Top 9 Things Strength Women Struggle with in their Mental Game

Part of the goal of the Snatch Magazine instagram account is to help form a community of women in weightlifting and strength sports where we can share our experiences and see that we are indeed not alone in this very lonely sport.

One of my recent favorite ways to do that is to pose Instagram questions asking followers for their feedback.

This week’s question was: “What is one thing that you’re struggling with mentally or emotionally in your lifting right now?” Listed below are the top 9 categories and answers the women of Snatch Magazine cited as their current struggles. Each line is one person’s response.

1. SELF EFFICACY AND COMPARISON

Success being dependent on how others lift (needing a certain ranking for something).

Self worth in terms of progress (or lack thereof) in training.

Not comparing my chapter 2 to someone’s chapter 12

Comparison to others (regarding scores and numbers)

The comparison game!

Comparing myself to other lifters in my weight class/level of ability.

Comparing myself to my training partners.

2. PRESSURE

Making sure this is a healthy outlet for me and not just another stress factor.

My self worth. Is training and lifting helping the problem, or contributing?

Making weight/keeping it

Pressure from myself and my coach to qualify for nationals… I really want to, but the pressure…

Dealing with pressure from spectators for big lifts, not getting caught up in my head.

Being nicer to myself. I tend to push myself too hard every session when it isn’t necessary.

3. CONFIDENCE

Mentally preparing to lift heavy weight.

Being okay with failing at a heavy weight.

The balance and separation of confidence and arrogance.

Believing I’m strong enough to lift the weight on the bar. Once it gets conceptually heavy, I falter.

My mental. I never feel strong enough. The transition from PL to WL is mentally exhausting.

4. INJURY

Injury and realizing how much I define myself through the sport.

My injury makes me question how much I want to lift.

Giving my body enough time to heal before coming back.

Feeling like you’re starting over completely when coming back from injury.

Restarting after a few years of illness and injuries has been rough on my mental health.

Fear of re-injury or fear of failure to return to pre-injury max numbers.

5. MENTAL STRUGGLES

I’m stressed and exhausted and don’t have time to train currently.

Meet week doubt weighing me down.

Turning my brain off of everything else in life while I’m lifting in between sets.

Recently got dumped and the emotions are causing over eating and overtraining.

Mentally managing distractions - especially when I’m going heavy.

6. BODY STUFF

Seeing body weight increasing even though strength is too.

Enjoying being a badass in the gym vs looking like I’m the heaviest weight I’ve ever been.

Weight gain after PCOS diagnosis is killing my confidence in the gym.

Feeling like I have too much body fat to make progress or PR. Lacking focus.

Motivation surrounding nutrition.

7. PRIORITIES AND FINANCES

The expenses of competition. If I can’t afford to compete at big meets, then what’s the point? Like what am I working so hard for? But also who am I without weightlifting and competition?

Prioritizing training vs prioritizing work and how time consuming it can be to train and have a hard time making money.

Life getting in the way of my training.

College classes and making time for lifting.

8. PROGRESS AND MONOTONY

Plateaus.

Not making the progress I thought I would by now.

Working on my weaknesses. It gets boring to strengthen the things you’re not good at.

Not getting dragged down by advancing so slowly.

Not being able to improve no matter how hard I try.

X years of lifting and not being where I thought I would be.

Trusting the process to fix poor technique. I feel like I now suck with something I was good at

9. MANAGING EXPECTATIONS

Having expectations for training and not being able to meet them and trying not to get upset about it.

Not looking as strong as I am.

Looking too muscular and not being as strong as people think I am.

My PRs don’t feel like enough of an achievement. I always want to focus on what I can’t lift.