I remember when I was training for the Rim-to-Rim, a client and I were talking about her experience when she trained for a marathon. She mentioned how for every long run, it felt like that was it. There was no way she'd be able to go even a step further past the expected long run mileage.
I found that extremely relatable. I remember on my 20-miler (longest run leading up to R2R) thinking, I know I'll be able to knock out 25 miles at the Grand Canyon, but why does it feel like I couldn't even fathom 20.1 miles if I had to?
I already knew the answer, but it was interesting to experience that self-talk.
The answer: I told myself I was going to run 20 miles. Not 20.1 miles. Not 20.08 miles. 20 miles.
You're only going to do as much as you let your mind tell you you're going to do.
As they say, whether you think you can or you can't, you're right.
We know this is true because there have been stories of regular everyday people who have lifted cars off of another person when they were pinned underneath. I can tell you right now, if you go outside and try to lift your car off of the ground for s-n-g's, you won't be able to do it. Not because you're not strong. Not because I don't believe in you. But simply because your brain is going to stop you from doing it.
Your brain has so much power when it comes to exercise.
I saw someone recently say, "I can deadlift 400 lbs, but I can't seem to lift 405 lbs". 405 lbs is 4 plates. A well-known and reputable trainer responded and reacted to this by saying it's not the weight, it's in your head. Get out of your head.
If you're experiencing this within your training, maybe it's time to get out of your head.
Focus on a different movement for a little while and come back to it. Find a different "let's lift heavy shit" song. Wear a different set of clothes that makes you feel strong and confident. Change your scenery.
How are you going to get out of your head?