How to Overcome Negative Thinking And Beliefs

Positive Thinking

Focusing on Positive Outcomes Rather Than Negative

“I can’t!” “I stink!” “Why do I always mess up?” “I will never beat her.”

How many times have these thoughts crossed your mind during a competition?

Negative self-labels or beliefs are one reason for falling short of your goals and your potential in sports.

Why do so many athletes get trapped in negative self-labels?

What is the root cause of your negative thoughts?

Negative thinking is based on fear… Fear of failing, fear of mistakes, fear of criticism, fearing of losing playing time, etc.

Negative beliefs bring about negative outcomes.

You make your reality by the thoughts you choose to entertain.

Now, a few random negative thoughts won’t guarantee a poor performance.

Poor performance occurs when you feed those negative thoughts by constantly focusing on them, especially when not performing your best.

The more you focus on negative thoughts, the more they run rampant in your mind which leads to mistakes, errors, drops, falls and losses.

You may think there is nothing you can do about your negative beliefs, “It’s just the way I am.”

Well, there is nothing further from the truth!

Related Article: Helping Athletes Overcome Self-Critical Behavior

You can change your beliefs to focus on healthy ones. The more you focus on feeling confident, the more you will push out the demons in your head.

Scottish soccer player Ryan Fraser has batted with thinking negative during games.

During a game tied 0-0 with 5 minutes remaining, Fraser had a one-on-one against a defender but rather than take on the defender, he passed the ball back.

Fraser was later asked by the team’s sport psychologist why he’d been so timid, he said, “I didn’t want to lose the ball and they run in and score.”

The sport psychologist responded with, “But what if you took him on and crossed the ball and we scored from it?”

Fraser admitted, “I hadn’t really thought of that. I had gone to the negative output, the safer output. That was the type of stuff holding me back.”

You can see from this example that Fraser had two choices in how to think about the situation:

  1. Attack the goal and possibly score (success-oriented)
  2. or“What if I mess up?” (avoid failure)

Avoiding failure causes you to play it safe. You’ll play to not make mistakes or mess up your team’s chances of winning.

And since the avoiding failure holds you back from taking chances, you will never become all you can be in sports.

Focusing on success and what you have allows you to play aggressively, gives you the opportunity for a positive outcome and allows you to strive for your potential.

When you opt to see the positive and grab hold of confident thoughts, you will greatly increase your chances to succeed.

For this reason, it is essential that you commit to reprogram your thinking!

2 Effective Strategies for Turning Around Negative Thinking:

  1. Focus on what you want to do instead of what you fear might happen. This success-oriented approach immerses you in the present moment and allows you to intuitively play your game or perform the way you want to.
  2. Ask yourself positive questions, such as, “What is the best that can happen?” By focusing on what you want to have happen during competition, your performance will follow your thinking.

Related Sports Psychology Articles

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