“We are what we pretend to be, so we should be very careful about what we pretend to be.”
– Kurt Vonnegut
Language is crucially important. What we say, in the confines of our own mind, has far reaching consequences.
It is not a stretch to say that we really ARE what we say we are.
I am as guilty of this as anyone, which is odd when you consider my background in Performance Psychology.
When you work with enough athletes, and do enough self-reflection, it becomes evident that no one will speak to you worse than you will speak to yourself in your own head. Be aware of this today, and think about some of the things that float through your head as you go about your routine. Listen to yourself. Would you ever let another person get away with speaking to you that way?
So why do it to yourself?
One of my closest friends is not shy about holding me accountable for such actions. This weekend, at a Neurokinetic Therapy Seminar in New York City, I remarked (out loud) that I was a “hot mess” due to the amount of movement dysfunction that is present in my body. She immediately turned around:
“Who said that? Was that you?” She shook her head at me in disappointment. I vaguely remember a lame attempt at defending myself, but there really was no excuse.
In the context of Neurolinguistic programming, your brain hears what you say. It hears all that you say.
When looking at Mental Skills Training programs, one of the most critical elements is examining the self-talk habits of a performer. As I said earlier, the types of things that even the most talented athletes will say to themselves are mind-blowing and tragic.
You ARE what you pretend to be. You CAN’T do something if you continually tell yourself you can’t. You won’t be worth anything…if you tell yourself you aren’t.
So stop those negative thoughts and reframe them into a positive light.
Your body is not a “dysfunctional mess” – You are an incredible compensator.
Your goals are not impossible – You are just facing challenges that you will rise above.
It’s not that you CAN’T do a Pistol Squat – You are simply in a current state of learning the movement.
Be mindful of what you pretend to be. At all times, you should be pretending to be the best and most successful person you can possibly be. After all, if you are what you pretend to be, there is no room to tell yourself that you are anything but great.