Our brains don’t cooperate all the time. Mine can be very loud and very negative; often in situations of stress e.g. when trying or starting something new or when returning to a situation after a bad experience. I don’t know about you, but I have to work hard at being supportive or kind to myself, in my head. I hope that makes sense.
Something that helps me is determining some mantras in advance of potentially stressful or tough days/weeks/months. These are the mantras that are written in the front of my sliding notepad (where I jot down all my track notes, goals etc. on a run to run basis). Writing them down sets my intentions regarding my mindset and means they are always there as a reminder for how I want to think. Because it is in our control ya know.
‘Courage not confidence’
A wise friend told me this way back when I was contemplating how on earth I would manage with nerves on my first skeleton camp. It removes the need for confidence which is sometimes not available to us and replaces it with courage, which is more accessible. To me this means it is okay to not be confident, with courage you can continue your path.
Use it when: you’re learning a new skill/trying something new
‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’
If you’re on Insta you’ll have probably seen this banded about a fair bit. Cliché as it may be, to me it normalises nerves and encourages being out of your comfort zone. It makes me not fear fear, but to embrace and accept it.
Use it when: the nerves are high
Smiling lightens the mood. I am extremely privileged to do what I do. I travel the world, compete for my country and train for a living. It is the dream. Sometimes it is easy to get bogged down in the day to day stress of it, so by having this little reminder to smile I get some perspective back.
Use it when: life gets a bit overwhelming
‘Take the opportunity’
Every day is an opportunity to progress. Whilst some days may be more challenging that others it is the most challenging that often provide the greatest opportunity to learning and personal growth. This is certainly true in my world, I have learnt so much more from the bad days compared to the good.
Use it when: something challenging comes along
‘Recognise, relax, reset’
This one is a technique I use when the negative voices are getting too much. I recognise them, take a deep breath to help me relax and let go of the thought and then I replace it with a positive thought or image. This takes some practise but I find it helpful in situations where I want to stay present.
Use it when: your focus strays from the present to the past or future
So, there you go, an insight into what works for me. Feel free to try these out for yourselves if any of the above has resonated with you. Let me know how it goes, and please share any mantras you already use that you just can’t live without!