I am guilty of being a Debbie Downer from time to time. Of course, I usually have a reason. Like bombing a competition for example. Or, not being able to send a problem for what feels like an eternity. Those experiences have the potential to bring you down temporarily, which is fine. Motivation takes a beating in this state of mind, and I start to question why I’m doing it in the first place. Being able to pick yourself back up though, is the key to achieving any success.
We all know what failure feels like, and we wish it would just leave us alone. Sometimes the feeling lingers, and it’s hard to cope with not living up to certain standards we have established for ourselves. We’ve all been there girl, don’t worry. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing then that’s a whole other story. Fortunately, I’m reaching out to those of you who love what you’re doing, but are really not sure how to pull yourself out of a lull. And don’t worry – you are much better than you give yourself credit for!
Find the right kind of motivation
The best kind of motivation is internal. Motivation is much stronger when we have personal goals to achieve (intrinsic motivation). Make sure you want to succeed because that’s what you want to do. External motivation has it’s place, like receiving praise from other climbers, or chocolate, but make sure the root of your determination comes from within. In terms of motivation working long term, intrinsic is the way to go. Figure out why you want to succeed and adjust your scopes if necessary.
Create a game plan
Write down or discuss with a friend how you plan on achieving success. If you can’t achieve your goal right now, figure out a logical way to eventually achieve it in the near future. Perhaps mini-goals would work nicely here. Ex. you can’t hold the slopers in your route, so train your sloper strength!
Make climbing fun again
Climb at a new gym, try a new training regime, buy new workout gear. Whatever it is, spice things up and remind yourself why you want to climb at all. Sometimes we lose focus of this and find ourselves too far away from what climbing is really all about.
Take a break
This might seem counter intuitive, but hear me out. Maybe you lack motivation because you are stuck in a rut. Sometimes time and space will give us new perspective so give something else a try. Cross-train or fill your time with other climbing related activities like coaching, setting or reading until you feel like you’re ready to get back in the game.
Positive self talk
Negativity: so easy to find yet so hard to destroy. It’s incredibly easy to focus on what’s not going so well, so instead focus on what you are doing well! Guaranteed you are not the same climber/athlete you used to be. Be proud of where you are now in your journey, even if it’s not exactly where you want to be.
Watch others climb
I love watching ABS Nationals on youtube or finals at any competition we attend. I find watching athletes compose themselves so nicely on tough problems reminds me that I can be good too if only I put in the work. Personally, this is highly motivational because it reaffirms that work = success. Training ruts happen, but a friendly reminder of what training can accomplish is not so bad from time to time. This might only speak to those of you who train, but if you don’t train maybe it’s something to consider!
Find a support system
Whether it’s a friend or a on an online forum, talk about where are you and where you want to be. Hopefully their encouragement or excitement will spark a reminder of how excited you were in the beginning.
You are capable of so much more than you know. Overthinking, over-analyzing and negative thoughts are hard to avoid, but try your best to ward those out. Keep it fun, that is why you started climbing in the first place! Make sure your goals still reflect the “fun” atmosphere of climbing. Doing tedious laps of the gym to build up your endurance sounds boring, but if you have the end goal of sending a tough endurance route outside, then it’ll eventually lead to fun!
You can do this, I know you can! 🙂
Climb on xx