"I have been given the ability, the rest is up to me: believe, believe, believe."-Billy Mills, 1964 Gold Medalist, USA Track and Field.
All cliche's aside, the concept of self-belief carries considerable weight. The stronger the belief, the more powerful effect it can have on your life. According to Kay Porter in The Mental Athlete, "you are no more or no less than your successes or your failures; you are no more or no less than you think you are." It helps to take a moment to reflect on these statements and ask yourself exactly what you believe to be true of yourself.
If you think of yourself as competent, then chances are you perform effectively on a regular basis. If you see yourself as weak of not as good as your fellow competitors, it is likely that you will not perform to the level you are actually capable of. You are only as good as you believe yourself to be.
Below is a list of common beliefs that may be counterproductive to athletes (or anybody):
- I must please others.
- I have to earn respect.
- I'm too slow, not talented enough, etc.
- Training is selfish.
- It's unfeminine for a girl to be good at sports.
- If I'm a good athlete, then I am more accepted.
- It's ok to not have fun.