Your thoughts do indeed become your reality!
I was speaking with a client yesterday about the importance of our thoughts and how they impact on performance. The client had been reading a book which initially they thought would be inspirational because it was about an athlete in their sport, yet in fact, reading the book was making them feel negative and depressed. Their thoughts then spiraled down about their own sporting performance, their own abilities and their own goals. They wondered whether they could actually ‘do it’ or not!
Fortunately, the client realized that reading that particular book was not helping them feel very good about themselves, so they picked up something more uplifting! OK, so I’ll brag a bit here … they picked up my book, Winning Strategies for Sports and Life, and read the chapter on Internal Dialogue!
We talked at some length about how our thoughts do indeed affect our reality, and do indeed affect our performances. When we do not feel good about ourselves or about what we are doing, the effort seems that much harder and often times the performance not to the level we would like. We might even procrastinate and put off doing what we know we need to do.
Yet, when we are feeling better about ourselves and what we are doing, the work we need to put in seems effortless and the performances are pleasing. Or at least, we are able to view whatever performance we achieved in a positive and more constructive light.
It is therefore really important, particularly when we want to achieve peak levels of performance, that we monitor our thoughts because our thoughts evoke our emotions, which in turn generates action and it is this action that turns into our results. This is often referred to the TFAR model: thoughts + feelings + action = results. In another way, the law of cause and effect.
We all have many, many thoughts throughout the day yet often not really paying any attention. We might simply be observing and noting what is going on, we may be judging things or even anticipating what is yet to come. These thoughts are not necessarily ‘good’ or ‘bad’, yet rather are ‘empowering’, supportive and positive or ‘disempowering’, unsupportive and negative.
Within a sporting context because the effect of our thoughts are so tangible on the results we achieve, it is critical to master our thoughts and ensure they are as empowering, supportive and positive as they possibly can be! Start, start noticing what you are thinking about right now. What sort of conversation or commentary is going on inside you?
If your thoughts are empowering and helpful, great! Keep them coming! Yet, if your thoughts are disempowering and unhelpful, ask yourself whether there is any evidence or validity in what you are thinking. Ask yourself, what could you think instead that would be more empowering, helpful, positive and uplifting.
Another way to put it, do your thoughts help or hinder what you are doing and where you want to go?
If you would like to bounce around ideas about your internal dialogue, get in touch for a chat.
Midgie Thompson is a coach, trainer, motivational speaker and author who specializes in improving individual and team performance in sport, business and life. Midgie uses techniques derived from coaching, NLP and sport psychology to help individuals raise their game and be the best they can be. She has developed her own methodology for getting the best out of yourself in her book, “Winning Strategies – for Sports and Life” available from Amazon.