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Words Matter: Connecting Your Language and Performance

What kind of language are you using when you are on the mats? 

There is power in the words that we use. Time and time again, I am catching my fellow students on the mats talking down to themselves without even noticing it.  The truth is, every time you say something negative about yourself aloud, it is seven times more likely to have a negative effect on you.  Imagine the impact on your BJJ game you are having every time you say you aren’t good at this technique or “I suck at this.” 

We all have this thing in our brains called the reticular activating system which acts as a filter for the bits of information that comes in and passes through to our unconscious mind.  The main job of the reticular activating system is to go deep into our mind and find past events and experiences to prove those bits of information true.  So its important to realize that what you are saying aloud to yourself is the exact reason you will or will not get the results you are looking for.  For example, when you say things out loud like “I suck at takedowns,” or “That looks hard,” or “My cardio is terrible,” there is a part of your mind that is pulling up past events to prove that true. 

Once you begin to understand that this is happening it is easy to shift the language you are using to become more serving in improving your BJJ game. Instead of saying “I suck at takedowns,” say “My takedowns are getting better.” Instead of saying “That looks hard,” try “Seems easy enough,” or “I’ll give it a shot.”  Instead of “My cardio is terrible,” say “My cardio is getting better every day.” 

Notice as you do this how much easier it will be to learn new things and how much more confidence you will have in your training.  Take this outside of the gym as well and it will have a tremendous impact on everything else you do in your life.  Keep showing up and we will see you on the mats!

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