Do you realize the words you are telling yourself on a regular basis? I think so often people don’t realize the power of the voices in their heads. When I have clients discussing their struggles with hitting their health and fitness goals, these are the resistant comments I often hear: “I can’t get myself to workout on my own at home”, “I can’t find the energy or motivation”, “I can’t ever stick to a meal plan”, “I just can’t say no to temptations”, “Eating healthy is too expensive and I can’t afford it”, “I can’t afford a workout program or gym membership”, “I never stick with it…I always have to start over”.
Have you said those things either out loud or in your head? Whatever you are saying to yourself will most likely come true. If you tell yourself you can’t find the motivation to work out alone in your living room, then guess what? You won’t workout. You’ve already convinced yourself you don’t have the willpower to make yourself do it. If you say over and over how hard it is to follow a meal plan and pass on temptations, what do you think is going to happen? You’re going to find yourself starting “day 1” over and over again. You’re going to grab that doughnut at work, and then grumble at yourself for not saying no, further convincing yourself how horrible you are at sticking with healthy food choices. If you hear in your head how tired and unmotivated you are to exercise, that’s how you are going to feel. Then the more you don’t exercise, the more tired and unmotivated you will feel, feeding into that mindset and struggle.
If you want to change something, you have to first change what you are telling yourself. A mind that believes there is no time to work out isn’t going to make the effort to find the time, to give up a half hour show or set the alarm 30 minutes earlier to get it in. This is because it’s already convinced there is no time. What would happen if, instead, you told yourself there’s plenty of time to exercise if it’s a priority? What if, instead of listing all the reasons it’s so hard to find time, you asked yourself, “Why is it so easy to find 30 minutes to exercise?” Your mind will automatically start thinking of all the ways you can get it in!
Try this for a week. Every time you hear a negative voice in your head or out loud, immediately change it to the opposite, and create a positive affirmation. Write this positive affirmation down. Force yourself to say it out loud every day (even if this feels silly). If you find yourself saying something is hard, try reversing it and asking yourself why it is so easy. Then allow your mind to start listing all the ways it could be easy to complete.
If you want to change your life, and change a behavior, it has to start with a change in the way you are talking to yourself. To hit a goal, you first have to believe it is possible, and by changing the way you talk to yourself, you can begin to eliminate the self limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Once your mind is convinced of how capable you are, how possible it actually is, you will automatically start focusing your attention on the tasks that need done to reach that goal and that person you strive to be.
Try this for a week.
- List a goal you have been struggling to hit.
- What are the things you tell yourself make this goal hard? What are those self limiting sentences you say in your head?
- Change those sentences to the opposite, tell yourself you CAN do it. Ask yourself, “why is this so easy?”
- Write out those “can do” sentences and read them out loud every day. When you start hearing those negative voices come back, force yourself to stop and repeat your positive affirmation.
The mind is a powerful thing. Learning to use it in a positive way will slowly start to transform your beliefs, therefore transforming your life.
“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.”