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2021-07-11 7:18 PM


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Subject: How to beat self-doubt?
Hi all. So I’m scheduled for my first sprint next month, as a first tri at tri. But I really want to try a bigger race next near. Maybe a 70.3? My wife is my inspiration, as she regularly races. My question is, how do you conquer fear and self-doubt? I look at that swim and think, “That’s not possible.” (It definitely is for me now, as I don’t yet know how to freestyle swim). And I see those people running under the timer and think, “You can never be like them - you SUCK. Just hold the dog and watch the kids.” How do you start believing in yourself?


2021-07-12 8:02 AM
in reply to: Motormouth

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Subject: RE: How to beat self-doubt?

Originally posted by Motormouth Hi all. So I’m scheduled for my first sprint next month, as a first tri at tri. But I really want to try a bigger race next near. Maybe a 70.3? My wife is my inspiration, as she regularly races. My question is, how do you conquer fear and self-doubt? I look at that swim and think, “That’s not possible.” (It definitely is for me now, as I don’t yet know how to freestyle swim). And I see those people running under the timer and think, “You can never be like them - you SUCK. Just hold the dog and watch the kids.” How do you start believing in yourself?

You already DO or you wouldn't have signed up for your sprint next month!  

Do you realize there is no "success" if the risk of failure is not present also?  Think about it...it wouldn't be much of an accomplishment if the outcome were a foregone conclusion.  That is true everywhere in life, not just triathlon.  I'll guess there's a fear of failure driving your self-doubt.  Recognize there is a difference between "fear' and "self-doubt."  While you may have some legitimate fears about the swim, take some lessons and swim, swim, swim to overcome that fear.  

Here's something else to work on regarding fear of failure.  It's a race!  At the end of the day, whether you hit your race goals, miss them slightly, come in dead-last, or even do not finish, you're wife will still love you and the dog won't care!  You won't lose your job or your house over your race-day performance so risk failure!   Go into the race with the attitude "I'm going to finish" and see what happens.  I'll give you two anecdotes.  I had a friend running a 15K race.  He'd normally do this in about 1:15.  He cramped up and tripped on a curb pretty early in the race, but he kept going and finished in about 1:45 or so.  I did IMCdA in 2009 and crashed on the bike at mile 67.  The bike was OK so I got back on and kept riding.  It was a different race than I expected, but I finished.  You can find my race report from my profile.  

The antidote is to DO.  Go train.  Sign up for the race.  Every time you go for a run, go for a ride, or go for a swim, start the workout with the attitude 'i can do this."  And I mean EVERY time!  Your brain/psyche is powerful and will subconsciously work to make the mental images in your head reality whether those images are "I can" or 'I can't."  If you're looking to finish, you'll overlook the hundreds of things that get in the way.  If you're looking to quit, you'll see hundreds of opportunities.  

 

2021-07-12 8:24 AM
in reply to: McFuzz

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Subject: RE: How to beat self-doubt?
What a great question!

Basically you can tell yourself positive things or negative things.

Neither "I will definitely run faster today than yesterday" nor "I am terrible and can't finish" are necessarily true statements.
You can say either one of those to yourself.
Maybe you feel the positive one is a lie and the negative one is more true.
But really both are true and neither is true.

However if you say the positive one to yourself, you're a lot more likely to have a positive outcome.
You're free to choose to say either one to yourself.
You don't HAVE to be positive.
If you do, you'll get a more positive outcome.

It's hard to talk yourself out of a hole that's as deep as the one it sounds like you are in.
You might not be able to wrangle it intellectually. You might just want to practice it. Just practice not like it's the "right way," but just as an experiment.

I notice when I have positive self-talk, my running form is better and I'm faster. As soon as a negative thought comes in, I sometimes slow to a walk! Thoughts are powerful!

Make it a game to try both ways. You get to choose.
2021-07-12 1:41 PM
in reply to: Motormouth

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Subject: RE: How to beat self-doubt?

First off theres no better way to gain confidence than by exercising. For the vast majority of us, we aren't fast. We suck. But racing against who we were yesterday and beating that guy is what it's all about. Recently a man with Downs completed an Ironman. He said in training, he just kept telling himself today I need to be at least 1% better than yesterday, work hard, and never give up

Second part of the equation is to put in the work.

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