10 Tips of Getting through mental barriers
Last week I share a post on my Facebook page about “Just Holding on”…the struggles I was having in trying to complete my exercise routine: “I was exercising this morning, trying to stick with it...something just wasn't working. I wanted to give up but with each step I took on the Stairmaster, I remembered that my commitment to a healthier lifestyle was not about looking good but about giving God total praise. It was about answering the call. At the same time I had my music going and listening to Withholding Nothing. It got me through. Do I have any witnesses?”
I am sure that all of us at some point in time have struggled with completing the task, staying the course! How easy is it to just give up on our fitness goals because the task is long? It’s tedious at times AND for the most part, it’s every day! Let’s face it, it’s a lifetime commitment, but boy! There are those days when you just can’t seem to wrap your mind around it. Here are a few tips from several top athletes that share how they stay focused and get over those mental barriers:
#10 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Know Your Fears and Reverse Them You must know everything that you truly believe about this goal – by listing down on paper the very first feelings that enter your head when you imagine ‘achieving your goal’, giving special attention to any fears that come up in your mind. These fears are the mental roadblocks you must overcome to achieve your goal, as otherwise they can be the very things that prevent you ‘turning it on’ when you need it most in the pool.
Look at these fears you must overcome, sitting there on the piece of paper. Now, each day, you have to work positively on reversing each of these before your race arrives, by constantly instilling confidence into your daily visualization, your affirmations and your daily thoughts – steadily increasing your power and diminishing the fear.
#9 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Break down barriers into micro goals (also called “chunking”). This way the task may not seem so big. Take one little step at a time and always forward.
#8 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Learn how to compartmentalize your problems. If you start any race, run or even casual training routine with a bad attitude, your mental barriers will grow into mountains. If you are having problems in your personal life, don’t think about it. Tell yourself that you will worry when you get back. Run with a clear mind. Focus on the beauty of the scenery, the sky or how proud you are of your own body, and the fact that you are running.
#7 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Be Willing to Take Risk. Don’t be afraid to take your physical fitness to another level if you have to.
#6 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Learn how to eat well. Eat nutritious meals before the run, because good mental attitude relies partly on proper nourishment. Certain foods actually feed your brain what it needs to think clearly. For example, carbohydrates are fuel for the body as well as the mind. The better your body feels, the less likely you are to have mental barriers.
Drink plenty of fluids that contain electrolytes, which create better brain-to-muscle communication. Electric signals pass through nerves using electrolytes as conductors. Staying well-hydrated will help break down mental and physical barriers while running.
#5 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers
Find Your Focus Top athletes know their goals and where to apply focus. Read this quote from Ian Thorpe, world record swimmer “As soon as I got back in the water after the Olympics (10 months ago), I’ve been preparing myself for this meet and focusing on every single one of my swims. I am usually the hardest person to race against. I try to do the best I can, no matter on what level. I didn’t care what anyone else was doing, I just prepared myself to race” he said.
#4 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Believe in Yourself What you believe will always determine what you achieve. Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lebron James, Herschel Walker, Tiger Woods….none of them could have won their events without knowing deep down that it was actually possible. That’s right, before they went out there to race, they knew they could win. Not that they would win, but that they could. Kind of akin to get a vision for your life and see yourself looking that way! Tell yourself, “I can do this!” and really believe it and believe in yourself. You have to believe that you are capable of achieving. Even overcoming a lifetime of bad habits as it relates to your eating habits. Give yourself permission to look good and to feel good. You deserve this! No, it’s your right as a child of God to be well! It’s your divine inheritance!
#3 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers If your mind is filled with clutter and junk – then how can you transform your ideas to become successful? Top athletes exercise their mind just like the muscles in their bodies. They carefully select information and feed their minds to make them strong. You must do the same. Pick a good book and spend 5 minutes a day reading. Your mind is a muscle and you must build it.
#2 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Be Coachable Anyone can be on a journey to greatness. You have to find a master (Sensei) to help you on your course – but also be willing to submit and learn under the master. Sometimes athletes believe they know it all or are unwilling to absorb the higher teachings from the Master. You must be coachable and willing to learn. My daughter told me the other day, “Mom its ok to get a fitness trainer.” My encouragement to you is, if this is what you need, do whatever it takes! I didn’t get the fitness trainer, I inquired but decided “I can do this myself!” I just dug in deep emotionally and spiritually and took it up a notch.
#1 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Find a Mentor Find a coach or a group of people that aspire to help each other to move forward (mastermind group). If these athletes are at a higher level than you then this will make you work harder to get to their level. Join a gym, a fitness class, organize a fitness group at your church, or job. You can either gather in a physical location or perhaps to meet weekly by phone to support each other, or better yet, create a Facebook page to reach out and encourage each other! There’s an old saying, “If there is a will, there is a way! The Bible says, “Let their first be a willing heart.”
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