A common phrase in Bikram yoga is have “no expectations.” While a very simple statement this is actually very hard to do. We all have expectations of ourselves. When it comes to exercise these expectations can only harm us.
1. If you fail to meet your expectations you ruin your entire psyche. No one wants to fail so you beat yourself up. But did you really fail? You got your exercise in. That day is one day closer to your goal. And you can learn from this experience! Why did you fail? Did you not fuel your body correctly? Did you not get enough sleep? Have you exercised too many days in a row without proper recovery?
2. You are limited by your expectations. If you tell yourself to do something, you can only live up to that expectation. (Or fail.) If you go in every day and try your best you just might surprise yourself. You could run your fastest mile time if you run towards your edge! Or if you allow yourself to just listen to the cues of your instructor you may actually touch the ground on your backwards bend! You never know! But if you always go to where you expect to go, that is all you will do!
So clear your head. Practice, run, perform with a clear mind. Just because your heart rate monitor says you should feel tired, if you have the energy up that level on the treadmill, DO IT! Who knows what you can do when you don’t set a limit on your performance!