How to get rid of negative thoughts quickly for triathletes

get rid of negative thoughts quickly for triathletes.png

Do you want to know one of my most popular techniques that I teach athletes for races and competitions?

It's helped triathletes shave minutes off their time and paraclimbers achieve top places at national and world championship competitions!

Watch the video or read the blog below to learn the Black Box Method, so you can get rid of those negative and unhelpful thoughts easily and quickly, whether you're training or racing.

Here’s the Black Box Method: 5 steps to getting rid of unhelpful and negative thoughts quickly and easily

Step 1: Identify what your box looks like

Each box contains a black hole. Once your unhelpful and negative thought is inside, it is gone forever. It has disappeared into that vacuum of the black hole. To harness it’s full power, you need to identify what your box, that contains this black hole, looks like. 

Answer these questions to find out:

  • Is your box a chest, trunk, suitcase or something else?

  • What is it made out of?

  • What size is it?

  • What colour(s) is it?

  • How much does it weigh?

  • What temperature is it?

  • Is it magic or normal?

  • How does it lock?

  • How close or far away is it to you?

  • Where do you see it in your mind’s eye?

  • Does it move or stay still?

  • What sound does it make when the thought or feeling is shut inside and swallowed up? Does it make a loud thud, or sound like a toilet flushing or paper shredding?


Step 2: Identify an unhelpful thought and think about how it’s represented in an image.

getting rid of negative thoughts triathletes.jpg

Identify the thought you want to get rid of and ask yourself, what image do I see?

For example, for me, when I’m feeling nervous about an upcoming race, I see that thought written out in my handwriting.

For someone else, it could be an image of them falling off a climbing wall or having hundreds of people watching them on the weight lifting platform during a competition.

Step 3: Change the qualities of that image.

Once you've identified what that thought looks like, you want to change the qualities of that image (e.g. black and white, blurry), so you change how you experience that feeling/thought.

Here’s what you need to change:

  • Start by turning the image black and white

  • Make the image blurry so you can’t really see it

  • Shrink the image to the size of a pinhead

  • Push the image so it’s really far in the distance so you can barely see it

Step 4: Get rid of that thought.

Now you’ve changed the qualities of the image, I want you to swish it across into your box and have the lid shut with the sound of your choice.

If you’re not happy with the sound, try a different one until you’re satisfied!

Step 5: Replace it with a positive, productive and powerful thought.

oslo-06-04-2019-just-because-42_original.jpg

It’s important to replace a unhelpful thought with one that is going to enhance your performance  in a helpful way.

Ask yourself: How do I want to feel instead? Or, What do I want to think instead? - and you MUST state it in positive language.

This is because if you replace your unhelpful and negative thought with ones such as "I don't want to feel nervous about my race on Sunday.”, you’ll still trigger the neuropathways, chemical responses and feelings for nervousness.

Our brain cannot directly process negative words or phrases without first getting in touch with those feelings/thoughts, so it understands what not to think about.

As a result, an instruction containing a negative has the complete opposite effect to the desired outcome!

For example, for the next 2 seconds I do NOT want you to think about Einstein riding a purple elephant juggling three pink moneys. 

Did you notice what happened? You immediately thought about it, because your brain is creating that image in your mind, as it prepares not to think about it!

This is what happens when we say  "I don't want to feel nervous about my race on Sunday.”, our brain triggers the response for nervousness.

So what I want you to do is replace that unhelpful and negative thought with helpful, positive powerful, productive language, such as "I am confident about my race on Sunday.” Or, "I will perform at my best at IM Nice 70.3 next week."

[To find out more about the power of language and how to change your inner voice to perform at your best, read my blog: How to change your inner voice to enhance your performance

And that’s it! Here’s a quick summary:

  • Step 1: Identify what your box looks like.

  • Step 2: Identify an unhelpful thought and think about how it’s represented in an image.

  • Step 3: Change the qualities of that image

  • Step 4: Get rid of that thought

  • Step 5: Replace it with a positive, productive and powerful thought

Want to master your mind for an upcoming race? Learn about my coaching packages.