Trying something new but it just hasn’t worked?
Chances are it isn’t entirely your fault.
Most of the things we do we do out of habit. We are, as one wise man once put it, a result of not what we do but of our habits.
Making a change therefore takes a change in are habits – and therefore getting a new PB or following a new training regime becomes easy.
Habits control our behaviours without us even knowing. Take for example what you eat for breakfast. Do you eat, the same thing more or less every day for breakfast? Pretty much right? How long has that gone on for?
When most of us make our breakfast we don’t think about what we’re doing. Our brains go into autopilot, we boil the kettle, pour out the same amount of cereal or whatever that routine might be. Our subconscious mind kicks in, we switch off and let the habit do the work.
Now let’s say we want to learn something new like kicking into a handstand. We get into position, hands on the floor. But – we then switch off. Whenever we kick into a handstand, we get scared, tell ourselves it’s too hard, and our legs barely leave the floor. This continues long enough that a habit forms and left unchecked we do the same thing over and over.
To do something different we need to consciously THINK what we’re doing. Break it down, ask for advice and follow step by step until we learn the pattern.
After a while a new habit of the right technique forms and then – ONLY then – we can switch off.
So next time you face a challenge take a step back and focus on what you’re doing to avoid old patterns repeating. Before you know it, your habits will be working for you.
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By Felix Leech
Crossfit London & Crossfit SE11