What would you say if I told you that your mindset, before you engage in any task, greatly determines the outcome (success or failure) of that task?
This is not a new idea. Carol Dweck wrote a great book about it here.
But I’ll give you a specific example that I find really interesting.
I lift weights in kilograms, but record them in pounds on my training app.
So, occasionally, when I set up the bar for a big lift, I mess up the amount that’s on.
If I think that I set up 176 for an moderate early set of five front squats, but I actually put on 198 – and 198 was my previous five-rep max, then I get under the bar expecting to have an easy make.
So, what happens? I make the lift, then see the actual weight, and realize that 198 wasn’t a huge struggle – and I can lift significantly more on the next set.
Conversely, if I set up 198 for a set of five at 198, and I also expect that it will be difficult, then it’s going to feel more difficult than it actually is.
In the 2nd scenario, I might make the lift, but I’ll probably have to ‘psych’ myself up a bit more and shake the negative expectations to do it.
If the negative expectations persist during lift, I’m likely to miss.
I’ve seen this happen time & time again.
Positive expectations act as a powerful, positive placebo.
There is nothing wrong with a positive placebo if it helps you accomplish your goals.