Give yourself a break…

There was an interesting article that I read a few months ago in the New York Times, that dealt with something that us age group athletes certainly relate to, and something that impacts all high performers, in any field…and something that I’ve said and seen over the years on many occasions:

High performers are harder on themselves than anyone else could ever be.

Of course, this is largely encouraged, in our quest for perfection, performance and impossible-to-others goals…where we often feel that will-power and discipline are the keys to success…probably are I say 🙂

…having said that, it does raise the question of ‘balance’, and mental ‘sanity’ in an imperfect world, and how we deal with the hills and valleys along the way…from what I’ve seen the line to a goal is never just straight upward

…the author has this perspective:

Do you treat yourself as well as you treat your friends and family?

That simple question is the basis for a burgeoning new area of psychological research called self-compassion — how kindly people view themselves. People who find it easy to be supportive and understanding to others, it turns out, often score surprisingly low on self-compassion tests, berating themselves for perceived failures like being overweight or not exercising.

The research suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health. People who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic. Preliminary data suggest that self-compassion can even influence how much we eat and may help some people lose weight.

Makes sense that we should treat ourselves as well as we treat others, when you look at from that perspective.

The complete article from this link:
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/28/go-easy-on-yourself-a-new-wave-of-research-urges/?nl=health&emc=healthupdateema2

Also reminds me of a couple of books that I read years ago by James Loehr: Mental Toughness Training for Sports and Mentally Tough…these are older books that are still as relevant today, as they were when he wrote them…in 1982 and 1986 respectively…and he’s written quite a few since then

…he actually makes the same point about the advantage of positive vs. negative motivation…in his view the highest chance of peak performance came from highly positive mental energy…seeing and believing and visualizing a positive outcome

…and interestingly enough, negative mental energy came in next, in his ranking of the effectiveness of various mental states…ahead of other ‘mental states’ that were less energetic…sort of like beating ourselves like a race horse coming down the home stretch as a way to kick ourselves in the butt and stay on track.

I’m going to read those couple of books again, and write-up a few details on the ‘mental’ side of all this…something that I just don’t spend enough time on.

…except for that image of disappearing love handles 🙂

This entry was posted in Achieving Goals, Dad's Blog Posts, Racing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.