Last weekend, I ran an organized race for the first time since 2017. My training didn’t quite go as planned for a 10km race and, leading up to the day, I hadn’t run more than 30 minutes at a time.
In the days before the event, it was tempting to let the negative thoughts seep in. "I didn’t train enough", "I can't do this", "I'll be too slow." “I should drop out”.
And it was even more tempting to let those unhelpful thoughts take over during the race. To just throw in the towel and start walking when the tiredness set in (which was pretty early on 😉).
But here’s the thing. Our mind will go where we take it. And what we focus on, we create more of. And so I harnessed that power.
I intentionally focused my mind and attention on empowering affirmations. "I am a runner", "I can do this". “It’s only X more kilometers and then done”. And one I heard recently at a women's day conference: “Winners never quit, and quitters never win”.
It was like I was chanting these empowering thoughts in my mind during the race. Over and over.
And guess what? It worked! I finished the race in 65 minutes. 🏅 Sure, it wasn't my fastest time, but I was pretty happy with the outcome.
I gave it my all, and I’m absolutely certain that if I had let the negative thoughts take over, I would have been WAY slower.
The single biggest factor in my success that day? My mind.
Our minds are incredibly powerful. Focusing on empowering thoughts and beliefs aligned with what you want can significantly improve your performance and the likelihood of achieving those outcomes.
“Where focus goes, energy flows.” - Tony Robbins
Rather than letting your mind take you to all the unwanted outcomes, remember that what you focus on is within your control.
This applies in every single aspect of your life – whether you are running a race, speaking up in a meeting, giving a presentation, going for a job interview or raising your kids.
Now we are human – we will have negative thoughts. It’s not about ignoring or getting rid of them all.
But know that your attention is like a flashlight and you get to decide where you shine the beam.
The more you focus on what you want and thoughts that serve and empower you, the more likely you are to create the reality you want to see.
It also feels better, as our feelings are connected to our thoughts. And focusing your mind in an empowering way helps you to be more balanced and centered.
So the next time you find yourself struggling, remember, the key to success isn’t just in your effort and physical abilities, but in the power of your mind.
Harness that power, channel it towards what you want, and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
What kind of self-talk and empowering thoughts do you need to keep running strong?
All my best,
Wherever you are on your journey, I'm here to support you in the way that works best for you!
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Stacey L. Olson is a Leadership and Certified Positive Psychology Coach, has 15 years of corporate experience and has gone through her own transformational change from burning out to balanced in life while performing at a high level (both in her corporate career and own business). She works with professionals who want to work less, live more and be their best even with all the demands, high expectations and messiness of everyday life. Stacey is the founder of The Balanced Leader™ program and offers executive and leadership coaching, workshops, and speaking.
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