(FYI, long post but good read)
I, along with my CF gals (Melia and Stacey), had an amazing opportunity this past weekend to attend a Goal Coaching seminar taught by Greg Amundson and hosted at Crossfit Santa Clara. Although I only caught the last hour, I can tell you that this stuff is powerful and life changing and I am thrilled that the crossfit community is adopting it. To me it’s yoga meets crossfit (the best of my two worlds). It is how the mind influences the body and how the body responds to the mind. There is a deep rooted intelligence that resides within each and every one of us and when we are completely connected, in line, and aware of this intelligence we create space for awesomeness, a powerful ball of energy which transfers into our workouts, careers, relationships, foods, and ourselves on the whole.
So how does one get to this place? Well, first off is recognizing that it exists and acknowledging the presence of the “self-talk”, the conversation that exists 24/7 (even when we sleep). "self talk" is an extremely personal conversation that has an exponential impact on our motivation, capacity, and confidence to perform. Imagine walking up to the pull up bar for your first attempt at a kipping pull up and your “self-talk” is “there is no way you are going to get your chin over the bar buddy, why bother?" chances are your chin is not going to get anywhere close to the bar. Now imagine a “self-talk” of “chin to the bar that’s nothing, chest to bar is what I’m getting" even though strength plays a part, chances are you are going to get pretty darn close to that bar. “Self-talk” is that inner voice which can be positive or negative and when left unmanaged is persuaded by your surroundings.
Quote from the seminar “I focus on the things that I have influence over.” Most people spend their entire life on the things they are concerned with rather than those they can actually change and in the end they wonder why they are old, miserable, and in the same place they were 5,10,50 years ago. Everyone has the ability to change themselves and their life, IF, they want to.
Quote from the seminar: “Once I got my mind right, then I got my body right, then the workout right” it’s all connected.
So when does self-talk occur? Well it occurs all the time but according to Greg there are 3 distinct times that it is crucial to observe self-talk:
1. 30 minutes before a workout/work/activity. Most times the hardest part of a situation is the time before fully arriving in it for example the drive to a workout.
2. During a situation. The moment you are in it, you are in it to win it and you must stay committed. There will always be a split second or minute, day, month, year when you want to give up , that is when your strong self-talk keeps you in the moment and gets you through. “Rank is regardless if you can walk away knowing you did your absolute best”
3. Post workout/activity/situation. Lasting impressions are created at this time. Instead of rushing off to the next situation, take a moment to debrief, recognize, and acknowledge what happened. “Reconfirm that you did your best, ask what you would do next time when you are faced with a similar situation, what will you focus on?” Be positive.
We humans have an amazing tool which we could use to hurt and destroy ourselves and others or we can empower and enhance ourselves and others, this tool is the power of words and positive self-talk. There is a famous sang “Say what you mean, and do what you say” and if what you think, say, mean, and do is positive then the outcome will follow.
“View your words as having an influence in your lives like no others. Step up.” You have the choice to engage in negative self-talk that debilitates you or self-talk words that enhance performance…. Which would you choose?
As a coach keep in mind the power of YOUR words to influence your clients, you are talking to and influencing their self-talk… notice what you say and focus on powerful positive words to enhance their performance.
There are 2 ways to correct self-talk:
1. Hold yourself accountable. If you are doing a workout and have a bad rep, do you count it or replace it? Replace it with a good rep and feed your positive self-talk
2. Develop body awareness and consciousness (the connection between mind and body) Ask yourself “Is what I say and think in line with what I want?” If yes, then stick with it. If no, then change it. Yes, it is THAT simple!
I hear the words body and mind ALL the time in the fitness/wellness world. What does it mean? Body/mind connection means to put your body in a position to control the mind. If the physical body is in the right position then the mental body responds in the same way. Try it out. Walk around slouched and sunken and try to cheer and be positive. It’s very challenging… the lungs are compressed so oxygen is not flowing properly AND you are associating that physical body with sadness. Now imagine an open chest, shoulders back, and head up person trying to sulk and complain… I bet even those complaints sound like music to the ears!
Bottom line, if you can filter any challenge that comes your way through a positive shield then it will always be good news (the opposite is true as well).
One of the most important things that Greg said during this talk was that “Physical skills will help you for 10 hours, but mental adaptation and attributes will help you indefinitely." Crossfit is built on the philosophy of functional skills, the most important functional skill is exercising the power of the mind, subconsciously that is what you are learning every time you push yourself through a challenging wod, or support a teammate get through a round. “Each of the 10 skills correlates directly to a mental/emotional leadership trait.”
You are probably thinking why is she talking about self talk when this was a goal setting seminar? We all know (or you know now) that in order to succeed you have to know where you are coming from and where you are going. Throughout the journey, self-talk becomes your friend and helps you get to your destination. Goal setting and positive self-talk are interrelated and where they intersect is leadership.
“Before you can lead anyone else you have to lead yourself and set a positive example to follow.” Where are you leading yourself? What is the end state you want to arrive at? Then as a coach/leader you are trusted, if I follow you where would you lead me and how will you lead me.
1. Write your goals down, what is the end state of your goal. This is critical. When you write things down the mental is transferred to the physical and you are held accountable.
2. Immediate action is required (IAR). First step is research: where are you today? Only then will you know how to get to the end state.
3. Share your goal: trust and accountability. Power and responsibility over that person’s life.
4. Acknowledge for yourself and for others when a goal has been achieved. Reflect and acknowledge that you have achieved it. Know that you created an end state that a week ago was not possible. Acknowledge your peers. This will inspire you to set and achieve another goal.
5. Listen!!! Most important. So few of us listen to ourselves let alone listen to others. Listen critically to your self-talk, to your words, and to those around you. Ask is this what you want and ask your friends is this what they want. If not, change it.
Find one word that is your transformational word. Whether you are at the bar, in a competition, at work, or in any challenging situation this ONE word will bring you back to your body and to a place of control. What is this word for you? Breathe. Move. Compete. Fire. Explode. Relax. Sexy. Abs. Family. It could be anything. Write this word down, post it to facebook, share it with others, have a list in your box and commit to it.
In just one hour I felt like Greg had equipped me with some powerful tools, I can’t imagine what type of torpedoes people left with after being there for 3 hours!
I leave you with this last quote:
“Fear had overcome its okay we have been there before. All you have to do is throw your heart over the bar and you can achieve anything. “