The Power of Positive Language for the Canoe and Kayak Coach
I know a climber who keeps falling off a crag doing the same move, and yet it’s a move well within her capability. Everything’s ok as she climbs up to that point. Then, as she prepares for that move she say’s to herself, ‘I mustn’t fall!’, over and over again. So what happens? She falls. The reason is that when she says ‘I mustn’t fall’, her mind must first think of her falling before she can think of herself not falling.
Try this for yourself – don’t think of a blue tree! DON’T!!!
What did you think of?
‘Where the attention goes the energy flows’. That split second of thinking about falling creates a mental picture or message which her muscles act upon – so she falls off – a self fulfilling prophecy.
I was kayaking with some students recently who were concerned that they might hit a particular rock and capsize. Sure enough, they concentrated on the rock and were drawn towards it like a magnet. What happened is that their mind created a powerful image which their body acted upon.
Words are very powerful, so use this to your advantage and use positive language instead. Notice the times you are thinking about what you don’t want instead of what you do want, and work out how you can change the thought so it expresses what you do want.
When you’re next taking part in your activity, notice the times you and those around you express things negatively by saying what they don’t want to happen. How can this be changed into a positive statement to say what they do want? As you continue to practice this it will start to happen automatically, and if you catch yourself setting a negative goal simply ask yourself, ‘want do I want to happen instead?’
Here are some examples of negative phrases and what you might say instead.
Negative Phrase Positive Phrase
I won’t do this wrong I’ll do this right
Don’t miss it Hit it
Don’t be tense Relax
This won’t stop me I will keep going
Don’t worry Be confident
Don’t look down Look up
Don’t think in negatives Think in positives
So now you just need to go out and practice, but don’t do it all the time, and don’t think about how much more positive your attitude will become as a result!
Contact Kim for training in how to develop your skills in this area
-Effective goal setting.
-Leads to enhanced performance.