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Our Conditioning and the Behavioural Triangle

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Over the coming weeks, Nick Bishop will share his thoughts and start developing the theme of conditioning your mindset to deliver peak performance. Just like conditioning your body, conditioning your mind is about repeating specific exercises until you get stronger. 

 
 
Just like conditioning your body, conditioning your mind is about repeating the same “exercise” until you get stronger. Your specific ritual might differ, but the basic keys to conditioning your mind remain the same
 
 
Just like conditioning your body, conditioning your mind is about repeating the same “exercise” until you get stronger. Your specific ritual might differ, but the basic keys to conditioning your mind remain the same

Our Conditioning and the Behavioural Triangle by Nick Bishop.

Over the coming weeks, I am developing that theme, and breaking it down into all of its parts, to help you to develop a mindset that will help you deliver “Peak Performance”.

Some of the future articles will cover: Elite Athletes Psychological Profile, The T.E.A.R Cycle, Our Mind & Our Self Talk, The Brain, Affirmations, Goals (to finish/win/time), Getting in The Zone and Managing Anxiety. 

A better understanding of your mindset will help you in all that you do, and not just your running. 

My recent article explained how a positive mental attitude is so important in performing to the best of your ability. You can read it here.

This article focusses on your “Conditioning and The Behavioural Triangle”.

“If you think you can, or if you think you can’t…you’re right”

Mark Twain 

Various figures have been discussed and published by leading psychologists about how much of our potential we actually deliver - some as low as 20%! We know how powerful our minds can be, hence the need to train our minds and not just our body.

One of the most important things to understand is that we live our lives based on our perceptions of reality and not the truth. We behave according to our belief systems. The image below is something that we call “The Behavioural Triangle”. 

The diagram below shows where your best behaviour, or for athletes, “best performance” starts. It starts with you and what you choose to believe. We condition ourselves based on our beliefs. This can develop from what you read, what you see, your experiences and what other people say. It starts in your formative years - hence the importance of knowing how to change this.

 

The triangle has two sides - on the left and in red are your “self-limiting” beliefs. On the right and in green are your “Inspiring” beliefs.

At the base is YOU! You choose your own beliefs and they can come from a variety of sources, including self talk and what you think about yourself.

A change in your conditioning may help you make your way up the triangle on the right side.

We want to have inspiring beliefs, that provide a positive mental attitude as this delivers great emotions that helps performance.

You can see the negative effect on the left side.

The key is to find a way of changing your conditioning, not just for now but for the long term. Future blogs will explain how.

Look at the arrow that goes from lousy to peak. This represents a moment in time when we try to switch sides of the triangle. It won’t work! We have to develop a permanent shift in mindset, and not one to turn on and off at random. We have to start at the base. By trying to create a temporary shift in mindset means that our “gestalt” is out of equilibrium - what we truly believe and what we are temporarily trying to believe!

Reflect for a moment on the 6th May 1954. The four-minute mile had never been broken, and considered “impossible” by many experts. The suggestion being that the blood in the brain would overheat and the brain would combust. Enough to stop anyone attempting to run sub four!

Once Sir Roger Bannister ran 3.59.56, a further 43 people ran under four minutes in the subsequent two years. Hundreds have done so since, with the record currently 3.43. Our conditioning was changed by one man demonstrating what can be done.

Studies have shown that human beings have an unending potential for growth and self-development. There is no correlation between ability and success but there is an 85% correlation between attitude and success.

Similarly, we sometimes hear the expression "they were born lucky”! There is no “lucky gene” and no one is born lucky! We make our own luck based on our attitude and our conditioning!

Once you change that and understand how, your route to “Peak Performance” will have truly started.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”

Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Readers may be interested in the following for further reading: 

Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance 
by Matthew Syed 
 
Self Talk: How to Train Your Brain to Turn  Negative Thinking into Positive Thinking & Practice Self Love 
by Aston Sanderson 
 
The Complete Guide to Sport Motivation 
by Ken Hodge 
Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance 
by Matthew Syed 
 
 
Self Talk: How to Train Your Brain to Turn Negative Thinking into Positive Thinking & Practice Self Love
by Aston Sanderson 
 
 
 
The Complete Guide to Sport Motivation (Complete Guides)
by Ken Hodge 

 

 

Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance 
by Matthew Syed 
 
 
Self Talk: How to Train Your Brain to Turn Negative Thinking into Positive Thinking & Practice Self Love
by Aston Sanderson 
 
 
 
The Complete Guide to Sport Motivation (Complete Guides)

 

by Ken Hodge 
Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance 
by Matthew Syed 
 
 
Self Talk: How to Train Your Brain to Turn Negative Thinking into Positive Thinking & Practice Self Love
by Aston Sanderson 
 
 
 
The Complete Guide to Sport Motivation (Complete Guides)

 

by Ken Hodge