Tag Archives: positive self-talk

Mental Preparation is the Key

8 Feb

joey-votto-smi2[1]Every athlete knows that physical tools are important.  Strength, speed, agility, and athleticismand the commitment to the development of each — are integral to success in virtually every sport.  Factor in sport-specific skill development (for example, basketball ball-handling and shooting), and you’re on your way to building a strong foundation.

Equally important is your mind, and its ability to drive your body.  Mental preparation, focus, and confidence are all implicated in your success and attainment of your goals.  Generally, your limits will be those you set for yourself.  Here are some tips to improve performance and push through those self-imposed limitations through mental preparation.

Have a plan

I’m always surprised by athletes, especially at the higher levels, who “just play.”  That is, they don’t really have a game plan.  Situational preparation leads to successful execution.  A baseball player should go to the plate with a plan, depending on the score, inning, opposing tendencies and trends, number of outs, baserunners, pitch type and location, etc.  Having a plan — and working your plan — will help build your confidence, which fuels a positive mindset.

Stay positive

A negative attitude and focus won’t help you or your team.  When I train athletes, we don’t talk about the negative.  Sure, there will be times when you face less-than-desirable circumstances and conditions (inclement weather, an injured teammate, etc.)  Your attitude is contagious and it will impact the people around you.  Do your best to maintain positive words and body language.  Expect to win.

Be adaptable

There’s a lot you can control, but not everything.  You have to practice being adaptable, and believe you can do anything.  Train yourself to overcome obstacles, and not concede to them.  For example, a basketball point guard should anticipate the defense taking away his/her strong hand, and should practice and develop capable ball-handling skills with his/her “off” hand.

Focus on small goals

Rather than focusing on winning the game, direct your focus on each individual at-bat or offensive possession.  Your goal should be to win each inning, quarter, or period.  Successful attainment of each small goal will lead you, ultimately, to your larger goal.  Looking too far ahead to the outcome can dilute your focus.  Do your best to impact the present and the future will take care of itself.

Talk to yourself

Positive self-talk is a strong motivator.  External motivation is great, but it’s also inconsistent — you can’t always count on others to motivate you.  Find quotes, sayings, or slogans that motivate you.  Visualize yourself succeeding (and celebrating).  Learn to communicate with yourself in a way that is positive and motivating.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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The Power of Positive Self-Talk

1 Jun

Positive-Self-Talk[1]The power of positive thinking is well-documented.  But what about positive self-talk?  How do you talk to yourself?  (It’s okay, you can admit talking to yourself… we all do.)  Is your self-talk positive and encouraging, or is it negative and pessimistic?  Unfortunately, our self-talk is often tainted by guilt about the past and/or anxiety about the future.  This negativity can be self-defeating, as it relates to our goals and dreams.

Our actions are inspired by our thoughts, and our thoughts are significantly impacted by the way we talk to ourselves.  If we can change the way we think — and change the way those thoughts manifest themselves in self-talk — we can begin to change the actions we take.

Self-talk is, basically, what you say when you talk to your mind.  You can change a lot by changing what you say when you talk to your mind.  When you repeat positive self-talk, you become a different person.  You can use positive self-talk to change the message and push your inner voice in a positive direction.

Here are some tips to help eliminate negative self-talk and replace it with empowering thoughts and words:

  • Be aware of the thoughts that run through your mind.  Awareness is the first step toward improvement.  Once you understand your own pattern of self-talk, you can deal with it.  Try to avoid creating the resistance that comes with “I can’t” and “it’s too difficult.”  Challenge yourself with “why can’t I?” and, ultimately, “I can.”
  • Focus on the desired outcome or goal, and repeat positive affirmations that build positive thoughts.  Say them aloud and with feeling, and repeat them frequently.
  • Create a positive “script” for success.  Putting your goals and dreams in writing — and the steps toward their achievement — will help you start to internalize them.
  • Eliminate negative influences and replace them with positive ones.  It’s important to identify external negative factors in your life which may be holding you back.  Surround yourself with thoughts and actions from people who will empower you.  The positive energy they produce will start affecting the self-talk that you engage in as well.
  • Think in the present tense.  If you find yourself getting bogged down, stop and say, “What can I do right now?”  Re-focus your internal talk from an uncertain future to the more manageable present.  You can’t control what will happen in the future but you can take the necessary steps now that will build a better tomorrow.
  • Face your fears.  Fear is often what holds you back from success.  We often avoid taking chances because of the (perceived) fear that comes with losing the security that you enjoy now.  Ask yourself what you are afraid of.  What is the worst that can happen?  When you confront your fears, you will often realize that the worst case scenario is not as bad as you think, and the benefits of change are worth the risk.
  • Focus on the good times.  It’s much easier to have a positive attitude if you focus on the enjoyable moments in life rather than the difficult ones.  Sure, there will be challenges — life is full of ups and downs — and sometimes the good times are created through the bad.  Make it a conscious habit to fill your mind with positive thoughts and images.  Be grateful for what you have today.

Replacing negative self-talk with a more positive one is not going to happen overnight.  It will likely take some time and effort.  By following the above tips to positive self-talk, you will experience an improvement in the quality of your life.  Best of all, you will feel empowered.  And these strategies apply to everything from dealing with family and friends to delivering a business presentation; from preparing for an exam to shooting free throws.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

The Power of Positive and Possible

23 Mar

does-positive-thinking-help-you--20120811102240[1]A few months ago, I shared an article about “possibility thinking.”

I’ve also blogged about The Power of Positive Attitude and The Power of Positive Self-Talk.

There is a strong and undeniable link between POSITIVE and POSSIBLE.

Needless to say, I really believe in the power of positive thinking and a “can-do” approach to anything and everything — school, sports, work, and life.  In my business, I witness it every day.  Athletes with a strong belief in themselves have an uncanny knack for success.  They expect success.

These individuals demonstrate a willingness to work through adversity, “stay the course,” and follow their dreams.  It’s not that they don’t encounter obstacles along the way, they are simply too focused on and passionate about their goals to be sidetracked.  They believe in themselves and what they are doing.  They refuse to quit.

Positive people are much more likely to look for/see the success potential, in every situation.  They realize that there is good in every day, even if every day is not perfect.

Positive thinkers see the opportunity in every difficulty, and not the difficulty in every opportunity (to paraphrase Winston Churchill).

Positive thinking is a possibility creator and a door opener. It enables you to do virtually everything better than negative thinking will.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Your Goals Won’t Achieve Themselves

27 Feb

Man on top of mountain.Question 1: What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go?

Question 2: What are you doing to make that happen?

You can’t wait and wish for something to happen.  If it’s important to you — something you really want — you’ve got to make it happen.

Don’t wait for inspiration or motivation, just get moving and take a step in the direction of your desired goal.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but action precedes motivation.

Sometimes, getting started (and staying on course) may seem a little scary, but you’ll be surprised by how much the fear and apprehension subside once you get going.  Once you take action — even the smallest step — toward your goal, you will feel empowered, energized, and motivated.

  • Focus on your dreams and goals, and don’t allow yourself to be discouraged or distracted by short-term adversity and obstacles.
  • Stay determined, even when things aren’t going as planned.
  • Take calculated risks; understand that goal achievement will require change, in some way.
  • Engage in positive self-talk, and surround yourself with positive and encouraging people.
  • Be accountable for your daily actions.

Perhaps your goal requires some assistance along the way.  There are lots of willing and qualified people who can get you started and provide guidance on your journey.  No matter what your goal, identify and acquire the resources you need — equipment, education, assistance, or apparel — to achieve it.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Your Beliefs Can Limit You or Empower You

25 Jun

l5386313[1]“Whether you believe you can, or you can’t, you are right.” – Henry Ford

We’ve all heard stories about people who accomplished or achieved great things just because they believed they could or didn’t realize they couldn’t.

What we don’t often hear about is the process — the path they traveled on the road to success.  Along the way, their journeys were invariably characterized by their work ethic, persistence, perseverance, and a strong belief in themselves.

What do you believe? Are you aware of how your beliefs are affecting your achievement and success?

Limiting beliefs can cause problems in every area of our lives.  These beliefs are rooted in self-doubt and the “I’m not good enough” mentality.  If you don’t feel good enough, you won’t apply yourself and do what it takes to excel.  You will settle for less than your are capable of and less than you deserve.

Negative self-talk reinforces limiting beliefs.  You may ask yourself, “What if I fail?”  Who cares if you fail?  Failure is a part of life.  Learn from it.  Try again.  Come back better, smarter, and stronger next time.  In any endeavor, failure is a stepping stone on the path to success.

Empowering beliefs keep you going when life throws you a curve ball.  These beliefs help you set powerful goals and stick to them, even when the going gets tough.  When you feel good about yourself — when you are at peace with youyou can focus on the process and know that the end result doesn’t necessarily define you.

Positive self-talk is a powerful tool.  It can inspire and motivate you.  It can help keep you going — working through adversity — when things aren’t going as well as you may like or expect.

Believe in you!

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Mental Preparation is the Key

25 Oct

joey-votto-smi2[1]Every athlete knows that physical tools are important.  Strength, speed, agility, and athleticismand the commitment to the development of each — are integral to success in virtually every sport.  Factor in sport-specific skill development (for example, basketball ball-handling and shooting), and you’re on your way to building a strong foundation.

Equally important is your mind, and its ability to drive your body.  Mental preparation, focus, and confidence are all implicated in your success and attainment of your goals.  Generally, your limits will be those you set for yourself.  Here are some tips to improve performance and push through those self-imposed limitations through mental preparation.

Have a plan

I’m always surprised by athletes, especially at the higher levels, who “just play.”  That is, they don’t really have a game plan.  Situational preparation leads to successful execution.  A baseball player should go to the plate with a plan, depending on the score, inning, opposing tendencies and trends, number of outs, baserunners, pitch type and location, etc.  Having a plan — and working your plan — will help build your confidence, which fuels a positive mindset.

Stay positive

A negative attitude and focus won’t help you or your team.  When I train athletes, we don’t talk about the negative.  Sure, there will be times when you face less-than-desirable circumstances and conditions (inclement weather, an injured teammate, etc.)  Your attitude is contagious and it will impact the people around you.  Do your best to maintain positive words and body language.  Expect to win.

Be adaptable

There’s a lot you can control, but not everything.  You have to practice being adaptable, and believe you can do anything.  Train yourself to overcome obstacles, and not concede to them.  For example, a basketball point guard should anticipate the defense taking away his/her strong hand, and should practice and develop capable ball-handling skills with his/her “off” hand.

Focus on small goals

Rather than focusing on winning the game, direct your focus on each individual at-bat or offensive possession.  Your goal should be to win each inning, quarter, or period.  Successful attainment of each small goal will lead you, ultimately, to your larger goal.  Looking too far ahead to the outcome can dilute your focus.  Do your best to impact the present and the future will take care of itself.

Talk to yourself

Positive self-talk is a strong motivator.  External motivation is great, but it’s also inconsistent — you can’t always count on others to motivate you.  Find quotes, sayings, or slogans that motivate you.  Visualize yourself succeeding (and celebrating).  Learn to communicate with yourself in a way that is positive and motivating.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

The Power of Positive Self-Talk

24 Apr

Positive-Self-Talk[1]The power of positive thinking is well-documented.  But what about positive self-talk?  How do you talk to yourself?  (It’s okay, you can admit talking to yourself… we all do.)  Is your self-talk positive and encouraging, or is it negative and pessimistic?  Unfortunately, our self-talk is often tainted by guilt about the past and/or anxiety about the future.  This negativity can be self-defeating, as it relates to our goals and dreams.

Our actions are inspired by our thoughts, and our thoughts are significantly impacted by the way we talk to ourselves.  If we can change the way we think — and change the way those thoughts manifest themselves in self-talk — we can begin to change the actions we take.

Self-talk is, basically, what you say when you talk to your mind.  You can change a lot by changing what you say when you talk to your mind.  When you repeat positive self-talk, you become a different person.  You can use positive self-talk to change the message and push your inner voice in a positive direction.

Here are some tips to help eliminate negative self-talk and replace it with empowering thoughts and words:

  • Be aware of the thoughts that run through your mind.  Awareness is the first step toward improvement.  Once you understand your own pattern of self-talk, you can deal with it.  Try to avoid creating the resistance that comes with “I can’t” and “it’s too difficult.”  Challenge yourself with “why can’t I?” and, ultimately, “I can.”
  • Focus on the desired outcome or goal, and repeat positive affirmations that build positive thoughts.  Say them aloud and with feeling, and repeat them frequently.
  • Create a positive “script” for success.  Putting your goals and dreams in writing — and the steps toward their achievement — will help you start to internalize them.
  • Eliminate negative influences and replace them with positive ones.  It’s important to identify external negative factors in your life which may be holding you back.  Surround yourself with thoughts and actions from people who will empower you.  The positive energy they produce will start affecting the self-talk that you engage in as well.
  • Think in the present tense.  If you find yourself getting bogged down, stop and say, “What can I do right now?”  Re-focus your internal talk from an uncertain future to the more manageable present.  You can’t control what will happen in the future but you can take the necessary steps now that will build a better tomorrow.
  • Face your fears.  Fear is often what holds you back from success.  We often avoid taking chances because of the (perceived) fear that comes with losing the security that you enjoy now.  Ask yourself what you are afraid of.  What is the worst that can happen?  When you confront your fears, you will often realize that the worst case scenario is not as bad as you think, and the benefits of change are worth the risk.
  • Focus on the good times.  It’s much easier to have a positive attitude if you focus on the enjoyable moments in life rather than the difficult ones.  Sure, there will be challenges — life is full of ups and downs — and sometimes the good times are created through the bad.  Make it a conscious habit to fill your mind with positive thoughts and images.  Be grateful for what you have today.

Replacing negative self-talk with a more positive one is not going to happen overnight.  It will likely take some time and effort.  By following the above tips to positive self-talk, you will experience an improvement in the quality of your life.  Best of all, you feel empowered.  And these strategies apply to everything from dealing with family and friends to delivering a business presentation; from preparing for an exam to shooting free throws.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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