Paddy McGinty is tough as nails, rough around the edges, and can out-suffer anyone. And he steps into the ring whenever professional mountain biker and triathlete Lesley Paterson is training hard or racing.
Why would a 3-time triathlon world champion like Lesley Paterson need Paddy in her corner?
You might be surprised to find out that many athletes—even elite pros like Lesley—sometimes feel like they aren’t good enough! “It’s one of the most common mental hang-ups I see,” says Paterson’s husband and sport psychology expert, Dr. Simon Marshall. “Many athletes have unwelcome thoughts like I’m not good enough, I’m not fast enough, or I’m not a real athlete. This self-doubt can lead to a wide variety of even worse consequences like choking under pressure, quitting when things get tough, making excuses.”
So Lesley, who is a trained actress, created an alter ego, like a character she could role play during tough workouts and races. She defeated these thought patterns by totally side-stepping them through her alter ego, Patty McGinty.
And science backs it up! “An alternative identity can actually change your biochemistry and improve your performance,” says Dr. Marshall. In moments when she needs a little help boosting her identity, Lesley pretends to be Paddy—in all his gritty toughness—and she transforms into a tougher version of herself.
“Fake it ‘til you make it” really works! This is one of the lessons of The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion by Paterson and Dr. Marshall. Their new book confronts the 13 most common mental challenges that athletes face in everyday training and in races.
What if you had an alter ego that transformed you into the athlete you want to be? You can. Download The Brave Athlete Alter Ego Development Kit—adapted from The Brave Athlete—and create your own alter ego!
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To download The Brave Athlete Alter Ego Development Kit, simply hit “add to cart” here (or on this page) and complete the checkout process. There will be no charge for the download and you will receive a unique download link that will work once and which will expire in 7 days.
To enjoy excerpts from The Brave Athlete or to purchase a copy of the book, please visit The Brave Athlete.