Negative vs. Positive: Thought Discipline and The Harder Path to Self-Growth

You know what’s really easy? Being negative. You know what’s really hard? Being positive.

In sports (and beyond) we don’t really ‘get' this all the time. Sometimes, we get it a bit confused because negativity can easily be mistaken for positive attributes such as drive or resilience. 
 
I had a coach once who everyone respected. "Look how competitive he is!", they’d say, "He’s so DRIVEN!", they’d comment as he grumbled and stomped around and yelled at players.
 
Give me break. Anyone can be negative.
 
It’s not a badge of honor. It doesn’t mean you ‘want it’ more than others. All it means is that you don’t control your thoughts and you’ve learned to be driven by fear alone. Because under that negativity, under that anger is a feeling that you aren’t good enough.
 
Take the athlete that is overly hard on HERSELF. That’s easy. She beats herself up after every mistake, she categorizes herself as a 'failure', she can’t recover when things don’t go her way. But she works her ass off. "Look how disciplined she is!",  they say, “Look how hard she works!” they comment. From the outside, she is driven, motivated; a coach’s dream; but really, her own negativity is her biggest barrier.  (I was that girl by the way).
 
ANYONE can be negative. Being positive is the real discipline.
 
When I work with coaches and athletes, I always challenge them to take that discipline, that competitiveness, that DRIVE and apply that energy to build themselves UP instead of tearing themselves (or others) down.
 
I ask them, "What would THAT look like?"
 
It’s not necessarily intuitive to do this. We are encouraged to be negative, externally and through our own wiring. I do believe it’s often seen as a badge of honor. We think it’s so good to be hard on ourselves; to be successful, one has to believe that nothing is EVER good enough.
 
Yeaaaah... I’m calling bullshit.
 
Here's why: I’ve seen both sides. I’ve been the one where nothing was ever good enough and honestly, it DID help me…. For a while. But long term? No way. I believe that being disciplined in positivity is not only the bigger, bolder, more honorable challenge, but it is also the one that leads me to more happiness and ultimately more success. It makes the journey toward achieving my big goals sustainable and gives me energy instead of stripping it away. 
 
But moving from negative discipline to positive discipline was not an easy transition for me. There was A LOT of fear, and fear is often what keeps us in the negative loop. The first limiting fear is often, "What if I’m not good enough?!". This thought goes WAY deeper; it triggers a flood of limiting thoughts, such as: 
  • Who am I when I’m not the 'outwardly pissed off' one?
  • What if I lose my motivation?
  • What if I can’t be disciplined without fear?
  • What if being positive is just being ‘soft’?
I see this so often with my clients. And my only response to get them out of this thinking is: 
 
"How is being negative working for you?"
 
So, I’ll ask you the same thing, "How is being negative working for you?" Or more broadly, "How are your thoughts SERVING you?"
 
And let me be very clear, if you tell me you aren't negative, we need to have a whole other conversation, because I know that is simply not true. We are ALL negative in some area of our life, at one time or another. It’s not inherently bad, it’s not inherently good, it's JUST about how it is serving you. Only you know how your negativity serves you. If you have a small inkling that long term sitting around and bitching, or playing the victim, or feeling sorry for yourself, or being the 'angry one', or only being disciplined in your negative thinking loop ISN’T working for you (i.e. is not making you happy), then stop. Because here's the straight truth:
 
The greatest, best thing, and most DISCIPLINED thing you can do is choose to create positive thoughts.
 
It's not the 'soft' or easy choice; it's the brave, bold challenge that lies in front of all of us.
 
Here is to all of us using our VERY disciplined mind to create positivity IN and AROUND us

 
If you are a college coach at any level looking to step into the next level you and realizing that someone needs to ‘coach the coach’ listen up. We are opening a new program this fall for a VERY limited group. This is who it’s for College Coaches who find the following to be true:
  • You feel like you don’t have time because school/season is starting but know in your soul THIS IS THE TIME you need support.
  • You are sick of de-prioritizing yourself and realize that it will catch up to you eventually AND it will effect those you love and those you lead.
  • You want to challenge yourself and get back to the core of who you are.
  • You want coaching in your own life but maybe nothing in the ‘life coaching’ world has really struck you. You are an ATHLETE after all, you are a disciplined, high level, successful person. You don’t NEED help, you WANT help to get you to another level faster, easier, and with efficiency.
  • Want to level up YOUR mindset and do the deep work on yourself (this isn’t about your athletes or anyone else).
  • You are ready to commit to your own growth and are ready to financially commit as well.
Yes, I realize you feel like you don’t have the time. That is your brain trying to convince you that you aren’t strong enough to prioritize your time in the way that works for you and allows you to step up to the next level you. But if the following paragraph resonates with you, this program is for you:
 
They are ATHLETES at their core. Their true essence is to be disciplined, to push themselves in new ways, to grow physically stronger in some respect.And yet they haven’t for a while. And they don’t like that part of them that allowed that to happen. Their confidence in themselves has eroded, maybe they even feel like a fraud, they feel disconnected to their true essence.
If that’s you, comment below or send us an email at [email protected]
Close

50% Complete

Yes, I'd Love This Free Guide