Lies! Lies! Lies! and Positive Thinking
I am a very positive person. Unless I’m talking to myself. Then I’m a total b**** to me. I’m not sure why I’ve always been so down on myself but the negative-speak can really mess with my head.
I’m too old, I’m not pretty enough, I’ll never lose the weight, I’m not smart enough, I can’t, People won’t like me if xyz… You know what I’m talking about.
A lot of people will say the above things are excuses, and yeah, to a certain extent they are. But “excuse” seems to imply that you know what you’re saying is bulls*** but are trying to justify it to get yourself off the hook.
Half the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it until someone points out my own speech to me. In that instance it’s a fear that I’ve accepted as truth, even though that may not be the case.
Last year when I competed in the Arnold Amateur, the single biggest fear/lie/excuse I had to face dealt with the fact that I was a middle-aged mom and I didn’t think I could win a bikini competition standing next to a 20-something woman who never gave birth. (You have to admit, this is a valid point. I’ve had 20+ years of gravity going against my favor.)
I took that fear to the next level (I’m an overachiever) by telling myself not only could I NEVER win, I wouldn’t even place, in fact I would absolutely have to come in dead last because that’s where middle aged moms rank in the fitness world. Mind you, I had not met a single other competitor, so I had no idea what their fitness level or commitment level was, but I was already sure that I would lose.
Once my trainer pointed this out to me I realized he was right and I was psyching myself out. At the competition I ended up mid-pack, ranking 20th out of 38. While nothing to brag about, it was a huge mental breakthrough for me because it meant that I beat 18 women who were half my age and this was an international competition with women who had to apply to even get accepted.
Once the “I’m too old” myth was dispelled I went on to place and then ultimately win subsequent competitions. To remind myself that negative-speak is not really reality I’ve started keeping a list of lies I tell myself and then replace it with positive thinking, which is something you may want to try too. Here’s an example I’m currently working on:
- Lie: I hate technology. It’s frustrating and difficult to understand. I’ll never be good at it.
- New Positive Thought: I like technology. It’s fun and exciting to learn new things and when someone breaks it down for me, it’s really quite easy to learn.
This thought redirection can be quite useful since thoughts lead to words and words lead to actions and actions become habits. Let’s say you wanted to apply this to weight loss:
- Lie: I’ll never lose the weight. Nothing works. My metabolism is too old and screwed up, eating right is too hard and exercising is too time consuming.
- New Positive Thought: I’m healthy and I make good decisions for my body. A healthy lifestyle is much easier than the roller coaster of yo-yo dieting. There is exactly enough time to do what is important to me and my health.
The more often you name your fears and recognize them to be the lies that they are, the more successful you will become at replacing them with positive truths.
Tell the liar in your head to shut up. Not only is she mean she’s also inaccurate. So there!
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two.
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