Thursday, July 04, 2013

What are you thinking???

“Watch your thoughts, for they become your actions. 
Watch your actions, for they become habits. 
Watch your habits, for they become character. 
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”   

Our thoughts are such a powerful force. State of mind and what we tell ourselves can be the cause of greatness or defeat.   

I fondly remember standing in the corner of the floor at the 2004 Olympics and having the most powerful positive self-talk going on inside my mind. I was reminding myself to breathe and that I was ready. I was completely focused on each element of my routine and wasn’t getting ahead of myself and thinking of the outcome. I was completely immersed in the moment and internal words of encouragement were like fireworks inside my mind. I was so open to possibility and as I stepped on to the floor I said out loud, “Make it Happen”.   

I also fondly remember standing in the corner of the floor at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in the floor exercise final. There, I had incredibly negative self-talk running through my mind. Instead of reminding myself that I was ready and focusing on the subtle details of the performance, I was worried sick that I would make a mistake, not win a medal and let my country down. I was so afraid to fail and I kept imagining myself messing up. Inside my mind I was thinking, “Don’t screw up”.  

At the 2004 Olympics, my routine was simply flawless. At the 2006 Commonwealth Games, I landed my first pass on my arse. Coincidence? I think not…   

During my years in sport and in life outside of it, I’ve come to strongly believe that our thoughts ultimately become our destiny. What we believe about our potential will come true. The stories we tell ourselves about our worth will become real. The energy we have buzzing through our mind will directly impact the scenarios we find ourselves in. Thoughts are the epicenter of our lives and we must be very aware of them in order to determine how they are affecting our current state.   

I encourage you to take 5 minutes today to observe the story that you tell yourself inside your head. Is the conversation full of positives and encouragement or are you beating yourself up? What kinds of language do you use inside your mind when you are interacting with others? Imagine if you wrote down every thought that entered your mind for a 5-minute period. Would the majority be something you’re proud of or would a lot of them be judgmental like watching an episode of garbage TV like TMZ?   

The great part about our thoughts is that we do have control over them. Positive thinking is a choice and it’s something that gets better with practice. The most important thing is to have an awareness of our thought pattern. We need to catch ourselves when we begin to stray and doubt our worth or abilities.   

As the sun begins to shine, start exercising your mind to be your most mighty asset. Concentrate on thinking positive thoughts and telling yourself courageous stories. Let the conversation inside your mind be one that is full of belief, hope and confidence.   

Our destiny is determined by our character and our character is based on our habits. Our habits are formed through our actions and, ultimately, our actions are dictated by our thoughts.   

So, ask yourself, what am I thinking? If you are not where you want to be, perhaps shifting your attention to the dialogue that exists in your mind is the best place to start.

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