Getting to the finish line of any challenge requires a huge amount of mental strength and thinking positively can dramatically improve your chances of success. However, when training for an event it’s so easy to only focus on the physical prep leaving any mental prep it fall by the wayside. Here’s my foolproof guide on how to prep your mind for success by creating positive affirmations that actually work.
To help you get started with your affirmations I’ve created a little 4 day challenge for you. I hope you find it helpful. Download it here >>
In a nutshell, positive affirmations are statements that are spoken and repeated to encourage, uplift and motivate. They’re phrased in the present tense and state what you want to be true about yourself or your life, as if it were already true. Think of it as a mental fake-it-‘til-you-make-it.
For me, positive affirmations are super powerful and they work best when they really resonate and fill me with energy. I use them to help visualise achieving my upcoming challenges but I find them most helpful during the event or race itself. I repeat them to myself over and over until I sound like a broken record. In fact, I think I can put getting through the Mallorca 312 down to positive affirmations (and a lot of jelly babies). The Mallorca 312km is a (you guessed it!) 312km cycle around Mallorca that took me 14 hours straight. It was pretty much the toughest thing I’ve done but repeating my mantra to myself definitely made it that little bit easier.
There are 4 important things you need to remember in order to come up with a killer affirmation that’ll get you through your first 5k run….or 312km cycle.
Start your affirmation with “I am”. Past tense phrases like “I will” or “I am going to” just won’t cut it. Your brain only responds to statements in the present tense.
Steer clear from using words like “can’t”, “won’t”, “don’t” etc. The idea here is to make it as easy as possible for your brain to see the positive, so avoid making your brain have to turn your negative statements into positive ones.
Avoid using words that aren’t statements such as “could” or “might” and instead use words like “am” and “do.” Sometimes you might feel uneasy about saying statements that may not be 100% true (yet!), if that’s the case you can try adding in “in the process of” into your affirmation i.e. I am in the process of…
If you’re creating an affirmation for a specific challenge, think about what you want to achieve. Be as descriptive and specific as possible.
Once you’ve come up with your mantras you need to repeat them as much as you can. There’s no magic formula for how often you should repeat them but as a rule of thumb a good place to start is dedicating 5 minutes to it 3 times a day. Try making it part of your daily routine in order to make a habit of it. One thing that is important is to make sure that you’re focussed on them when you’re repeating them, try to find a quiet place without distraction.