When things are outside of our control, we cannot do anything about what happens, but we can choose how we react, says psychotherapist Nick Davies.

So let’s look at the options: sulk, get fed up, give up and stop training and allow your focus and determination to go and stop training and eat unhealthy food. Understand it’s outside your control and although you were ready, now you have the time to ease off gently for a period of time, recover from niggles, and really focus on the extra bits that maybe you didn’t have time for. Then use my “Future Reality Decision Maker Technique” below.

Sit back in a comfortable chair a take a few, easy breaths and close your eyes

Imagine you’re sitting in your very own cinema.

Watch the character in a) on the screen in 3 months’ time watching TV, a few pounds heavier, eating some unhealthy food.

Now watch them in a year’s time, maybe having given up running altogether.

Now see them really overweight and unhealthy in 5 years’ time.

Rewind the movie and see, hear and feel those three scenarios and really feel how bad that feels and associate everything you saw, heard and felt with each time you feel like giving up.

You may be feeling let down or disappointed that your race has been cancelled, but it’s important to always have a goal beyond the goal so if one drops off you’ve got another to focus on, I personally have multiple goals each year. So try to set another goal.

Another technique you can use is what we call in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is called “Anchoring”, this is where you associate a stimulus with a peak state.

Most people press a thumb and a forefinger together, but I find this stimulus can be a little weak especially if you’re tired and need a boost. Read through the process before you do it for real, it goes like this:

  • Pick three times in the past where you felt the things you want to create e.g. motivation, speed, power, explosiveness, determination etc. and write down what you saw, heard and felt.
  • Sit back in a comfortable chair and imagine you are in your very own state of the art cinema.
  • Imagine watching yourself on the three occasions you wrote down as a continual loop following each other.
  • Make the pictures bigger and brighter, make the sounds richer and clearer and imagine stepping into yourself on that screen.
  • See through your eyes, hear through your ears and really FEEL how great that feels and clench one or both of your fists to associate with those amazing feelings.
  • The next time you need to access this positive state, stand tall, take a breath and squeeze the fist or fists and feel all those feelings come flooding back.

You can use a different stimulus for different states i.e. squeeze your left fist for determination and endurance and your right for explosive power.


More information

Nick is a well-respected psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, sports performance mind coach, trainer and speaker in the UK and Europe. Known as “The PTSD Whisperer” because of his specialism in treating trauma quickly and permanently. To see how Nick creates rapid positive change, visit www.ndhypnotherapy.com and www.ndsp.co.uk (sports performance)