I’ve had many powerful conversations over the years with my athletes, especially about the game of life. We talk about what it takes to get to the next level in their respective sports and how to become the best version of themselves. We talk about what it takes to win, and how to deal with adversity.
Knowing how to deal with adversity is critical. In their quest to go higher, faster and further, these athletes will inevitably hit road blocks and setbacks.
ACL tears, concussions, broken bones, ruptured tendons, sprains and strains.
Job losses, tyrannical bosses, and mind-numbing, soul crushing day jobs.
Family struggles and relationship struggles.
These challenges take a physical toll and an even bigger mental one. Feelings of doubt, insecurity, fear of failure, and anxiety creep up and can literally feel like a triangle choke hold.
In conversations with my athletes, I’m often asked, “how can I be mentally tougher?”
“How can I get out of my own head?”
“How do I break free of this negative, depressed state of mind?”
While I think it’s important to reflect and deal with our inner dialogue, I also believe this can easily become counterproductive.
We can become our own worst enemy. We try to think our way out of a negative state of mind and it backfires. Instead, we end up further down the rabbit hole. Our self-analysis leads to paralysis.
For starters, we need to stop separating our minds from our bodies. They are not separate entities. This complex machine we have been blessed with works best when everything is integrated. Our bodies can change our minds and vice versa.
We need to start thinking less and doing more. We don’t need another self-help book or seminar or Tony Robbins rah-rah speech. We already have the tools we need to change our state of mind and improve our well-being.
As a Strong Athlete, you already lead an active lifestyle and do many things to enhance your performance. First and foremost, you lift weights. I would bet everything I own that lifting weights makes you feel awesome 100 times out of 100. So why do so many of us take time off from the gym when we are feeling low?
Next time, instead of wondering why you feel negative, sad, depressed or anxious – and trying to think your way out of it, accept that these emotions happen to all of us from time to time and use one (or more) of the following strategies to change your state:
- Put your headphones on, connect with your ever-loyal friends Barbell and Dumbbell, and lift.
- Jump on a spin bike/rowing machine/treadmill and do the most intense interval workout you can handle.
- Practice hot yoga for an hour.
Stop thinking so much. Do something. These physical activities will do more than just pass the time. They will literally shift you from negative to positive. They will help to transform you from having a scarce, fixed mindset to an abundant, growth mindset.
Don’t think. DO. Positive action will help you get out of your head and back into the game.
Team Strong Athlete