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Overcoming Negative Self-Talk

Posted by jrrobert02@yahoo.com on September 10, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Do you have a hard time sticking to a weight loss, fitness, or nutrition plan? I mean you have good intentions, definitely the desire, and even a thoughtful plan but, for some reason you never follow through. It’s easy to blame our families for their numerous activities, or our friends who always pick nights out at restaurants with poor food choices. Maybe, you keep telling yourself I just don’t have the “will power”. Do you feel like you are alone with those nagging thoughts in your head that bring you down? Well I’m here to tell you are not alone and it can improve! Most people that quit their fitness and wellness program do so over and over again even if they are successful for a short period of time. Why?   A variety of factors can influence our decision to stay with a program: it may be a lack of social support, or an undesirable environment and limited availability to facilities/equipment, or I believe that most accurately it can be attributed to poor self perception. Most start out eager but simply don’t have the confidence in their own abilities. It’s challenging to overcome that voice telling you that you lack willpower, or failed last time and will again, so why even start. Bottom line….Your own thoughts are keeping you from your desires!!!!


 

This intrapersonal dialogue is referred to as “Self-Talk”. Becoming mindful of that voice is the one of the most powerful tools you can tap into if you want to be successful with your fitness goals. If you are mindful of your thoughts then you probably already know that they dictate your reality. Countless research has shown individuals that visualize themselves reaching their goal and have encouraging /positive intrapersonal dialogue are more likely to achieve said goal and have greater overall confidence. What I’ve not experienced is someone saying, “I’ll never lose weight and get healthy” and then actually attain their goal. So, is that voice saying “You are really doing well!”, “Almost there, I CAN do this because I am strong, smart, or resilient.”, “This time I got this, I know there will be bumps, but that won’t get me off track.” OR is it more like, “I can’t believe I did that again”, “Why is this so easy for them, I’ll never make it”.  If it is the later  then below, I’ve highlighted commonly used techniques that show to be most effective at improving inner dialogue:


Step 1: Identify your “self talk”:

• Journal- write down thoughts you have and what is going on at that time to bring such thoughts

• Paper Clips – put a handful in one pocket and every time you say to yourself something negative about yourself or situation put a paper clip in the other pocket

• Rubber Band on Wrist- every time your “self talk” is negative then you snap the rubber band


Step 2: Change the Negative to Positive

• Rephrase Negative to Positive - For example: “I really don’t want to get up and do that workout today, I’ve got too far to go to reach my goal, I’ll probably never reach it anyway so I think I’ll just sleep a few more minutes.” Try this instead “Yes, I’m tired but I know if I do this I will feel better because I accomplished something I plan to do today and though it may take time it will help me reach my goal and it is important to me.”

• Find a Accountability Partner – ask someone you spend a lot of time with to help you rephrase negative thoughts to be more positive

• Create a mantra that you can repeat whenever negative talk creeps in: “I am worth it!”, “Strong is Sexy!” I personally have a favorite scripture that gets me through just about anything be it a workout or a stressful day with the kids, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13. Whatever it is, find something that resonates for you and use it all the time!

• Write yourself notes- on your bathroom mirror, in the car, on your desk at work, in your gym bag, or near the coffee. When/wherever you need them most, put encouraging thoughts everywhere so they flood your mind.


Step 3: Visualize Success

Breathe deep and think about the goals you will achieve and the confidence you will gain, plan it out and allow for mistakes and obstacles and approach them with a positive and grateful attitude.


 

As a final thought, you wouldn’t let someone else talk to a loved one the way you talk to yourself so don’t let “Self-Talk” beat you down and keep you from achieving what you really desire. You have the ability to take control of that voice and make your goals and dreams a reality.

 

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