I recently read an article titled, “Do you think you run slow? Why being slow doesn’t matter,” written by Jeff Gaudette, founder of the website Runner’s Connect. At first, I thought it was really great for so many athletes who obsess about how slow they are or who criticize their efforts rather than giving themselves credit. Then later, while on a run, I thought about how the main concepts of this article mirrored my own approach to couples who want to create a better relationship.
My takeaway from this article was that there is a huge advantage in thinking positive.
According to Gaudette, most of his athletes show up to train saying two things: “I’m too slow” or “You won’t be able to help me.” Later, when thinking about this article, I thought, wow, that’s what most of my couples say or probably think. They either think that the relationship is terrible or that they cannot do anything to change it. They also compare their relationship to what they see on television or see on Facebook. Do people really share their struggles on social media? My guess is no – similar to how runners only post their highlight reels.
Gaudette goes on to say that he found that the speed of the athlete didn’t matter. Rather, they all struggled with the fear they were not good enough, which in turn, lead to self-deprecating comments and negative self-talk. His solution – the power of positive thinking. I really like this! In fact, it’s similar to what I say to my clients.
From a purely performance perspective, Gaudette says negative thinking negatively affects results. An athlete who has positive self-talk or thinking outperforms those who go into a workout with negative or self-critical thinking. He goes on to say running is the same, no matter how fast or slow you are. This means there is no difference between the runner who breaks 30 minutes for a 5k or the person who runs a 15-minute 5k. Gaudette says there is always someone faster.
So how does this relate to improving your relationship?
First, similar to sports performance, the way you think greatly affects your relationship. If you think your partner is lazy, doesn’t show affection, or doesn’t communicate well, then you start to act as if it’s true. It’s called a “self-fulfilling prophesy.” You might have heard of it. When you think something will happen, then you start to behave as if it did and then that behavior actually makes it happen. Whether you think you are a slow runner or have a bad marriage, you can make it happen!
Something to think about.
Have you ever had someone do or say nice things to you? How does it make you feel? My guess is that you feel good and want to be around them. It somehow even shifts your mood. That’s because positivity feeds off itself. The same is true about negativity. If your partner were to write you a note, bring you a cup of coffee, or go out of their way to do something nice for you, that would be a good thing! What effect would it have on you? What if you set the example and did something nice first?
Learn how to cultivate unshakeable mental toughness to save your relationship.
The next time you start to think about how terrible your relationship is or how everyone has a better relationship, you might do yourself a favor by thinking about what you can do about it and shift your focus. What you think about grows. Instead of doing or saying something critical, say something or do something loving. This will be tough, but it will work! I guarantee it.
If you need help getting your relationship in shape, then check out my couples relationship intensive boot camp options. I really believe that it only takes one positive thought to make a start. Many of my past clients have started with just one hopeful thought – that maybe some coaching will help. What will you start with?
Do you want to learn how to improve your relationship now? Learn more about marriage and couples relationship intensive services.