It’s so simple to live our lives feeling like our thoughts and emotions control us, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
This ONE piece of advice is something that Coach Sandi Nypaver truly believes is a game changer for mental strength.

Definitely for running, but it could also impact all aspects of your life. Here’s what it is:
Ask Yourself This One Question:“The basic piece of advice is to pause throughout the day, especially in challenging situations, and ask yourself: “What does the best version of myself look like in this situation?” Alternatively, you can ask, “What is my highest level of thinking in this situation?” Stopping to reflect and pose these questions can unlock the knowledge within us that we often overlook, as we tend to offer sound advice to others but neglect to apply it to ourselves.

Moreover, this practice has the potential to completely transform our thought patterns and the underlying habits of our thinking. From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that we often find ourselves trapped as victims of our own thoughts, feeling powerless to control them because we rarely make an effort to do so. However, by pausing and asking ourselves those pivotal questions, we regain control over our thoughts. This shift in approach empowers us to actively shape our thinking processes.

Certainly, this transformative process takes time. If you currently feel overwhelmed and dominated by your thoughts, it’s important to acknowledge that this will be a gradual journey requiring continuous effort. Even though I still encounter challenges in this aspect, I find solace in knowing that consistent practice yields progress. Having devoted a considerable amount of time to this practice, I now find it significantly easier to identify negative thinking patterns as they arise. This heightened awareness enables me to address and counteract them more effectively.

When I stop and regain my focus, continue to practice, it becomes faster and more efficient. It truly is a game changer. Returning to the topic of thoughts controlling us, it is crucial to recognize that some of our thoughts persist simply because we have repeated them relentlessly.

How to Work Through, “I Am Not Enough”
One prevalent example these days is the belief of ‘I am not enough.’ Many individuals adopt this notion at a young age, and it gradually solidifies into a habitual pattern of thinking.

However, if we take a moment to question or examine this phrase or thought of ‘I am not enough,’ we can step back and analyze it.You might be able to change that form of thinking. So, let’s continue with the example of “I am not enough.” If you stop and think about it, you ask yourself, “Is that actually true?” What are alternative thoughts or perspectives that contradict this belief? Is there a better way to approach this or reframe my thinking? How can I actively work towards making this belief untrue?

And simply going through the process of stepping back and examining why that thought exists gives you the power to actually modify that thought. Initially, it may be quite challenging, but eventually, that trigger thought of “I’m not enough” will serve as a reminder that it’s time to cultivate a more positive mindset. And eventually, you know, that thought could simply cease to exist, leaving you with only more positive thoughts.

In terms of running, I believe that pausing again to ask yourself, “What is the best version of myself in this situation?” or “What is my highest level of thinking right now?” opens up numerous possibilities for application.
Putting it Into Practice (What You Can Start Doing)So, if you’re someone who experiences significant anxiety before a workout or a race, by asking yourself those questions, you may start thinking along the lines of: “I can only control what’s happening right now. The upcoming workout or race is still a day or a few hours away, and I can’t control it at this moment. However, I can prepare myself for success in the present by focusing on aspects like eating healthily, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated.”

Another perspective to consider is that if you have a poor workout or a disappointing race, it’s not a monumental issue.
When you commit to being a runner and participating in races, encountering setbacks and failures is a definite part of the journey.

If you set ambitious goals and actively pursue them, it’s inevitable that you will encounter failures along the way. In fact, it’s likely that you will face multiple failures, which is an inherent part of the running process. However, we can extract valuable lessons from these challenging experiences and apply them to improve our future races.
Even in instances where you have a disappointing race and struggle to identify what went wrong, there are still numerous positive aspects in your life to focus on, which can diminish the significance of running.

I completely understand that running holds great importance and occupies a significant portion of my life as well, being both a coach and a runner myself.I love discussing running and helping people with their running, but it does not define my entire being. There are countless other aspects in my life for which I am immensely grateful. When I step back and view the bigger picture, it diminishes the stress associated with running and enhances my enjoyment of it. Maintaining that sense of joy is crucial.

Practice Makes PerfectWhat can truly foster a resilient mindset is regularly practicing these questioning techniques, not only in relation to running but also in all aspects of life on a daily basis. While it’s beneficial to apply them during your runs and various running-related matters, if you can consistently ask yourself these questions in non-running situations as well, your mental strength will undoubtedly grow, benefiting both your racing performance and your overall running experience.

However, it will also profoundly impact your entire life, leading to an overall increase in happiness as you develop a strong mindset. It’s a continuous work-in-progress, and I, too, am still striving to improve. Nevertheless, the effort is undeniably worthwhile, and I wholeheartedly believe it to be a game changer.

If you believe this advice can genuinely benefit you, I urge you to create a plan for its implementation. Setting the intention may suffice for some individuals, but personally, I found it helpful to write notes as reminders. I had one on my computer that I frequently referred to, and it made a significant difference. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to consider a similar approach.

You could consider sharing this idea with your friends or family members, saying, “Hey, I want to try this,” so they can provide support and hold you accountable. If developing a stronger mindset is truly important to you and you’re committed to it, make a plan for its implementation, similar to how you would create a running training plan. I genuinely hope you will embrace this advice and put it into practice.

Honestly, it has completely transformed my mindset, making me a much stronger individual. By taking a step back and asking myself these questions, I feel like I have regained control over my thoughts, which is incredibly empowering. If you decide to give it a try and notice its positive impact on your life after a couple of months, I would be delighted to hear about your experience.”
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