How many of you have ever tried to accomplish a certain goal and just kept failing time and time again? This could be anything from a goal time in practice to winning Olympic gold. You have tried everything possible. Your effort level is there. You work harder than everyone around you. Your body is sore, as your muscles ache from the amount of work you put in. You have thought about every possible way to improve even more so you could creep just an inch closer to your goal. Well, I’m here to ask you to stop thinking. It sounds crazy, right? Let me tell you why.
Thinking too much can demotivate you
The moment you realize you aren’t performing the way you would like to; you start thinking about what you are doing wrong. You start to ask yourself the “what if” question (check out my article “What If” to learn more on this). “What if I’m just not good enough?” “What if I’ll never make it to the top?” When you don’t perform to your expectations, negative thoughts are generally the first thing to pop up in your mind. You start to criticize yourself on problems you never even had to begin with. You become overwhelmed with all these new “problems” you have created, which leads to a significant decrease in performance.
Thinking tends to overcomplicate the basics
Another way your mind could betray you is through overcomplicating the little things. You don’t perform as well as you want to, so your mind immediately tells you that something is off. Whatever that may be, you then overthink it. Overthinking is just another distraction you don’t need. It forces you to focus on things that are less important, rather than the things that will actually make you perform. Focusing on the problems will always lead to more problems. Rather focus on the possibilities so you can have more opportunities.
Thinking gives you limitations
It’s true. Let me ask you a question. What is the very first thing you do when you are in the middle of practice and your muscles are absolutely on fire? You think about it. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s completely normal. However, thinking puts some incredible limitations on your abilities. If you have always been bad at something, you might be thinking that it is just something that you will never be good at. The one thing that separates the good from the best is the ability to move outside of your comfort zone. If we keep thinking about how much it hurts, there is no way in the world that you would be able to perform to the best of your ability. Great performances require great practices and great practices requires you to take that step out of the comfort zone. So challenge yourself to take one small step further out of your comfort zone every day, and eventually improvement will come. Stop thinking, start doing.
Dream. Dare. Succeed.
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Hi there! My name is Rudo Loock. I am a former competitive swimmer from South Africa. I went to school and trained at Florida State University in the United States of America. I have always had a great passion for both writing and sport and now I have found a way to combine the two things I love most. My goal is to help you achieve great things you never thought were possible. I hope you enjoy my posts and dream big!