Pushing Past Mental Boundaries
There is never a moment when we are not thinking. Unfortunately, we tend to have more negative than positive thoughts. In fact, we have at least 65,000 thoughts a day and sixty-five percent of them are negative! Why? Because we’re wired this way. It’s part of our human evolution. We began by focusing on survival; in other words, identifying possible dangers and risks – negative thinking - was essential to our longevity.
Exercise is a great opportunity to learn to push past your mental boundaries. The mind always fails first, not the body.
Change Your Thinking
A simple adjustment in your thinking can help. Instead of saying to yourself, “I can’t do another rep,” train yourself to say, “I’m having a thought that I can’t do another rep.” The goal is to make your mind work for you - not against you. The truth is, you possibly can do another rep, you just have to control the negative self-talk in your mind.
And when you prove you can control your mind in the gym, it translates to the rest of your day. When you do that second set of reps or 10 more seconds of pushups, you’re proving how strong your mind can be. Working out is absolutely a metaphor for life. When things get hard, when the goals you have seem unreachable, when things go wrong and you just have to keep going... Well, that’s like those really mentally hard workouts, but just on a different level.
Draw From Your Mental Strength at the Gym
So the next time you’re in the middle of a workout and want to quit, think of the practice and confidence you’re building for your life outside of the gym. And the next time life throws you a curveball and you’re struggling, just think of how strong you really are, inside and out. Remember, your body can stand most anything; it’s your mind you have to convince. Almost always, the mind gives up before the body does.