Every second or third day I go for a run. It’s about a 30-45 minute run that pushes me hard and gets the heart pumping like crazy. Yesterday as I went for this run I became conscious of my thoughts and had a really interesting light-bulb moment and I want to share this with you today.
In fact, I was so excited by this that I had to create a video to share with you and explain my insights in more detail.
Check out the video below to learn how your thoughts can motivate you or destroy you.
Essentially, as I was running and started to feel physically exhausted, I became conscious that I was saying some statements in my head to keep me moving forward. I was saying things like “don’t stop” and “don’t give up”.
However, as I was saying these statements and trying to keep myself moving forward, I realised that I was saying these statements with a negative connotation and as a result I was focusing on the words “stop” and “give up”. By saying these statements, I was saying to myself and admitting to myself that I was struggling. I was saying these statements because there was a reason for me to stop or to give up, why else would I say them? I was hurting.
I decided to do a quick experiment on myself and change my thoughts. Instead of saying the statements “don’t stop” and “don’t give up”, I started saying statements like “I love running”, “keep going”, “this is feeling great” and “my reward for this is going to be fantastic”.
The simple act of changing my thoughts and mental statements completely changed my energy levels.
I started to feel more positive about the whole experience and as a result, my energy level and my motivation to keep on going went up a notch.
It got me thinking. How can something as simple as this be affecting other areas of my life? Where else in my life am I using language that is potentially prohibiting me from achieving success?
Statements such as “it’s too hard”, “I can’t be bothered” and “I’m not good enough” came up a few times.
So I decided to rewrite these statements, similar to how I changed my thoughts while running.
Some general examples are below:
|Negative Statement||Positive Statements|
|“It’s too hard”||“This is easy.”
“Other people have done it.”
|“I can’t be bothered”||“I’m excited to do this.”
“This will massively improve my life.”
“I can’t wait to do this!”
|“I’m not good enough”||“I’m good enough.”
“Of course I can do this.”
“I’m great at this.”
Download this template so you can rewrite your thoughts.
How is this applied in your life?
Now, thinking about your own life, what statements do you say or what thoughts do you have that could potentially be prohibiting you from achieving success?
There’s not long until 2014 and I want to make sure you’re well equipped for success in the New Year to make it your best year yet. So download the template now and you can quickly and easily print it off to change your own thoughts and change your life.
Make sure you watch the video above to hear in more detail my experience with these thoughts as I was running.
I’d love to hear your experiences and how you have adopted this in to your life. Please share in the comments!
Great post and so true! I hate running but I do it five times a week (15 km. per day). Over the last few years I’ve missed no more than a handful of running days. How did I do it? … I almost always don’t feel like running and long ago I realized that if I want to be consistent in my running experience I need to solve two main problems:
Problem 1: How to get started and set my foot on the trademill.
Problem 2: How to keep on going until I meet my current running goal.
I solved my first problem through conscious thought control. When the time comes, I usually focus my attention on all the positives I will get if I follow my running schedule in the next 5-10 yrs. This shift in my thought process works quite well but not always. The greatest motivator to take my bag and go to the gym is my belief of who am I and who I want to be. Integrity has always played a major role in my life and every time when I’m about to skip a run I ask myself: “Do you want to create a gap between what you intend to do and what you actually do? Is your comfort more important that keeping on your promise … more important than who you want to be … less painful than disappointment from the broken promise? Believe me, until I finish asking these questions, I’m on my way to the gym.
Now, I’m moving forward to problem #2. After 40+ min. of incline running I start feeling tired and out of energy. Sometimes it’s even painful. In order to keep on running I focus my full attention on the present moment. I try to experience fully every step, every movement, and every breath. With every inhale I imagine a flow of energy coming in my body. I constantly repeat to myself how energized I feel and how great is that feeling. The only thought I have in these moment is how to give the best I have in my running … but not during the next 5 min. Not even during the next 1 min. but to give my best in the very current step I’m making. Every step is a small battle and if I win enough battles I will win the war (meet my running goal for that day).
Moreover, I consider all these moments of discomfort and struggle as an opportunity to build up on my integrity, by doing so, to strengthen my character. Hard times are a real treasure if used wisely. In these particular moments of truth I don’t forget that NOW is the time to show who I am. For me, hard time = show time. Can you see how transformational this slight paradigm shift can be?
Many friends constantly ask me “How did you develop such a discipline, persistence and perseverance?”
Decide who you want to be and be that man at all cost especially when is most difficult, I reply.
I use the same philosophy in any area of my life and it works like a charm.
Please forgive any poor language, English is not my first language and I’m trying to improve it.
What a great comment! I love these insights!
I like how you mentioned about integrity and not wanting to create a gap between what you intend to do and what you actually do. Because, as I have found in my life, if you START to create that gap then it says to your brain that it is “ok” for that gap to exist and so you do it again… and again… and again. Keeping your own promises is just as important (if not more important) than the promises you make to others,
As you mention, when you feel discomfort and struggle it’s the perfect time to develop your character and build your integrity even more. This is THE time to develop your belief systems and show yourself what you CAN do. This experience then gets put into your “memory bank” as I like to call it, making it an experience you can call upon when you’re facing something similar in the future.
Love your comments… amazing 🙂
this post is outstanding! Thoughts have this incredible power to help us go through the most challenging situation, but they can also drastically slow us down and hold us back.
I had a similar moment when I was playing my first tabletennis tournament since 5 or 6 years. There was a situation in a match where I was right about to loose miserably, but I focused on positive thoughts like “Stay concentrated”, “Keep going forward” or “Start using your real skills” and that helped me turn around the match and actually win.
Well, the later opponents where way better than me, so positive thinking didn’t get me through those matches, but I do agree that entrepreneurs have to be very conscious about their thoughts.
I love hearing real examples of where this positive talk works. Congrats on turning around the match and winning!
The key is to continually train your brain to be conscious of it on a more regular basis. Self-awareness if the key.