There is a concept in psychology known as flow. It is a mental state that occurs during activity when a person is fully engaged in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment of that activity. If you ask any athlete they often describe this feeling as being “in the zone”.
I have been involved in sports my entire life and I have been fortunate to experience flow on several occasions. While in this state, I know there is activity going on around me but my main focus is on the task at hand. After the event/task, I can’t recall a single detail about what happened around me but I can tell you in explicit detail EVERYTHING you want to know about the activity, what I felt and what I did.
Let me give you an example. For our WOD (workout of the day – for the non-crossfitters out there) yesterday we were asked to perform as many rounds as we could of 7 power cleans at a weight of 95# or less for the ladies (my weight was 75#), 2 box laps carrying a 40# bag, and 2 box laps carrying 70# worth of kettle bells. Going into the WOD, I knew it was going to be challenging (they all are) but I told myself, just do it. Well, I got to the 2nd box lap carrying the kettle bells (in the first round) and my forearms started burning. It was at this point that I knew the WOD could go one of two ways…I could either let my thoughts get the best of me and drag me down or I could push the self-doubt out of my head and get through the workout. I chose the second option and reminded myself to “just do it”, I would argue it was at this point that I entered “the zone”. I began to focus on my breathing, counting out the reps, and just putting one foot in front of the other until the buzzer rang indicating that 10 minutes were up. My legs were burning, my arms were burning, and my heart was pounding but I just kept doing it by breathing and putting one foot in front of the other. I can’t tell you about anything else that was going on around me other than the voice of my friend Kirsten telling me to “keep going, don’t stop” every time I passed her. I used those four words as my mantra to block my own self-doubt and maintain my flow throughout the work out.
If I have learned one thing about performing (in any aspect of life, not just athletically), it’s the fact that it is 90% mental. Once you fully understand how powerful your thoughts are, you can begin to understand why it is so important to take control of them and not let your own negative voices of fear and self-doubt get in the way of your ability to do great things. If you spend your life telling yourself that you can’t do something or that you’ll never be good at it, you’re right. You won’t. BUT if you tell yourself that you will do something and that you will be good at it, you are also right.
So my wish for you this Wednesday is that you be your own best friend. I wish that you learn how powerful your thoughts are and that you use that to your advantage instead of your disadvantage. I wish that you see yourself as strong and capable of overcoming anything thrown your direction. I wish that you see how amazing of an individual you truly are. I wish that you could see yourself as I see you.
Have a Wonderful Wednesday 🙂