By Haute Volée, Heidi Greenwood
Mantras have been given a lot of credit, and rightfully so. They have helped many individuals out of rough patches in both everyday life challenges and athletic performances. These challenges are typically a combination of mental and physical will and focus.
I have personally used various mantras in the past to help me in my training, racing, and also in everyday life. Depending on my mood and the situation will depend on what mantra or "phrase of words" I use or have found work for me. It is uber important to acknowledge that mantras are never or rarely 100% successful. It is a skill that needs to be practiced regularly...and your ability to use mantras successfully will increase the more you use them.
Lately in my training I have been finding more success in using a phrase that may not seem like a “good” mantra to most people...but, I'll tell you what this phrase is and why it has been working for me. The phrase I have been using is "You're fine, you got this." Sometimes in my head I say it in a calming voice, but others in a stubborn voice. With me being a stubborn person it really motivates me to grind it out. It makes me feel stronger and tougher.
The thing with mantras is that in order for mantras to work you REALLY have to believe them. I have found that by having a mantra of, "You're fine" it is easier to really believe. When I use a mantra like, "You're feeling awesome" or "This is a piece of cake, easy peasey." I can usually only believe those “overly-positive” mantras for about 2.5 strides then the words of "oooohhhh $h!t" or "mother F'#$%r" begin to flood my brain. I'm being honest here. That is a real and authentic account of what SOMETIMES goes on during my workouts or races. I feel that I am not alone on having experiences like this.
Training at any level is hard. Whether you are a Professional, age-group winner, or rookie runner we all feel the pain. How you handle that discomfort and your ability to talk yourself it to BELIEVING that you can do it will help you break down barriers and become successful in whatever you are trying to achieve. By having a power phrase or mantra as your "ACE of spade" in your back pocket when the going gets tough is a great secret weapon to have. Mental toughness is something that I have to continually work on. I really believe that this is what separates the good performances from the amazing!
What mantra do you use? Tweet me at @heidijogreen. Everyone in driven and gets their mojo in different ways…experiment and find what works for you!