Last week I was featured on the Lacrosse All Star’s podcast, Outside the Eight. One thing I want to pull out and explore more is the discussion around the run test, which is 20 100 yard sprints down and back. Even though I was always an athletic goalie, I still believed I was incapable of running long distances. The “story” I created in my head was because I was a goalie and excelled at short sprints, I had no endurance. However, there was no factual basis for this; it was just an excuse I told myself. When I took the time to train, and pushed myself, I passed the test.
Another story I told myself in high school was that I just wasn’t good at writing, I was a math and science person. Then, I went to Stanford and ended up majoring in Communications, writing more papers than I can count. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t great at first but I got help, worked on my writing, and significantly improved. Now writing is one of my favorite things to do.
Personality can even come into play here. I always thought I was an introvert, since I was shy and quiet and always thought of myself as a little awkward and weird (maybe that’s just my inner goalie though). It’s why I never thought I’d be a head coach or a fitness instructor. I didn’t think I had the personality for it. Here we are, coaching every day and I’ve run successful bootcamp classes for the past few months. I’ve come to learn that introversion and extroversion have more to do with energy, and in fact, I derive energy from being around people just as much as I do being alone. Now I consider myself an extroverted introvert (if that’s a thing), but that’s an explanation for another time.
While these stories relate a lot to a fixed vs growth mindset, they exist to limit our perceptions of what we can do and the people we are. The difference between who we are and who we want to become is our mind. I stress this to kids I coach so much. Our minds control how we play on the field, but also how we interact with people and our pursuits off of it.
Even to this day, there are situations that arise and I feel my brain wanting to come back with the stories I have told myself in the past. Right now, I’m going through one of those and learning the hard lesson again that sometimes as hard as you work, things just don’t end up the way you’d expect. At first, I felt myself start the story that I’m not good enough or know enough, but then I realized I’ve been here before and I don’t have to let those stories take over. Just because we have to take detours along the journey doesn’t mean we can’t arrive at our destination.
What to do once you realize the story?
Rely on the facts. Always come back to the truth, real hard facts, not the ones you believe to be true.
Devise a plan. How can you tactically improve the situation?
Change your mindset. The best way for me has been affirmations. Yes, they’re silly, but I write them down, say them out loud, and in my head on repeat. Over time, it really does shift the way you think about yourself. Also, breathing is everything to me.
Go out and crush it! One day at a time your plan will start working, the mindset shift will kick in, actions slowly change, and over time patterns become habit.
What’s a story you’re telling yourself? Need help accomplishing your goals on or off the field? Reach out! I’m here to help!