Everyone has thoughts that they struggle with or that pop up when the pressure is on or when training gets hard. Some people try very hard to get rid of the doubts or negative thoughts, and this works …. in the short term. However, as I am sure you have experienced, uncomfortable thoughts tend to come back, again and again.
The types of uncomfortable thoughts I'm talking about can be put into 5 typical categories;
Situational issues (environmental and interpersonal): e.g. the cold, dark mornings make it hard to get out for my training runs; the coach just doesn't like me.
Dreaded future events (for self and/or others): e.g. I'll put all this effort in, and then they will cancel the event due to a public health emergency; I'm going to fail.
Personal weaknesses: e.g. When the pressure comes on, I'm not resilient enough; I am too prone to injury.
Competitors' strengths: e.g. My competitors are better resourced than me and have better support teams than me; That athlete has always had the edge on me.
Lack of motivation, feeling lost or burnt out: e.g. I've fallen out of love with the sport; I am not sure what all these sacrifices have been for.
When we learn to be open to these uncomfortable thoughts, we can then see them for what they are... just thoughts. And we can then work on being more present and putting energy into what matters to you.
You don't have to like the thoughts, but you can simply make room for them and then carry on.
This is a short post about a big issue that most athletes struggle with; if you want to know more about how to "carry on" when the uncomfortable is just too painful - watch this space (more info to come)!