This post is a bit of a departure from what I usually write about. I feel that strongly about it that I’ve put some of my thoughts into words and actionable steps to improve. As a fitness coach I try to help my clients reach their fitness goals. Creating a strong mind-muscle connection is an early lesson I start in on. However, I find that negative self-talk hampers my client’s results. I found this article and I must say I really liked it. I don’t think it only applies to bodybuilders, or anyone else. I think we all could use a healthy heaping of keeping these ’10 Commandments’. Seriously, this is a great read for anyone whether they are starting out their fitness career or well into the journey. I confess that the first 2 commandments are the hardest for me to keep.
I think recognizing one’s strengths is one of the hardest things to do. We tend to be our own worst critics. Unfortunately, we usually aren’t our own best advocates either. We tend to get in a vicious cycle of super negative self-talk. I’ve also found that if you don’t toot your own horn, no one else will.
So the question becomes, how can we eliminate the negative self-talk and recognize our strengths?
Eliminating Negative Self-Talk
I could be really cute and make a 10 step plan, or 12 steps and copy AA (Alcoholics Anyonomous). I however, like to keep it short and sweet. Chances are you won’t remember all of the steps if I went that route. So instead, here are my top 3 steps for eliminating negative self-talk.
Step 1: Pay Attention
Just like many other habits, be it tracking your food choices/calories or budgeting simply paying attention to what you are doing is a very powerful way to start making a change into a more healthy habit. Pay attention to what you say to yourself out loud or in your head, or even things you say about yourself in the presence of others. If you talked that same way about someone else-especially to their face-you’d have some serious problems on your hands. Why is it ok to do to yourself?
Step 2: Change your Tense.
You don’t have to do a complete 180 here, or just yet. You don’t have to start saying you’re the world’s best whatever. Simply replace the definitive statements with future statements. If we state something as a possibility in the future we instinctively start working to make it a reality.
Example: “I can’t do this! It’s impossible!” change it to “I can’t do this YET. It’s nearly possible!” or “This is really challenging for me. I’ll give it my best shot!”
Step 3: Progress not Perfection
Down deep I think we all know that perfection isn’t attainable-true perfection that is. Those who we look up to in one way or another still look up to someone else. There is always another rung of the ladder to climb. The sooner we can accept our progress and our journey over perfection the sooner we can be happier. Find joy in the journey!
Remember: Change your words, change your mind, change your life! Stop beating yourself up!