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The Power of Positive Self-Talk

“This workout is mostly mental.”

You might have heard one of the coaches say this about a workout. It’s usually a long chipper, or Murph, or something else that looks daunting.

Murph is definitely both a physical and mental challenge. Positive self-talk is a great tool to help you to push through when you think your body is giving up.

“But it’s right there in the statement—my body is giving up. I really struggled on the last few rounds of those push-ups. If my body is done, it’s done, right?” I hear you say.

Maybe yes, and maybe no.

If you want to push yourself to do better, to get stronger, and to grow as an athlete, then learning to push yourself is going to be an important part of that. Talking yourself through it will definitely help you to keep going when things seem impossible. A lot of the time, your mind stops before your body does, but you don't know it, because the "stopping" is happening in your mind.

Since that's where it's happening, let's address it in the same space: your mind. Here are some ideas for positive self-talk to help you make it through:

1.Sometimes you just need a breath. Stopping for 5 seconds and taking an intentional breath can make a big difference, and can keep you going. Tell yourself, “Just take a breath."

2. Also consider telling yourself, “Just take a breath and do another one. Just do one.” Telling yourself to only do one, when you have a set of 10, is a great way to keep going. Just do one. You can do one.

3. Encourage someone else in the workout. Say their name. Tell them they are crushing it. Then tell yourself, in your head. Encourage yourself the way that you encourage others.

4. Remind yourself how far you have come. This is not only in your whole life, but how far you are into the workout; how far you drove to get there; you came all this way, so let's get a good workout!

5. Positive self-talk also means being honest with yourself. If you are new to these kinds of workouts, sometimes you might choose a weight that's just too heavy. Quickly change it out, and say, "With this, I can finish."

6. Just say yes. Repeat it several times. Just saying "yes" can help your mind to focus on what good is happening, and can help you to finish.

Hey, also remember -- some days, it's just not happening. A positive thing to remind yourself of on those days is, "The sun comes up for a reason; I'll try again another time." Luckily, we can always try again.

Above all else, be kind to yourself. Fitness is a journey.

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