Are you your own worst enemy? Maybe you want to try something new and the next thing you know, you’ve talked yourself right out of it. You research it, get excited, and then start wondering how it will impact your life and what changes you will have to make. Especially when considering a change to your health and exercise regimen, right? Next thing you know, you are convinced you will have to eat seaweed and tasteless food and the fear and dread sets in. You can FEEL the deprivation and sacrifice before you even begin. As a result, you often do nothing.
That little voice in your head has you convinced that it will just be too hard, frustrating and tasteless to make changes to your health & lifestyle. I couldn’t disagree more, but I want you to know that I do that too! Sometimes, before I even get started I worry myself right out of taking that first step! I start wondering “what if…” and before I know it I’m paralyzed by fear and indecision and no better off.
In recent years I have discovered a new path. I just decide to take that first step and surrender to the decision and the outcome. I usually enjoy the process and have a fun and a positive experience. For someone who likes to plan (aka control) this has been an especially challenging lesson for me to learn. But here’s the thing, when I look back at the times I worried endlessly, things did NOT go well. On the other hand, when I get excited about something and decide to move forward I experience much better results. At the very least, I learn something new and my energy is up vs. down (heavy).
The next time your self-talk is driving you down the road to nowhere, use these 3 steps as a guide to taking control of your thoughts and your life:
1. Determine if this is a change you DESPERATELY want to make. If so, will it change your life for the better? Great, then go with it!
2. Determine what would be the WORST outcome if you pursue this. Be honest! Oh and by the way, the worst rarely happens. In fact, what often happens is different (and better) than expected!
3. Now close your eyes, then take a deep breath and allow yourself to FEEL the desired result you are seeking. Do you want to feel that way? If yes, take the next step and make it happen!
Sometimes self-talk shows up in your life in a different way. Maybe it’s not about stopping you from trying something new, but rather a tendency to beat yourself up? Do you sometimes look in the mirror and see only your “flaws”? Do you forget to tell yourself how wonderful you are? If you live alone as I do, it can be easy to go down this path. Actually, I don’t live alone. I live with a beautiful German Shepherd and he thinks I’m amazing. The wag of his tale tells me that every day!
Even with the love of my amazing dog, I am still guilty of sometimes looking in the mirror and only seeing “flaws” or comparing myself to others and not liking how I stack up. I found myself in just this place last week on my birthday! I was beating myself because certain things were not happening fast enough, and I felt that I should be further along with a few projects. As a result, I had convinced myself that I only deserved to stay home, get more work done and I did not want to go out and play. Thank goodness for my loving friends who told me “no way, we are celebrating YOU today”! They pulled me up and out of the “birthday blues” that resulted from my self-talk being out of balance. I let go and had a blast. It was such a lovely day and I am forever grateful to these earth-angels.
When your “evil twin” is whispering in your ear, here are some tips to bring your self-talk back into balance:
1. Look in the mirror and tell yourself “I love and accept myself”. If you’ve never done mirror work before, this can be quite intimidating at first! Stick with it – I promise it becomes easier and amazingly therapeutic.
2. Tell yourself ONE thing you are proud of yourself for doing that day. It could be something really simple - you left for work on time or I tried that new workout routine and survived! If you performed successful open heart surgery, that’s great too!
3. Tell your supportive and loving friends what you are thinking and ask them if it’s true. My guess is that it is NOT true and you will find out just how wonderful you really are! Let’s face it, we all need to hear it from somebody else sometimes!