Noah snatches during the Battle for Quiet Waters CrossFit competition last July.
Sometimes the anticipation of a thing is worse than the actual thing. You may spend hours, days, week obsessing and over analyzing what to say or what to do, and when it comes time do actually doing the thing, you're exhausted. That's because you've worked yourself up over something that you can easily control.
I sometimes do this when I'm training. I might be halfway through my snatch workout and I'm worried about those 3 sets of heavy cleans I still have to do. Or I might be in the first 5 minutes of a 30 min AMRAP and I'm freaking out because it's already hard and I'm not sure how I'm going to get through the entire workout.
Worrying about the future is called anxiety, and anxiety does us absolutely no good. We can't predict the future, we can only control ourselves right now. You have no idea whether the thing you want to do in the future, e.g. compete in an event, have a difficult conversation, attempt a 1 rep max, etc. will be successful or not. There are thousands of factors that can influence the outcome. However, there is one thing for sure, one hundred precent, you unequivocally have control over and that is your thoughts and actions.
If you worry and allow yourself to go into the dark hole of "what if," you will certainly stress yourself out. Your stomach will hurt, your hormones will get out of whack, and you will probably have a difficult time with that thing when it finally arrives.
If you control your thoughts by recognizing that they are just things and are not the truth, then that thing in the future might not be so big and scary. Your thoughts are like clouds, just a thing that comes and goes. Just because you think something doesn't make it true. This holds for negative and positive thoughts.
You can help achieve a positive outcome of future events by focusing on your actions, your words and letting go of your thoughts. If you have anxiety about a thing, take 10 deep breaths then visualize yourself successfully doing that thing. When I was competing in the American Open 3 last fall, I visualized my lifts, and I allowed myself to feel what it would be like to be successful. I visualized my celebration dinner, I visualized how happy I would be. Of course, I also trained 8 hours per week for 6 weeks leading up to the competition. So I knew I had put in the hard work.
When you're faced with doing something difficult, lean in. Take some deep breaths, let go of the worry about "what if," do the work and you might be surprised at how fantastic you feel when you finally get to that difficult thing. Good luck!
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