Wherever you put your attention this week leading up to a race is where you are going to put your head on the day of your race.
Remember that where your focus goes, your energy will flow.
If you place your focus on limitation, guess what? You will feel limited.
If you put your focus on doubt, you will feel doubtful.
If your put your focus on fear, you will feel fearful.
If you live in the past, you will be stuck in the past, with no present and no future.
Why? Because you are a construct of the state of your mind.
If you live in your mind, you will see the world from the viewpoint of what you have been taught and from what you believe as a result of that which you have been conditioned to think from your surroundings and past experiences.
Triathletes are brilliant at complicating the already complex
The algorithm of thinking and of thought is chaotic. There is no peace or sanity in thinking too much.
We do not trust our own minds, nor should we. Our thoughts are not always reflective of the real world.
A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusion. - Alan Watts
So, what can we do about overthinking?
In race week, keep everything simple. Stop trying to know or predict outcomes and start trying to understand yourself and what a state of calm consists of.
Firstly, to understand yourself, you must feel the depths of your own desires and goals, and the very strength of your own will and heart.
These are the qualities that will bring you successfully through any race as you cannot think your way through a race or any other challenge that involves pushing yourself to your maximum.
There comes a point at which thinking can become counterproductive, when left unchecked.
These qualities (being calm, trusting in your heart and intentions) cannot be thought into existence. You need to track them to their source and trace them back to where they are coming from – often a sense of quiet and calm.
So, what is good race week practice?
Good race practice is paying attention to the source of your emotions: you are not the thinking mind that wants to measure, analyse or quantify. You are the deeper you, the real you - that which is beyond words and thinking.
Do you want some real power? Ask this question and ask it inwards not outwards. Then ask yourself, ‘Who am I?’
Stay silent and wait for the answer. When only your awareness of yourself is present, you will have your answer.
The possibility of everything
You will have most likely done all you need to have done prior to racing. If you have not, what you have done is what you have, so no amount of thinking will change it.
Thoughts of doubt are like acid, they eat away at the potential you have here and now.
You will not find self-trust in thinking. You cannot create self-confidence; these things are felt.
We want to examine every single thing on an outer level. We want to know it, but there is often nothing to know. You cannot really know anything without first understanding the root of your own condition.
Knowing is not understanding. If you think you know, then you really do not understand.
If you want a rock-solid platform for performance, look for that which is unchanging and unchangeable within yourself.
The mind is transient and changing at every moment, it never stops. It is restless, impatient and deals only with time and judgement.
However, when you look at your own consciousness or existence, can you say that it has ever really changed? Has it ever not been there when you wake up? No matter how much difficulty you are going through, does it ever judge you, belittle you, limit you, or not turn up for work?
If you answer yes, you are answering from your mind, not your source. You are confused about who you are. In the gaps between your thinking, who is aware that there is a gap?
There are two levels of consciousness. One is the level of content and one is the level of the container of that content. We are not taught this in western psychology, but in eastern approaches the latter is considered your real identity - it is your source and it is the real you.
The content is simply what happens, but what happens is seen and experienced by the outer conscious level. You are not what happens around you or to you.
Race Week Practise
In race week, just practise being the container of all that happens. Keep asking yourself, who am I? Stay silent and just spend a week practising simply being aware.
Take this silent awareness into your race and you will watch your own feathers fly.
Your only limitation is the limitation that your own mind puts on you.
Put it in charge and you will quickly get stuck in judgment like a bee trying to trawl through honey.
You, the real you, are the orchestrator of your own fate, not the victim of it.
The mind is your servant, use it as such and it will serve you well, particularly on race day!