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POSITIVE (BUT REAL) SELF TALK

Updated: Jul 30, 2018

What if I don’t go fast? What if I don’t got this? And those thoughts that were supposed to be “positive self talk” actually brought more fear and anxiety to her.



I got such an overwhelming response from my last blog post about Thinking Positive that I want to keep talking about it. I think we have been so confused on this whole idea of thinking positive. The reality is that we don’t have a switch that we can flip and suddenly be joyful and cheerful and feel like life is grand. We are allowed to be positive, but real.


So, let me bring this idea into “positive self talk” that we always hear about in sports. I was speaking to one of my Olympic clients a few weeks ago about this, and she said that she was always taught to stand behind the blocks thinking, I will win this race. I will go fast. I got this. This is what her coach told her was positive self talk.


But there was a problem. Down deep, she didn’t believe it. She tried really hard to believe those thoughts, but down deep, she kept thinking, but what if I don’t win? What if I don’t go fast? What if I don’t got this? And those thoughts that were supposed to be “positive self talk” actually brought more fear and anxiety to her.


There’s that “down deep” that keeps coming up in my conversations with women. Here’s the reality of being a woman; we cannot con ourselves into believing things, because our “down deep” will always let us know our truth. I say “our truth” because sometimes OUR truth and THE truth are not the same. (so much more on that in future blogs).


For a woman, thinking positive and positive self talk must be believable. It must be real.

Just this week I was having a FaceTime conversation with one of my clients that is 17. We were talking about positive but real thoughts when she’s standing behind the blocks. She told me that she wants to think, “I have worked really hard. I am prepared. I am ready.”

Her face got tense when she said, I am ready. So, I asked her; “Do you really believe you are ready?” She said, that’s the problem. Even though I work hard and go to every practice, down deep, I wonder, What if I’m not really ready?


That “down deep” will get us every time. And those damn “what if’s” constantly pop into the mind of a woman.


Here’s the deal; as women, the reality is we are going to be thinking about something. We do not have the ability to “turn our brains off” or “think about nothing.” We will always have 1200 thoughts going at all times, that’s just how our brains work. So, it is very important that we get this right!


I did a Confidence panel with National teamers and Olympic swimmers at Lead Sports Summit last year, and 3x Olympian and all around phenomenal woman Elizabeth Beisel made a brilliant point. “As women, we are going to have 1200 thoughts in our mind at all times, and when the fears come (which they always do), it’s like we have a flash light and we are shining it on those fears. We need to move the flashlight and start shining it on the “positive stuff.”


I love that so much! Shine your flashlight on the “positive stuff”. But the “positive stuff” has to be real to us. Our “down deep” doesn’t like fluff. We need to shine our flashlight on the positive but believable stuff. It has to be real to us. If not, it will not help. If you are not 100% convinced you are going to win the race, positive self talk of “I will win” is not going to help you. It actually might bring more fear and anxiety, because down deep, you’re going to wonder, What if I don’t?


So, get honest with yourself! What do you know? What do you believe? What do you know for sure? What can you think that your brain and the “down deep” in your soul will truly believe?


Do you believe you are a fighter? My clients are usually really hard workers, so that’s an easy one to believe. I am a fighter or I will fight. That right there is beautiful positive self talk! My clients can think, “I don’t know what’s about to happen, but I do know without a doubt, I will fight. Thats the kind of “positive stuff” that you know is truth. That’s the kind of “positive stuff” that down deep, you actually believe. And that’s the kind of positive but real self talk that can work!


Your turn. Down deep, what “positive stuff” do you truly believe?



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