The beliefs that we have about our sporting ability can have a very negative affect on our performance.
These are some of the negative beliefs that clients have presented to me during consultations:
- At my age now, I am just going to keep getting slower
- My bike handling is terrible
- I can’t compete well in rain
- Other athletes don’t suffer like me
- I just wasn’t born with the talent of other guys
Here is a simple exercise that will help you recognise any limiting beliefs you may have:
Take a blank piece of paper and just write down a list of beliefs. Either start the sentence with “I can”, “I am good at” “I can’t”, “I’m not good at” “I find it impossible to”
When you finish your list split the page up with a line down the centre. Put the “I will” and “I can” on one side of the page and the other sentences on the opposite side.
Now that you have a list of disempowering beliefs, take each one and examine where it came from. Did it come from remarks from a coach, friend or parent? Is it a general belief? Just because a lot of people believe something to be true doesn’t make it fact.
Another great example of mental toughness and pure self belief is Joe Barr’s win in the 2100km Race Around Ireland 2009. (video below by Moxy films) Joe was half way through the race when a crash almost ended his participation. He broke his foot in Mizen Head but his belief in his ability and in the cause he was riding for drove him on to not only finish it but WIN it! Others might not have believed he could do it but as long as he believed he could then he could.
For each of these beliefs ask yourself:
- Where did this belief come from?
- What way does it affect my performance?
- If I don’t change it how will it affect me in the future?
- What benefits will I get from changing it?
- How can I change it?
A full section on changing negative beliefs is covered in our online Going In The Zone course.
Photos Thanks To: PaelmerPhotoArts / Pixabay