Who else is someone who, in general, catastrophises? For instance, you have a bad competition opener and immediately your thoughts spiral into how this will be your worst season ever and maybe it’s time to throw in the towel and I’m clearly hanging on too long and oh dear, what if I never jump far again?
Thankfully, all this negative self-talk isn’t me anymore! (mostly ;p)
But, that takes work. A lot of work.
Instead of catastrophising, I … don’t.
In fact, I do the opposite. Whereas catastrophising is spiralling downwards and looking at all the worst-case scenarios, now I’m practising … hope.
Whereas catastrophising looks at what else could go wrong; hope expects the best. Hope asks – what could go right?
choose to bet on yourself
Hope, optimism, whatever word you choose speaks the language of betting on yourself.
Essentially, my self-talk looks at these facts:
Today, I opened up with 6.27m. Objectively, I am 59cm from the Olympic and World Championships’ standard of 6.86m (also equal to my own personal best).
Catastrophising sees how wide the gap is and wonders, how on earth am I going to jump that chasm! (Pun very much intended.)
Hope sees how wide the gap is and doesn’t ask how; but opens herself up to see the miracle of possibility and expectation to make the goal a reality.
if you’ve done it before, you can do it again.
I’ve leapt the chasm before and made it to the other side; I can do it again.
In 2015, I opened my indoor season with 6.30m. Coach was worried. I still have his emails to prove it. LOL.
But, I remained confident and optimistic. I knew something internally (an inner confidence/knowing) that meant I wasn’t deterred by the objective data – the literal measured distance on the day.
The following competition, I jumped 6.73m – a big indoor personal best, adding 43cm to my previous competition’s distance.
In 2012, I opened up in Angers, France with 5.99m, but at the end of that month in my next competition I jumped 6.39m in Marseille (one of my favourite meets on the circuit!). 40cm added.
And, of course, that same year I jumped a big personal best of 6.80m. (If you’ve not seen my 2012 6.80m leap and celebration, check it out here!)
Get to know yourself and your patterns
I’m glad I’ve taken this moment to look back and reflect. It helps to know yourself – your patterns, your habits – when you have a bad competition, meeting, performance, whatever your sphere or life or line of work. Look back at your fluctuations. Of course, in my best years in terms of self-confidence and relatively uninterrupted training preparation, I’ve opened up strongly (2015 with 6.62m and 2016 with 6.64m). But it’s good to know that even when I’m not ‘on form’ or ‘ready’ to compete, once I’ve shaken off the rust, bigger distances follow.
So, although I could choose to be shaken, to be rattled and deterred by this season opener, I’ve changed my mind. I’ve decided to bet on myself.
I’ve decided to expect the best.
Let’s see whether I can add 40+cm onto my SB in my next competitions…
So, what’s that…? 6.67m?
I’ll keep you posted…
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Have a beautiful day!
– Abs x