up your mind by getting immersed in something productive.

These same principles can be used on those recovering from an injury. Someone who has convinced themselves they have a bad back (knee, shoulder, etc.) needs to be reassured that recovery is possible. That they do have control in how their body feels in the future. We aim to help our clients take control of their health, both the physical and mental aspects.