To Improve Your Climbing
Hearing your words makes them real, so staying uplifted is as important and training in the gym. Take for example that time you tied in and you blurted out, “I’m exhausted.” Maybe you didn’t sleep well or eat enough and you feel too weak to try the route. If you say it enough, you’ll soon believe it.
Have you ever experienced such fragile belief in your ability to climb a project? Words don’t send us up a climb all by themselves, but they can make a difference before, during and after a climb. The self-talk we use and comments from climbers around us sway our belief in what is possible, swinging us from can’t to can. Thinking twice about our self-talk and the announcements we share with those around us makes a difference in our climbing. Offering an advantage to our performance by keeping the monologues and dialogues we use positive. Supporting our belief in our ability to do the climb.
Science advises us further about our inner workings when talking aloud to ourselves. Confirmation bias is a tendency within us all to search our environment for validating reasons to support our theories and beliefs. If we profess, “I’m exhausted,” the next thoughts and dialogue will focus on providing reasons why that is true. Shaping what we see as possible, how we feel and what we believe we can do. This offers an important insight that is sometimes stumbled upon by the optimists within the climbing community but often gets overlooked for its value. By learning to identify and change negative self-talk into positive support, you can use this bias to your advantage.
Have you ever belayed someone and felt curious as to why they were bothering to try a climb based on what they were saying. “I can’t climb this grade” or “This is going to go horribly, there aren’t any holds,” are some examples that discourage. Those climbers set themselves up and can’t see the trap they’re in. Every reason they f ind furthers their self-fulf illing prophecy. Belaying or observing someone in this situation is a great time to learn about self-talk while not being affected by climbing- stressful situations. There’s four steps to practice.