Monday, March 2, 2015
Positivity & Driven Personalities
Many runners are driven individuals who want to improve and have lofty goals and expectations for themselves. If harnessed and used well this can be a great thing and lead them to exciting accomplishments, but if not held in check and used properly it can also be a source of endless frustration.
I think the key to using this driven personality to carry you to success is through Positivity.
To help you see if you are using positivity to help achieve success, here are some examples of how a positive approach and conversely a negative approach would look at training and racing.
Positive Way: Looks at each workout as an opportunity to improve and gets better. Reflects first on and appreciates the progress made in an area. Notes failures or short-comings in a workout and thinks of them as opportunities for future improvement and growth. Remembers the whole, and each activities place in the process. Focus is on executing the now and then going forward and what is next.
Negative Way: Looks as each workout as something that it is critical to nail in order to stay on track. Reflects first on any short comings or failures in the workout. Notes failures or short-comings in a workout and thinks of them as having undermined at least some of what they wanted to accomplish. Seeks to make-up missed work. Focus is on rehashing or correcting the past.
Positive Way: Reviews their training progress and successes and uses them to set their race goals and build up their confidence in their ability to achieve them. Goes to the start line with a calm confidence knowing they are well prepared for the task at hand. Stays positive in the race, focuses on the things they can control. Adapts to any unforeseen challenges, focused on moving forward and staying optimistic on how they can make the best of the moment and what is left in the race. Only allows positive self talk and encouragement to take place. Views success with graciousness and humility, allowing it to build internal confidence. Views failure as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future.
Negative Way: Establishes their race goals based on what they think they should do in order to meet other bigger goals. Seeks to convince or justify to themselves why they can achieve those goals. Goes to the start line determined to MAKE their goal happen. Gets mad or frustrated when any unforseen challenges happen that put their goal into jeopardy. Seeks to make up for mistakes or challenges. Allows negative self talk to creep in with adversity. Views success as validation and as being deserved. Views failure as crushing and devastating, and thinks they should feel this way or they some how aren't driven enough.
It can be very helpful for runners to do an honest assessment periodically of how they view training and racing and which pathway, positive or negative, are they going down. No one is perfect but the more on the positive side we can stay the greater our chances for success will be.
Coach Mark Hadley