Mental Toughness Life Skill #3– Using Positive Self-Talk and Visualization (Part 1)

image 6As I mentioned in the mental strategies for attacking the WODs, I stated that using positive self-talk will be one of the most difficult aspects to this mental toughness training program.  If you think using positive dialoguing will be hard during the physical aspect of this training, it will be even more challenging once you step out of the gym. Most of you are so used to your regular routine of daily negative beat downs that it defines who you are – negativity sums up your identity.

The unfortunately thing about being a pessimist is that it dominates your whole mind-set. For example, if you think that your personal life sucks, pretty much everything else will suck as well. It has a trickling down effect on how you live. I’m talking about how you view your life, your relationships and your chances of getting what you want in life. You get so fixated at telling yourself that all the things you want can and will go wrong, it begins to warp your overall perception on everything that you view. When your negativity becomes this overbearing, it is very difficult to get yourself out of this constant dark mood. You get so used to telling yourself that you are loser, being a loser becomes your genetic make-up.

For some of you permanent cynics out there, getting you to have a positive outlook for 30 minutes during a WOD may seem like an eternity to you. However, this short amount of time is reasonable and attainable for even those with the most negative outlooks. The challenge then is to continue this positive mindset and apply the skill of positive self-talk to your daily life. The thought of being in positive state of mind for 24/7 may be so vaunting that it may seem impossible especially to those who live all day in the gloom cave. This training is not about transforming yourself into a Ned Flanders type with an overly upbeat and bubbling nature. Being annoying to others is not what this training is all about. Nor is it totally realistic to believe that one can go from one end of the spectrum to being negative to being completely positive.

One can never be one hundred percent positive as there will always be some doubt is the back of your head. This training is not about eliminating all doubt, but working through the negativity before it over comes you. Once a negative mindset puts a stranglehold on you, it not only can impair your logical thought process, but make you feel helpless. When this happens, you tend to give up before battling the adversity. To me, nothing is worse than a person full of excuses that won’t even try. On the contrary, the positive mindset that you will develop with this mental toughness program is one that will always and never stop looking for solutions no matter how grave the situation is.

Quite opposite of how you view your personal problems now. With the mental skills that you are learning from this mental toughness program, this is going to change big time. My goal for all of you is to stop viewing your problems as something you can’t defeat, but something you want to beat and crush the fuck out of. Once you know you have this ability to overcome any insurmountable adversity, you will have defeated the negativity inside of you.

Let’s get to work.

(To be continued)

Today’s CrossFit WOD –

Modified version of “Jason”

(The original WOD uses muscle-ups while I replaced them with pull-ups)

For time:

100 squats

5 pull-ups

75 squats

10 pull-ups

50 squats

15 pull-ups

25 squats

20 pull-ups

Nothing will cause more grief and negativity in one’s mind than seeing a WOD with a shit load of air squats and pull-ups. When you first take a look at “Jason” and your initial reaction is “Fuck this,” I have succeeded with my plan in putting you in very defeatist mood. I wanted to evoke such as sense of gloom in you that you literally expect to fail when it comes to tackling this WOD.

No worries. This is just your bad habit of perceiving things in a negative way. That’s all about to change once you learn how to implement positive self-coaching to yourself. It will take some time to do a complete mental makeover, but today’s WOD will be a huge step in the right direction. The goal for today is to not to shut down your mean negative comments to yourself, but to use the negativity to motivate you to work harder and with more intensity than ever.

At first glance at “Jason,” many of you will be inundated with the harsh negative statements that has haunted forever. Examples of these mean streak statements can be “You can’t do this! You will fail at at this like how you fail at everything else in life”…”What are you thinking about? Losers can’t do CrossFit”…”Today’s WOD will be another example of what a failure I am.” 

What you must do during your preparation process is to remind yourself that all these negativity that has been infesting your mind, isn’t yourself talking. They are the voices from your past from your childhood, teenage years to your adulthood. Their nasty comments are not factual, but opinions designed to hurt you.  This voice that you hear is an accumulation and built up of all those who have told you repeatedly what you can’t do. This negative voice has now molded into one beast; a composite of all your tormentors put together as one dominate voice that you still fear and let control your life.

Today is the day that you finally break free of the stranglehold that these bastards have had on your life. When you hear their negative voices start to assault you, you must not suppress the enemy, but learn to use it to your advantage. Instead of trying to quiet down their negative put downs to you, listen for specific people from your past that have said this shit to you. See in your mind’s eye the person right in front you. Now, instead of giving in to them, fight back. Fight the fuck back.

The more you hear their voice and see their fucken faces, the harder you must push yourself during the WOD. The nastier their insults, the more energy you will have when doing all those squats. The more the voices try to hurt you, the more fuel you will have to finishing your set of pull-ups.

The whole point of this WOD is to teach you that your positive actions is the best way to make those in your past shut the fuck up. This won’t happen overnight, but with practice you will hear less and less from those bastards and more from another voice that is encouraging and positive despite whatever bad circumstance you are currently in. That voice is from you. It is your true self. It is who you are supposed to be before those in your past unsuccessfully tried to take away your soul.

With this training, you can finally not only let go of the scumbags in your life, but take a fucken sword and whack them into tiny pieces. Reclaim yourself and discover your true essences and what you are supposed to be.

Being who you are and listening to your instinct is the strength you have been trying to achieve all your life, but haven’t completely gotten it. With this mental toughness training, you are ever so close to finding it.

Scaled back version of this WOD –

1. Use the alternate rep scheme –

50 squats

5 pull-ups

25 squats

10 pull-ups

10 squats

15 pull-ups

2.  Use a Woody band for the assisted pull-ups

3. Horizontal body rows can done be instead of the pull-ups. They look like this – images (18)

4. Jumping pull-ups are good too. Here’s what they look like – download (2)