Week 4: Adopt a Winning Mindset

Everyone likes winning. It makes us feel good. We feel important and often times think we are better because of it. Does a winning mindset equal winning more often? Let’s see. Do you see obstacles as barriers to winning or opportunities to learn and grow?

If you tend to see obstacles as barriers you might be of a rigid mindset rather than a winning mindset.

Characteristics of a rigid mindset:

  • Seeing situations as confirmations of your abilities, talents, or aptitudes
  • Worrying constantly about proving your adequacy
  • Translating failure as the inability to prove your adequacy

A rigid mindset results in stagnant thinking because the person is consumed with only proving their talents or abilities they have not how they can develop them. This creates a crippling and destructive performance based thought cycle of anxiety. It is very stressful to constantly be burdened with proving one’s adequacy.

Characteristics of a winning mindset:

  • Seeing your abilities, talents, or aptitudes as a starting point, your ingredients for the desired success not the proof of success
  • Welcoming the situations that inspire greater effort, not fearing those situations will prove your inadequacy
  • Translating failure as an indicator of how you can grow, a learning opportunity not a threat to your adequacy
  • Pursuing learning because you believe with effort your talents and abilities are strengthened, not shown to be inadequate

Adopting a winning mindset creates momentum and an excitement to discover what one is capable of rather than a judgmental crippling cycle of trying to prove adequacy. An example of a winning mindset statement is, “I can, and I can’t wait to see how it will happen.” This curiosity and welcoming acceptance of the process dispels fear and incites positive receptivity to whatever circumstances may transpire.

I practiced a winning mindset on the bike this week. I rode three hours on the stationary bike just staring at a blank wall and pedaling. Instead of fearing whether or not I could prove my adequacy, I welcomed the excitement of what happens when I do finish.

When I finish what will I have learned about myself? I learned I need to take a slug of liquid about very 7-10 minutes. I learned I need to ‘eat’ something about every hour. I also learned that I can tolerate being uncomfortable and bored for an extended period of time. Much longer than I had previously thought. But the most insight I gained was how I had psyched myself out mentally on the bike months ago. The 112-mile Ironman bike ride had intimidated me. I was fearing whether or not I could even cross that distance. After pedaling 60 miles in one session, I realized I pedaled over half the distance necessary for race day. My rigid mindset had me losing before I even started the race.

By adopting a winning mindset I can finally relax. Deep breath. I just need to trust the process, remind myself of previous accomplishments when I feel unsure, maintain the positive self-talk and enjoy the wondrous journey of watching myself grow. I have nothing to prove, but everything to learn.

WO: 8 workouts logged

Please visit the attached link for the charity I am racing for: http://www.scope.org.uk/ To donate please go to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/lelandlearns

Thank you for the support!!


Week 3: Overcoming Fear and Living in Success

Frustrated by not accomplishing what you have set out to do?  Fear might be the cause.  Fear is imagining what is yet to come, not what actually is happening. We worry something bad is going to happen. We unfortunately think that this worry will somehow prevent the feared scenario from happening. This anxious thinking though feeds a misperception or misjudgment of the current situation. Even though we may think we are fortifying ourselves and preventing a painful event, we are sadly willing it to happen. Our anxious thoughts increase the chances of what we fear to be a reality which is exactly the opposite of what we wanted our worry to accomplish. Entertaining fear separates us from living our life in the present, and we end up only living in what we have imagined in our minds.

We give fear credibility because fear pulls from our past experiences. We did not like the event/feeling the last time we encountered it, so we try to avoid it from happening again. This attempt to avoid the feared circumstance though smears its poison into our future. It doesn’t actually prevent the insult from reoccurring. The fear just cripples our chances to embrace the present and make new, positive experiences.

Some fears that often disconnect us from enjoying the present:

  • Being hurt
  • Being abandoned
  • Unmet needs
  • Being rejected
  • Losing our identity
  • Losing our security
  • Getting sick/terminal illness
  • Failing
  • Being alone

These fears can cause negative thinking. Dwelling on these negative thoughts undermines our confidence and blocks us from our dreams and aspirations. Fear imposes limitations upon our ability and potential. Fear is our low self-esteem in disguise which sustains feelings of self-doubt.

What if I fail? What if he rejects me? What if I can’t support myself? All of these questions are spawned from the mire of self-doubt, my fears. If I confidently believed I am worthwhile and capable, I would never dream of asking myself these questions. These questions are only asked because I fear the ‘what if’ rather than believing in the present, the reality not a murky possibility.

I pedaled away for two hours, instead of fearing not being able to finish my time. I recognized the now. I am pedaling. Time is passing. I am just fine. No need to fear what isn’t happening. What is happening in reality? I am finishing.

Remember, live now don’t imagine something that might happen tomorrow. Take away the power of fear in today. Give the power back to yourself in the present and build positive momentum for tomorrow.

WO: I logged my ten workouts this week.

Please visit the attached link for the charity I am racing for: http://www.scope.org.uk/ To donate please go to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/lelandlearns

Thank you for the support!!

Week 2: Finding the Possible in the Impossible

Keeping your eye on the prize turns out to actually change your perceptions. Emily Balcetis, a social psychologist, conducted a study examining participants and their perceptions of exercise. Balcetis’s team found that if participants were told to only focus on the finish line in front of them and nothing else, participants’ perceptions of exercise changed.

-30% felt the finish line was closer

-17% thought it was easier even with carrying an additional 15% of their body weight, and

-23% went FASTER despite the additional weight

Balcetis’s findings remind us of a well-known truth that is easily forgotten. We all perceive the world differently even though we are viewing the same exact image. If we hone in on our focal point, we too can change our perceptions. No longer is a daunting task so daunting.

I needed to change my perception of my previous week of training. Due to work deadlines, instead of completing 8 workouts, I completed 3. What a miserable showing, in my opinion. When I changed my perception though, I realized I still maintained my fitness level with three workouts, my work deadlines were met, and I traveled safely to the UK…maybe not such a miserable showing after all.

Week 3 is off to a rocking start, so what can we conclude? Keep your eye on the finish line, and you’ll move faster and feel like reaching your goals is easier.

View Balcetis’s TedTalk, for more reasons why changing our perceptions could make the world a nicer and easier place.

WO: 1 mile swim, 1.3 mile run, 20 miles stationary bike