“I HATE This…I Stink At This Movement”

Do you see the workout, then pick the thing you “hate” the most because you “stink” at it? Is your first reaction to complain or you do you instantly begin to fear how it’s going to feel? 


Remember to Accentuate The Positive

First, you must realize that your current perspective isn’t helping you at all.

Second, recognize that you can change HOW you look at things.


View The Situation Differently

Accept that the movement is important to do and good for you

Decide that you’re not horrible at it, you just want to be better than you are

Be glad it was programmed, so you can work on it

Choose to embrace it as a challenge. The more you do uncomfortable things, the better you’ll be at them.

Everything is harder when you have negative self-talk and a bad attitude. Accept that discomfort is going to help you improve, and embrace the suck.

But, that strategy might not work for you all the time.


If you focus on how hard it’s going to be, how much it sucks, how you hate the rep scheme, or how you might not be able to get through it, then you make the workout that much tougher. Once you change your focus, you can look at things more positively, and you’ll probably do a lot better.
It’s almost never as bad as we think it’s going to be, but we have to remind ourselves that we are capable and that we CAN get through it.



The Physical

Begin to break down reps to smaller sets.

Even if it’s one step or rep at a time. You can count your reps down, or count every 5 reps. That may seem to make them go faster.

Take a deep breath, or 2 or 3.

You might actually have to close your eyes, stop what you’re doing, and just take a few deep, slow breaths. Remind yourself that you will be okay. Gather your composure. This is often more effective than continuing to move in an erratic or sloppy way.

Use your strong body language.

Roll your shoulders back and down, lift your head and eyes up, smile, and nod.

Get Physical

Smack your leg, or clap your hands. This is a physical reminder to snap out of it.

Grab the kettlebell, etc. and just do 1 rep right then.

Sometimes physical action is just what we need to distract ourselves from our negative, fearful, doubtful thoughts.

Remind yourself of cue words to keep your form efficient.

Think about catchy, short cues like “quick hips,” or “push through heels.”


The Mental

Quickly identify what you don’t have control over.

Choose to let it go because you know you can’t do anything about it. Then, think of what you can control. Examples of what you can influence: your body language, facial expressions, breath, effort, response, attitude, words, and thoughts.

Turn the situation into a positive.

Instead of “this hurts, I’m tired,” tell yourself “this hurts, but I’m getting the most out of my workout… heck yea!”

What attributes do you want to display?

Think of a couple, and repeat those words to yourself. Maybe it’s “resilient,” “driven,” or “unstoppable.”

Repeat mantras over and over again.

Think “I am capable,” “I can do it,” “this weight is nothin’.”

Use other people’s energy.

Glance at another athlete who is continuing to move and push through. Emulate their body language and use their energy to support your effort. Oftentimes, we can gain motivation from watching someone else use their mental strength and athleticism.

Coach yourself like you would your best friend.

When you start to get discouraged or fatigued, give yourself coaching cues. Make sure that you’re being a motivating, helpful coach to yourself (the same way you would to someone else).

Visualize success.

Think about how good it will feel to finish and get through it.

Remind yourself of your why.

Think about your purpose and why you want to keep going. Maybe that’s your most important goal.

Focus on your strengths.

When we begin to tire or feel challenged, it’s second nature to think about what’s failing us. But, if you switch your focus to think about your abilities and strengths, you can rely on them to carry you through.


A Couple Strategies You May Not Have Thought About


This involves thinking about which muscles are working and paying attention to your breathing or body movements. Focus on exactly what you are doing. It’s the same thing as being MINDFUL or PRESENT.


This involves thinking about non-related events or people. You may sing, or just tune out by recalling a good memory. Distract yourself by thinking about something completely different than what you’re doing. I would recommend not doing this for long, or doing this when you are in a longer, endurance event.


And, of course, the old standby…

Things could always be worse.

Think of all the ways that the workout could be harder. Or think of situations that are much more uncomfortable than what you’re currently facing.


But, When It’s All Said & Done…

Think of Others

Is there someone you love, or someone who is unable to do what you’re doing. Maybe you can dedicate your effort to them, or simply continue to push, because you know that they love(d) and support(ed) you.

Be grateful.

Quickly remind yourself that you’re thankful for your abilities and the opportunity to train hard, or compete. Often, being thankful completely changes our mood and perspective on the situation.