Myth #1 : Mindfulness is about having NO thoughts
It is time to address the myths of mindfulness in relationship to performance. Mindfulness, by definition, is about having the awareness to observe your thoughts. This means taking the time to become acquainted with the thousands of thoughts you have every day. Mindfulness is the tool that helps you decide which thoughts to follow. This is helpful for athletes when deci thoughts that best support their performance. It is like knowing where to put your focus.
There is a myth that mindfulness for performance loosens the competitive nature of sport, but actually if it is applied with knowledge, it strengthens the competitive awareness. In every competitive situation, there are two guiding emotions that fuel competition: threat and opportunity. Threats occur when you feel frustration or anger about an outcome. Opportunities occur when you instinctively know you have a mental edge on your opponent and you crank up the intensity. Mindfulness can highlight these moments and help you gain a competitive edge by understanding the need to redirect your mind or turn the heat up.
Myth #3: Mindfulness means you zone out
This is a common misconception. Mindfulness for sports is acceptance, awareness, action. We call these the 3As of mindfulness. Accept the moment for what it is. Having the awareness to do what is necessary in the moment, rather than letting your mind run wild with thoughts that are negative in nature. Finally, think of mindfulness as a gentle teacher guiding you to your next action.
“Mindfulness is not a special state you achieve through a trick or a technique. It is a way of being.” -Jon Kabat-Zinn
Do you have any Myths of mindfulness that you would like to share?
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