Running Diligence – Mind Games

Hindsight is 20/20, right? After running every race, I can count many things that went wrong. When I leave a meeting that didn’t go well, I worry about what went wrong. What often comes to mind when I encounter those situations again? I worry about making the same mistakes again. “The mind messes up more shots than the body.” – Tommy Bolt

mind gym running diligence mark mcgwire
The mind is a powerful thing and most people don’t use it properly. — Mark McGwire

Running toward the bonk

Have you ever witnessed a car wreck, or the aftermath, where the vehicle seemed to swerve toward a collision with a stationary object (light pole, culvert, or a building)? Have you ever been in a meeting where things seemed to keep going in a downward spiral? What went wrong? Where was there an opportunity for a course correction?

What are you thinking about in a race when you encounter a big hill? Many times, I’ve thought to myself, “Don’t walk! This is going to kill me! Don’t walk!” And do I end up doing on that climb? Walking…

We tend to be self-conscious when it comes to encountering challenges. We allow our brain to sabotage performance. When we tell our brain what to do, instead of focusing on what we don’t want it to do, we can find that path to success.

Running with keys to success

Our mind goes where we lead it. Our actions follow our thoughts. There have been several encounters with hills on my regular running routes. When I approach with a plan for success, more often than not, I can find a way to succeed. “Pace yourself. One step at a time. Power through.”

What are your keys to a successful performance? I know when I enter a meeting at work, I can struggle with communication. My words don’t come across with the intention I had in mind because I let my emotions take over. If I enter a meeting with a few phrases that will help me communicate more clearly, with my audience in mind, I can be more successful in contributing despite a difficult conversation.

Running the right path

When I start running with a focus on my keys to success – start slow, pace yourself, deep breaths, mind your form – I end up finding success. I’ve had many recent training runs where I set out to do one distance and end up doing an extra two or three. Why? Partly, I contribute it to focusing on my goals. That positive mindset makes a huge difference.

But let’s not ignore those many days this winter with wind, snow, and cold where I lacked the motivation to get off the couch. Our mental diligence is always a work in progress.

Learn to use your mind or your mind will use you. Actions follow our thoughts and images. Don’t look where you don’t want to go. — Mind Gym.

This continues a series of posts working my way through Mind Gym by Gary Mack. I read the book and it inspired quite a bit of motivation. I’m sharing a few thoughts as I work through the book once more.

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