Running is hard. It is a challenge to always maintain a positive attitude when we are performing difficult tasks. Every person has faced their own pessimistic attitudes at some point in their life. Sometimes we get caught in a negative mind trap.
When we have a bad attitude, our performance will get hindered. Mind and body must work together to achieve our true potential. This happens best when we maintain a positive attitude.
Here are our tips to increase a positive mindset:
1- KEEP A JOURNAL
Social media is not a journal! Posting your run on instagram is NOT a run journal. In order for this to work: you need a private spot where you can be alone with your thoughts. Expressing how you feel on paper can give insights into your strengths and weaknesses.
Every day write down 5 positive things about your run. Even on the worst days, we can come up with something to be grateful for. Maybe you got to wear your favorite nike tank top. Maybe you saw a beautiful sunrise. Maybe you felt grateful that you were able to be running while your husband was at home in case the kids work up early. The little things you are grateful for add up to create your mindset.
This exercise can change your perspective on the world.
2- SURROUND YOURSELF WITH A POSITIVE COMMUNITY
You are who you surround yourself with! Do NOT waste another min on negative or toxic people. There are communities all around that can uplift you and support you and your goals. Maybe it is a local running group or a friend you met at a race. Maybe it is an online community or a running coach. Seek out positive people who encourage you! A positive community cultivates a positive mindset.
Giving back to the community by volunteering at races or pacing a friend in a workout can help you build that community and positive network. Be change you want to see!
3- REDIRECT YOUR THOUGHTS
Everyone gets negative thoughts. Some people are better at redirecting these thoughts. During a workout, you might think, “Dang. This pace feels impossible. My legs are screaming. I am going to die”. Stop the negative chain reaction immediately. Notice when they start to arise and direct your thoughts to a time you overcame adversity.
Instead think, “I have done this before. Workouts are supposed to hurt. This hurts, but I am strong. I can do this. One mile at a time. It’s just 5 more min. You can do anything for 5 min. This is nothing. “
YOUR BRAIN IS HARDWIRED TO WANT TO PREVENT YOU FROM DOING HARD THINGS. This is a smart evolutionary trait we needed as cavemen. When food was scarce, it was important to conserve energy. Nowadays, these evolutionary traits, can sometimes stop us from achieving our goals.
4- FOCUS ON PERSONAL GROWTH
Do you ever feel like you are spinning your wheels? Doing the same thing every day? Maybe it is time for some change! Adding in new areas of your life where you can improve and grow can help you build confidence. Taking up yoga, starting a blog, reading a self help book, joining a local group, or mentoring someone are examples of personal development/growth. When we dive into new activities, we gain a new sense of self and learn more about how we operate.
Stretching outside running into other facets of our life can make us a better athlete. When we do new things, we realize a new perspective in life. Change is possible, exciting, and fun!
5- STOP COMPARING/STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA
Do you ever find yourself following someone else’s journey to compare it to your own? Do you ever look at someone else’s success and wish you could have it? Social media is a highlight reel. It is very new to the human existence, and when we use it to compare, it can breakdown real human connections. Humans were not meant to compare their lives through screens. Posting photos of their lives for the world to see. We were meant to share our lives with others through 1-1 connections!
Next time you want to post a great workout on social media, I challenge you to share your feelings about the workout with a friend, coach, teammate and create that 1-1 connection. There are people who support you and want to see you shine! I know it sounds silly to share the details of your exciting workout with a friend or family or teammate, BUT a few years ago it seemed silly to post your workouts on social media. We need to get back to the human connection. Share your joy of the sport with others!