Many people talk about the mental aspect of training and how it can be enhanced. Allow me to provide you with a quick example to illustrate this concept and demonstrate how it can lead to immediate improvements in performance.
When engaging in any exercise, it is crucial not to let it bother you, in addition to completing it. But what does this mean exactly? By selecting the intensity, pace, number of reps, and weight you will lift, you are essentially creating an environment. There are two types of environments: one that you consciously and subconsciously create and one that is created by others and into which you enter.
To achieve peak performance, you must feel comfortable in the environment in which you will be creating and performing. Sports commentators often emphasize the significance of athletes being relaxed while running in the Olympics or competing in the finals. This level of comfort can only be attained when you are at ease with the surroundings, arena, or environment in which the task takes place.
Returning to training, as soon as you start an exercise, you are making numerous choices at lightning speed. Some choices are made almost instantaneously at the subconscious level, while others are made consciously. These choices may involve determining the pace, intensity level, hand and foot positions, and many more factors.
The pace at which we choose to proceed, the extent to which we push ourselves, the weight we lift, or the speed at which we run are conscious decisions made before and during our exercises. These choices represent commitments we make to ourselves prior to starting an exercise and during our training sessions. In fact, during each training session, there are countless decisions or commitments that we make.
Collectively, these choices shape the environment in which we essentially live and breathe throughout the duration of the exercise. If we feel bothered or uncomfortable in that environment, we may be inclined to stop before completing the task. Discomfort within the environment can significantly increase anxiety, which consequently affects our performance, causing us to break the commitments we made to ourselves prior to and during the exercise.
Self-confidence is closely tied to self-trust, which arises from honoring the commitments we make to ourselves. To increase your self-confidence, it is imperative to follow through on the promises you make to yourself and honor these commitments.
How often have you started an exercise too quickly, only to find yourself unable to sustain that pace midway through? I witness this happen almost all the time.
How frequently has a trainer instructed you to do fifteen push-ups, yet you could only manage eleven? The moment you think, “I should have done better,” you dismiss all the effort and strength that went into those eleven push-ups.
How often have you set goals to eat healthier, exercise, or improve your fitness, only to fail to follow through?
You are the first person to hear yourself making those commitments, and ultimately, you are committing to yourself before committing to anyone or anything else. It is crucial to keep those commitments. In fact, it is better to refrain from making a commitment in the first place than to commit to something and not follow through.
Therefore, the next time you start an exercise, it is better to start slowly and finish strongly. When undertaking a task, exceeding your own expectations is better than failing to follow through. Our mind can be our greatest asset, but if not managed appropriately, it can easily become our biggest enemy.
The mental aspect of training is just as important, if not more important, than the physical aspect. While moving our muscles leads to growth and calorie burn, lacking clarity about what we are doing prevents us from fully taking advantage of our newly acquired skills, strengths, and assets.
Therefore, the next time you start an exercise, pay attention to the choices and commitments you make. Take a deep breath and don’t judge the decisions you need to make before and during your exercise that help you honor your commitments, build your self-confidence, and reinforce your self-trust.
By applying these principles and honoring your commitments, you will experience immediate improvements in your performance. Remember, anyone can start a race, but not everyone can finish it, let alone finish first.
Wishing you a productive training session.