The Power Of the Positive

Happy Sunday friends!

I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the power of the positive. As a therapist, this is one of those “bread and butter” concepts that goes a long way… And one I use with most (if not all) of my patients. But, ironically, I didn’t first learn about this in a clinical setting. I learned about it in a field in front of my highschool, during a cross country practice. Story time!

I am a strong & confident woman.

For those of you who don’t know, I am a pretty big runner and always have been since my sophomore year of highschool when I joined the CC team for the first time. Now, I was a pretty good runner. Not the best on my team but always second or third. Midway into my sophomore year, my coach started to notice that when I ran I lacked confidence in my abilities. So he tried an experiment during practice.

I remember it clear as day. We were running mile repeats, and after getting my first time for a baseline, he made me repeat the phrase “I am a strong and confident woman” before I took off for my next mile. When I finished, I was astonished to find out my time had dropped by 5 seconds.

This was a technique my coaches used with me throughout my running & swimming careers, and it led me to pretty good success.

So why did I tell you this story? I didn’t just want to relive my glory days… And it’s not like I went on to become on Olympic champ or even run in college. I can’t run a 5k in 20 minutes anymore, and a magical phrase certainly won’t get me there. I tell you this story because it shows the power of the positive.

In the therapy-world, we call what my coach taught me 12 years ago “positive self talk.” If you think it, you can become it.

So I encourage every one of you to find your phrase. It can be a quote, a memory, a picture in your head. The key is to have it be short & memorable. Something you can draw on when times get hard.

To this day, whenever I have a meeting or patient at work I am anxious about, need to get pumped up for a serious workout, or just need a way to put my mind and heart at ease, I think to myself “Tessa: you are a strong and confident woman.”

And for me, that’s enough.

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