You Become What You Think: Mine Your Mind
Question. Have you ever been so immersed in a workout that the voices screaming, the music blaring, the bodies moving, fade away?
Have you laid on the ground wondering who just did that blistering workout with your body?
Have you ever lifted more than your previous best with lightning speed, with ease?
If so, you have met Flow. Flow State has been described as being so absorbed in an activity and doing such at very high levels of performance.
Never met flow? You must train it.
We Must Mine Our Mind
We have room for only one thought at a time; two thoughts cannot occupy our brain space at one time, in training contexts. Perhaps two cues can, but only through MUCH training and right coaching.
So we must mine our thoughts, so to speak. To dig, we must know what we are looking for. We are looking for internal and external messages. Observe the language you use when you tell stories about yourself and others, because the words we choose both reflect our heart and also can change our mental state.
We can learn to notice without judging out thoughts. If we have a negative thought, we observe it and replace it with one that optimizes who we are becoming. This assumes we have a vision for who we want to be. Without that vision, we have nothing to attach our “becoming” to.
Numbers Versus Process
If you compete, a competent coach can help train this part of your mind-body relationship. Even if you compete only with yourself, getting bogged down with the numbers and nuances of each workout can take a toll on focus. The focus should always be on the process, because that’s where flow happens. Obsession on details leads us to focus on just that; numbers are not what we work for. Who we become in the process of striving is what we work for. Here are a few examples of questions you can ask yourself after your workout, and note that the tangibles are taken care of by the coach:
· Did I stick to what I told myself I would stick to?—this is integrity to myself.
· Did I RESPOND with courage at any point in that workout?—this is the practice of responding to discomfort or fear with will
· Did I set the right expectations for my physical ability or did I surpass?—this is the practice of knowing yourself
· Did I fight or make excuses?
Your Mind Influences Your Athletic Performance
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”
Can you remember the feeling leading up to an intimidating workout and how your body felt? Does your mind fill with thoughts of past mistakes or anticipate outcomes like a slow finish time?
Any honest mining of the mind can speak volumes.
The key to develop Flow State starts with the mind
Train it. Feed it the right thoughts.
Many of us spend countless hours preparing for “clean” eating throughout the week, but have yet to create habits for “clean” thinking, so to speak.
Deep Breathing. Throughout the day, take some belly breaths and think of something you’re thankful for.
Mantras while working out. Ex: Every pull on the ski erg is a word you say to yourself. “I.Am.Here.Right.Now.In.This.Moment.” This helps to keep thoughts of outside stressors where they belong in that moment…outside.
Observe the language and emotions behind the stories you tell. This often tells a deeper narrative of what you think of yourself, or what you’re trying to project or get validated for.