Picture this: You’re at the grocery store – you ran in on the way home from work to grab some avocados for that guac you’re making with dinner, head to the checkout, enter your items, click “Finish and Pay” and insert your credit card chip into the machine. 

Wait….Wait...A sign flashes:

“Do not remove card”

You reach for the card to pull it out. 

AH! It almost happens again.

Even though it says “Do NOT remove card”, you flinch and reach to pull it out before (but not always) quickly stopping yourself….Every single time. (it can’t be just me, right?!) lol

What’s the deal?!

Mind games, I tell you! Mind games!

Our mind processes statements in pieces and we immediately see only the words “remove card” — and the automatic response is to react and reach for the card. It’s funny, isn’t it? 

What the mind sees or hears —> how the body physiologically responds is a pretty spectacular little phenomenon. This is why how you think is so very important. Take these statements, for example: read them in your head and notice the difference in how you feel as a result of each:

“Don’t slow down” (your body only hears ‘slow down’ – suddenly things feel heavier and harder)
“Fast feet fast feet fast feet!” (you start running more rapidly)


“Don’t drop it! (all you can think of now is the weight falling out of your hands)
“Keep it tight, up, up, up!” (suddenly you’re able to lift with more ease)


“Ugh, I’m so weak” (enter: sluggish and defeated)
“I am Strong” (gather up some more umph)

Language matters….not only what you say, but how you say it. It’s one of the reasons we call our members “Athletes” and use “awesomeness-based coaching” here at Valeo, focusing on what’s going right, not what might be going wrong. When we hear more of what’s right, we tend to do more of that, automatically correcting what’s wrong as a by-product. Our cues are centered around a positive language for a positive outcome.

It’s a verbal cue to the mind: Think strong. Be strong. 

So, the next time you’re in the gym (slash home, work, …life) facing a challenge, notice the words or mantra you’re telling yourself; modify them if need be, then watch the magic happen. 

…And if anyone wants to start a petition to change “Do not remove card” to “Keep card inserted” or something, I’ll be the first to sign it. 🙂 – Jess

Speaking of thinking STRONG, we have the honor of witnessing triumphs big and small, every single day in the gym. What fun it is to watch our members grow in mental and physical fortitude! Here’s a quick video describing the mindset of calling our members ‘Athletes.’

Thank you to Eric Schrotenboer and Chris Marlink for this awesome film clip.

Start your own journey of STRONG by getting in touch with us about a free Strategy Session.
We can’t wait to meet you!

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