Overcoming negative self-talk
As the Olympics have just concluded, I wanted to share a story on how affirmations helped an Olympic skater to land her jumps. As reported in the New York Times, it was the short program and Gracie Gold, the American national skating champion was warming up. She could feel her legs start to tingle before she skated, a hint that they might betray her. Then the nervousness began.
On Gracie’s opening jump, a triple-triple combination, she landed her first jump with difficulty. Then a thought rushed into her head. “Is this my Olympic moment?” she recalled saying to herself. “I’m going to be on my butt?” She quickly told herself no. She fought for and landed her second triple.
Then, during her double axel, her body was off balance as it flew through the air. Her negative self-talk piped up again and tried to discourage her. But Gracie countered with a perfect affirmation. “I’ve come too far not to land this stupid double axel,” she told herself. “I’m going to land it with a smile.” And that was what she did.
Gold finished fourth on the short program and fourth overall. Not bad for her first Olympics.
Keeping a positive mental attitude was a key in the victories of other Olympic athletes. Elite athletes athletes know that their mental preparation and mental toughness are as important, if not more important, than their physical conditioning. Affirmations are a wonderful way to keep their “eyes on the prize” and keep those negative voices at bay.