5 steps to work through negative self talk
That little voice in your head… Does it tell you how great you’re doing, and remind you that everyone has tough days sometimes?
Does it tell you you’re looking good?
Or does it pick out all the tiny little flaws in the mirror?
Most likely , that little voice is a bit of an a**hole. It tells us we aren’t good enough, thin enough, strong enough, smart enough, motivated enough… and it might be a bit part of the reason you aren’t progressing towards your goals.
Self sabotage is REAL- you start getting somewhere, feeling good about yourself, and that little voice in your head pops up to remind you that you aren’t good enough.
You’ll have one day, or one moment, that is tougher than normal, and that voice creeps in to tell you that you’re a failure. Our brains are sneaky- if we believe something, we will do our best to find information to support that belief (confirmation bias). So unfortunately, if you believe you are a failure, you will automatically look for evidence to prove that belief to be correct.
Think about this scenario:
You’re trying to lose a couple of kgs, and you’ve been eating really healthy lately, and feeling good about your choices… until you weigh yourself, and you see the scale hasn’t changed as much as you wanted it to. You think… ‘It doesn’t matter how hard I try, I’m never going to lose the weight.’
Then what happens- ‘well, if i’m never going to lose the weight, it doesn’t matter.’ You reach for the cookies, or chocolate, or chips… and the whole cycle starts again.
This scenario can apply to anything- we beat ourselves up any time we don’t reach the incredibly high standards we set for ourselves… and even worse, we put ourselves down even when we achieve GOOD things! Have you ever had a great achievement and immediately that voice pops up telling you that you don’t deserve it?
Are you continually criticizing yourself, calling yourself names, or creating scenarios in your head in which you fail?
Changing those thought patterns can help your self esteem, motivate you towards your goals, and help you see yourself in the same amazing light that your loved ones do.
First, Remember you are your own worst critic. No one will ever be harder on you than you are on yourself. Then… follow these steps to start changing your self talk!
Identify the source of your recurring negative thought patterns.
what is the story that you are telling yourself? Were you overweight as a kid, and you feel like you still identify with that larger body? Were you made fun of for being uncoordinated in sports? Did you have bad skin as a teenager? Write down your recurring themes- identifying the story you are telling yourself is key to starting to change the narrative.
Focus on the positive.
Often we spend so much time on what we don’t like or want to change about ourselves that we completely miss all of our own achievements. If you are constantly telling yourself you aren’t thin enough, or aren’t strong enough, or aren’t dedicated enough… you are missing all of the amazing traits you DO have. Look at the recurring themes you came up with in step one- what if the opposite was true? Question these negative beliefs about yourself, and commit to giving yourself a compliment every time you look in the mirror.
especially with training and nutrition, we may have unrealistic expectations and crazy definitions of what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. If a lot of your information is coming from ‘fitfluencers’ on the internet, or if you are continuously comparing yourself to unrealistic images on the internet, its important to recognize that is NOT reality. Gaining knowledge about the fields you are looking to improve in can be really helpful- for example, instead of beating yourself up for cooking with oil because it’s ‘full of fat’, learn how much fat is really in olive oil and what a portion size actually looks like. Making informed decisions or working with a professional to guide you can help alleviate the fear of the unknown.
Find a cheerleader or support system.
A coach, a friend, a partner- these are all people that can exist to help build you up, even when you are set on breaking yourself down. Think about how your best friend would speak to you in your dark moments, or when you are deep in your negative narrative. You ARE NOT weak for having a negative inner dialogue, nor are you alone in it! Even the ‘toughest’ or ‘best’ people you know have had (or have) the same inner dialogue battles.
Stop trying to predict the future.
If this year’s quarantine has taught you anything, it should be that we have no idea what the future holds! Much of our negative inner dialogue is focused on our expectation of the outcome of a particular situation. Focusing on a future failure or a future disappointment is setting yourself up for something that may never happen. Instead of focusing on what could go wrong in the future, spend your energy on creating success in the moment. Focus on the process, and the results will come.
Just like any worthwhile achievement, none of this will happen overnight.
Take this step by step to work on becoming more aware of your thought patterns, and how they are holding you back. So you can slowly build yourself up by replacing that negative talk with intentional positive feedback.
Anything worth doing is going to be difficult.
Want more info about negative self talk and how to start changing these patterns?
Check out this blog: https://www.jackcanfield.com/blog/negative-self-talk/
If you struggle to be consistent, and you find you’re constantly ‘starting again’ every week, this blog post can help!
I know what its like to have a voice in your head constantly telling you you’re not good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough…
I got through it, and you can too- you might just need a bit of guidance!
If you are looking to improve your eating habits and finally learn how to nourish your body and start to release some of the ‘rules’ you have around food and your body- get in touch with me. Lets talk about how coaching can help you break through.