Internal Dialogue

By Coach Manny Alayon

Everyone has experienced the little voices that keep echoing beyond our ears when things get tough. Sometimes they are good voices and sometimes they are bad. It is the classic struggle between good and evil. It is the difference between pushing through the discomfort or accepting defeat. Do we sprint when we see the finish line? Or do we just jog through it? These voices and conversations we have in our head that tell us to stop or tell us to keep going, we refer to as a our internal dialogue.

We all have a specific internal dialogue that happens as a response to an uncomfortable stimulus. This stimulus shows up in many forms. The uncomfortable stimulus that we all know quite well is the physical one. An example in CrossFit, is the workout that begins to burn way too early and all we can think about is “shit, I’m not even half way done”. Coincidentally, this may be the same voice that creeps in when you are stressed at work or get into a fight with a loved one. Some of our internal dialogue is innate. Some people are born with a higher threshold of discomfort and therefore their brains are wired to just keep pushing forward. However, many of us succumb to societal standards, which are sadly very low when it comes to having a positive internal dialogue. Our society’s low standard is due to the fact that we are rescued entirely too fast from discomfort. There are rules and laws that are made for the best of intentions, but sacrifice the much needed grit to handle the discomforts of being alive. For example, I recently heard of kids not being allowed to run at school recess for fear of getting hurt. I not only think this is detrimental for building a human that is capable of having a good self-esteem, but it never gives them the opportunity to work through the simplest challenges like getting up from a boo-boo. I can rant about the many examples, but I’ll save that for another time.

Removing discomfort has a negative impact on your internal dialogue. Discomfort is a necessary evil to build a tougher mental game. It is only natural to default to the worst scenario when you are not equipped with the proper skills to handle anything uncomfortable. The ideal internal dialogue is not one that is centered around being worried that something bad may happen under stressful times. A good internal dialogue has a sequence of positive words, phrases or conversations that help you get through a difficult task. It is not easy if this is something that you weren’t born with. It is very difficult if you are in an environment that shields you from life’s challenges. However, it is not impossible. Creating an awareness is the first step. If you want to find out more about how to create a positive mindset and a strong internal dialogue, join us for our “Mindset Clinic” on February 23rd!