How to Control Your Negative Thoughts by Dan Schaefer, Ph.D.

We all have negative thoughts when we train for triathlon, it’s just what happens. We have thoughts like: “I’m not good enough,” “how am I going to do a full Ironman,” “I’m not going to finish this race” or, perhaps you say, “OMG, what if I come in dead last?”

Dan Schaefer, Ph.D. has been a friend of mine for a long time and what he does is he helps athletes, all athletes, control their mind games. Comment at the end of this post for a chance to win his book!

Here are some tips from Dan Schaefer, Ph.D.:

  • Feed the Right Wolf —“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.’
    • One is Evil — It is anger, envy, jealously, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false, pride, superiority and ego.
    • The other is Good — It is joy, peace, love, hope serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth compassion and faith.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘which wolf wins?’ The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘the one you feed.'”

  • Know What You Want — It is impossible to get what you want if you don’t know what it is. Common items on our Mind Game Tracking System Wish List could include but are not limited to:
    • Increase concentration, notice and control self talk, manage and control stress, identify distractions, increase motivation, control discomfort, improve business results and more.
  • Get Out of Your Own Way — Negative self talk prevents many people from achieving their goals. Oddly enough, most of us talk to ourselves in ways we would not accept from someone else. Our Self Talk Survey helps you identify how you are contributing to your own lack of success. This could include questions like:  What are you saying to yourself? When does it start? When does it end? How does it stop? Is it your voice or someone else? etc.
  • Click! Away Distractions — Did you know that you can actually bargain with yourself to deal with distractions later? Our Click! System will help you increase concentration and gain a competitive edge by moving distractions out of the way until you have time to address them.
  • Plan Backwards — “Someday” is never going to come. In order to achieve goals you need to envision them done – and for that, you need a specific date. Our System helps you envision what you want to be in five years, outline the steps you need to take to get there and keep your sights on the prize.

Dan Schaefer, Ph.D. is the president of Peak Performance Strategies. He will help you establish and achieve triathlon/running goals, perform more comfortably, identify and remove blocks to success, alpha processing and power visualization, how to prepare for competition and to reduce stress. You can reach him at 212-265-1888.