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Building Confidence: Your Brain Is Really Pretty Stupid

This past week the Vanguard Volleyball team had a great victory over a tough team. But more exciting than the victory itself was the fact that they came back from one game down for the win.

That was a HUGE victory because it showed a mental toughness and a confidence in their abilities. They also didn’t get down on themselves and continued to believe even when they were behind.

And that mental toughness, that ability to believe and fight back will take them farther than talent or skill ever could.

The crazy part is that very little time is spent on developing that mental toughness and confidence in comparison to the time we spend on skill development.

So every week, I try to spend a little bit of time on their mental game.

Last night we worked on relaxation under pressure and positive self-talk. Both “drills” feel extremely cheesy and stupid.

I mean come on…who would think that cheering, “We’re awesome!” would actually make you more confident? Who would think  that simply slowing down your breathing could make you relax and refocus so that you could prevail even when you are super nervous?

The thing is…That stuff does work.

And that cheesy, stupid and sort of awkwardly funny stuff works because your brain is really pretty stupid and easy to fool.

Yup that’s right…Even if you are a genius, your brain can be easily fooled into being confident and tough.

Our minds hear everything we say to ourselves.

Who do you THINK you are?

They hear us say, “I can’t do another pull up.” They hear us say, “That person, that team, is better than us.”

They hear us say, “I’m not good enough.”

But they also hear us say, “I’m AWESOME!”

And whichever we choose to say more often is what our MIND IS GOING TO BELIEVE.

Same thing goes for breathing.

If your breathing is panicked, your mind will feel anxious. If your breathing is slow and relaxed, your body and mind will feel relaxed and at ease.

It sounds strange to say, but our brain really is stupid and we can easily make it believe whatever we want it to believe.

The question is..What are you going to tell it?

Will you repeat positive thoughts so that you become more confident? Or will you bring yourself down?

If you decide you want to be more confident, try these tips to develop positive self talk!

P.S. Here are some other great posts to help you develop self-confidence and become mentally tougher!

Success builds confidence – Track your progress because even the smallest of successes can build momentum which builds confidence!

Act as if – Build self-confidence by FAKING IT!

Stop being your own worst enemy! – Believe in yourself!

Two Steps Forward…

I constantly remind clients to be patient with their progress. I constantly remind them that it isn’t just a clear upward progression.I constantly remind them that there are slight setbacks and plateaus.

For every two steps forward, there may be one step backwards.

Sometimes though I need to take the time to remind myself.

Since starting my progression on VersaClimber and the Battling Ropes, I’ve seen huge gains – gains in strength, speed, explosiveness and even mental toughness.

But today, I experienced my first “plateau.”

Whether it was slight fatigue, a lack of focus or a slight lack of mental toughness, I just didn’t have it today. My progress on the VersaClimber stalled.

I can literally taste success, I’m so close to my goal.

On Wednesday, I even thought there was a good chance I would hit it today.

I think I set my expectations just a bit too high and put a little too much pressure.

I wasn’t patient enough.

I hate being patient.

But patience is really key. If you get to riled up and put too much pressure on yourself, your biggest weapon – YOUR POSITIVE MINDSET – will go out the window.

I feel like I wasted a few sprints today because I had a negative mindset. I hadn’t hit my goal and instead of getting angry and pushing back and battling as hard as I could, I got down on myself.

That is probably the single worst thing I could have done.

I let my mindset change to a negative one – I let myself listen to my fatigue and make up reasons why I wasn’t able to have reached my goal yet.

I made up excuses instead of just pushing with everything I had.

But I won’t let that happen again. I now have a couple of days of some active rest and then I’m back at it again on Monday.

No self doubts.

Just a positive mental attitude and a knowledge that I’m going to give everything I’ve got until I get there!

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