How did I find out Positive Self Talk
For over a year now I started becoming more aware of my thoughts and actions due to reading a lot of different books.
Self help books, books on Buddhism, books on training, books about life in general.
And I started examining my inner self-talk.
I started examining what am I saying to myself in social situations, work situations, when I fail, when I win and so on.
And when I see that I’m talking to myself in a very bad way such as “How could you think that she might go out with you?” or “This deal will never work out, I’m so bad at selling”.
I started taking action in countering this negative self-talk with positive constructive self talk(more on that in Psychology today).
So I’m very curious by nature and in my case the counter self-talk was mostly “let’s see what will happen here, maybe it will turn out well”
And later that turned to “you got this, everything will go smooth” in a calm and assertive state.
But working out is a big part of my life.
I mean you know when something is a big part of your life when you’ve set short term goals, long term goals and you read a lot about it.
And this is probably one of your passions.
I work out at least 3 times a week for 1.5 hours.
And before I started examining my workout process(what I’m thinking during the workout).
I compared working out to meditation.
But I noticed that I’m in the present moment mostly when I’m performing a certain exercise.
Between sets I was thinking about stupid shit, such as what I’m going to cook tomorrow or some problem that was in my head during that day.
And way back ago I read the book Dinosaur training in which the author wrote about using your mind during workout.
I remembered this vaguely.
So I reread the mind part again and started implementing what I learned from the book.
Now between sets and right before performing the exercise.
I pump myself up by saying some motivational sentences such as:
- I’ll fucking destroy this bar!
- Come on buddy you got this!
- Come on one more, one more, Common!
I wrote a bit more in detail about this in another article called How to use your mind during workout, check it out.
The benefits of positive self talk while working out
I noticed that when my mind is wondering around right before going for my next set.
My performance is rather weak compared to the uplifting words or even curious words I tell myself now.
So I started experimenting and I noticed that my Handstand hold began increasing especially when I told myself right before every kick up “kick up and hold your body in a vertical line as much as you can” in a calm and affirmative way.
At this point I’m still learning this skill so 10 seconds hold is something very rare for me.
But the few times I did 10+ seconds holds it happened when I say this to myself.
Compared to times when my mind is thinking about my daily problems I almost always fall backwards when I kick up.
Which is a very good reminder to stay focused and stay present.
Same goes for every exercise.
I tend to end my workout with few super-sets of dips & pull ups or something similar.
And the end of the second exercise when I can not go anymore that is the point when I start talking to myself “Come on one more rep”.
Which almost every time ends with 2-3 reps more.
Being aware while training
Will bring you the benefit of optimal performance.
And this mindful awareness is practiced by many athletes around the world.
You can easily notice the self talk of the Olympic athletes.
The easiest way to see is in their eyes.
Let’s take for example the Olympic weightlifters.
Right before they lift the barbel.
They may have some kind of ritual that gets their mind in the right head-space.
And you can see by the way they look at the bar that they have only one purpose there.
And they don’t look at the crowd or look at their watch to see if it is time to pick up the kids from kindergarten.
Their mind is occupied only with lifting that barbel above their head.
Some of the athletes are getting aggressive at the barbell.
They yell, clap, grunt and they lift that weight above their heads.
Some may seem ugly to you and that is normal.
Just find the one that works perfectly for you.
I find that positive self-talk(mental and sometimes verbal) works wonders for me.
Find what works for you by testing.
Grunting, exhaling loudly, positive self-talk and even yelling are some of the choices you have.
If you are using something else please share with me in the comments below.
And of course don’t expect major difference in your performance.
The increase shouldn’t be much but it is noticeable.
But in my honest opinion even 5% improvement in our performance is a big success.
Talk to yourself, motivate yourself however you can just to become better, stronger & bigger than yesterday.
What is your way of motivating yourself right before the set? Let me know in the comments below!