In part two of a five-part series, guest blogger Kerry Rough explains how positive thinking can help you smash through a barrier, keep going when things get tough and achieve more than you thought possible in 2013.
How many times have you thought: "I am just not any good at this, I may as well give up"?
Well, I have said it around two or more times in my life, most notably at the Dambuster Triathlon in 2011. I ended up crying my eyes out on the run, having absolutely given it my all on the swim and bike and giving up around 200m into the run course. My mental strength had vanished within the first two miles on the bike, as the long line of cyclists steadily passed me on the bike course. With tears rolling down my cheeks, it was an emotional DNF for me. My first ever and from that point onwards, would be my last. I have learnt from that experience and some others before, that it takes a lot of positive thinking about your own performance, rather than that of others to move forward. If only I had thought about what I had just been through last year (a broken wrist and three months of no training, as well as a running injury), I should have been really pleased with my efforts and not taken any notice of others. To add insult to injury (quite literally) it was the National Triathlon Championships and the most competitive race of the year.
I have also since learnt that taking part in these events can be tough on the ego, especially if you are of average performance. So 2012 was all about instilling a bit of self confidence and doing some lower-profile events, even resulting in my first ever win at a triathlon in July! Throughout the race that I won, I was constantly thinking about the finish and how I would feel once I had crossed the finish line, and it was the positive thoughts that spurred me on. I can understand that sometimes things just don't fall into place and you can have a real off day, but if you have put in the hard work with training and have positive thoughts at the forefront of your mind and only on your own performance, then I can assure you that things will seem a lot better than other times.
Even in training, positive thinking seems to help spur you on to that PB effort or even just to reflect on your session. Once negative thoughts creep into your mind, I can honestly tell you that it is ever so difficult to get rid of them. My own personal experience at the Dambuster triathlon was one of negativity, not believing in myself and my ability and once I thought to myself that I wasn't going to finish, I didn't end up finishing. However last year, all that changed and I gained so much from my mistakes and bad experiences.
Here's hoping that 2013 is even bigger and better than 2012!
- The Dambuster Triathlon in 2012