Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Iron Resiliency, Session 2: Challenging the Misconceived

Pause and think for a moment.

Last week I discussed certain thoughts we have about ourselves exist because of our own behaviors or because of externally situated factors that are part of the surrounding environment. As a result, these views determine our mood. Today we'll shatter those faulty notions.

The best strategy to employ is to attack the root of the problem: thoughts. Changing our thoughts alters the process and creates a different frame of mind for how we feel. While feeling bad once in a while may occur, it's crucial to realize the problem affecting us.

To do so, recognizing our thoughts will play a large role. One underlying aspect of our thoughts is how we identify with them. They can be classified as always/always me and not always me thoughts.
- The former category makes us assume that constant flaws are inherent to our character and cannot be changed. Consequently, we may give up prematurely instead of being proactive to better the situation.

- The latter group is about our behavior or feelings which can be changed. We look at the context of the scenario that contributed to the current event.

Consider the following example to better understand the differences between the two. Say one day you had a bad squat workout.

The always me thought might be, "I suck at squats" whereas the not always me thought could be "My squats weren't good today because my knees were caving in."
  • The always me thought doesn't provide any reasoning within the general statement itself.
  • The not always me thought allows understanding for what went wrong and gives you the chance to improve in the future (by pushing knees your outwards).
If you constantly find yourself being bombarded by always me thoughts, there is a way to tackle them. Because always me thoughts do not specify any point in time, we can use that to our advantage.

Simply gauge past performance and behavior to tear down the misconception. The one thought shouldn't be allowed to blanket an entire experience and dictate it nor should it predict future abilities.

If you've squatted well in the past, then you really don't suck at squats. Having one cheat meal doesn't diminish your entire diet. On the contrary, you've demonstrated your own discipline and willpower to maintain a nourishing lifestyle.

Thoughts happen in an instant, but they can be wrong. In the heat of the moment, a general statement can be an inaccurate observation of the entire self. Instead, it should be reevaluated and if it makes sense when compared to prior accomplishments.

Not every workout will be good and every meal won't be perfect. You won't be at peak levels all the time. However, it's important to understand one bad moment doesn't represent all moments.

It would be more conducive to your training and pursuing your goals if you don't let the small things bother you. As Lance Armstrong says,

"I take nothing for granted. I now have only good days or great days."

Make an effort to have only good or great days in your training.

And that concludes today's session. With that strategy in the bag, we'll keep it rolling next week with session 3. Stick around folks!

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