Improve Self-Talk For A Better Performance

Your self-talk can make or break your mindset. It can propel you forward, and help you be more positive. Or, it can limit you, hold you back and keep you in a negative space.

Many athletes create more stress in their lives than others simply because of how they talk to themselves. Life doesn’t have to be hard, stressful, complicated, miserable or dreadful all of the time. You don’t always suck, you’re not so bad, you can get better, and there are always positives and opportunities for growth. Sure, you’ll face hardships, and tough times, so will I. But, how you talk to yourself and about your situation will impact your mindset about it.

When you improve your self-talk, you’ll have a better frame of mind, and you’ll be more confident taking on challenges. It’s all about creating a perspective that helps you enjoy your training, and helps you improve.

Examples of unhelpful self-talk:

  • I have to be able to do it myself
  • I gotta prove how good I am
  • I have to do it right the first time
  • I hate messing up
  • I can’t get better
  • I’m so bad at this
  • I hate it
  • I don’t want to feel this way
  • I’m not allowed to show weakness
  • I can’t make mistakes
  • If I don’t win, I suck
  • I’ll never be good at it
  • Everyone needs to love me
  • If I am criticized then I’m a loser
  • I can’t ask for help
  • No one else understands
  • I can’t show any weakness

When you think these things, your mentality will suffer, and your performance will be impacted.

Analyze why you are feeling them and where those thoughts come from. Re-center yourself with deep breaths and focus on what really matters and what you control. Build your mental strength, by improving how you talk to yourself.

Examples of positive self-talk:

  • I’ll get better with practice
  • I can do this
  • I’ll keep working at it
  • Messing up is progress
  • I can accept how I’m feeling
  • I’ll try until I can
  • Each mistake is another step forward
  • I’m awesome, regardless of the outcome
  • My performance doesn’t define me
  • My effort is what matters
  • I’m strong and capable
  • I can do anything I put my mind to
  • I’m better when I get help
  • Feedback is good for me
  • I’ll miss, but I’ll keep trying
  • Champions are build in training
  • No outcome is a bad outcome

Who is the one person that is going to be in your head in every situation for the rest of your life? You are.

You can support, encourage, challenge and push yourself. Or you can doubt and limit yourself.

My goal is to help you develop a strong and helpful voice in your own head… so that you can get the results you want.

Here’s what you can do to get started

2) List the top 10 comments or cues that a coach has said that you’ve found helpful – continue to coach yourself with similar phrases

3) List any negative or unhelpful thoughts that you have during workouts – write down positive cues that you can use instead

There’s an infinite number of ways you can improve your mindset and your self-talk to make sure you’re getting the most out of yourself.

Start training your mind today for WODs here or get coaching here.


I’m Dawn Fletcher, the owner of Driven Mind. I help driven-individuals perform better and achieve greatness in all that they do.

Reader Interactions


  1. Susan says

    The getting better with practice piece can be one of the most difficult but also most beneficial parts. It is hard to keep doing something when you start out and you aren’t very good. But everything gets easier with practice!

  2. Bionaze says

    Absolutely! There is robust evidence that self-talk strategies facilitate learning and enhance performance. Motivational self-talk usually is used when we want to psych ourselves up for something challenging.

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