Typically, now is the time where those New Year’s resolutions have gone by the wayside. What happened along the way? How did we talk ourselves out of something that just weeks ago we were so gung-ho about, shouting out to the world how excited we were to get started? How did “I’m all in” become “I’m not so sure” or “I can’t?” That’s a good question, and it’s one that deserves a closer look. I remind clients all the time, that we, as humans, are wily creatures. Our minds are capable of talking ourselves in and out of things quite easily. The trick is, which voice are you going to listen to?
If you have a habit of negative self talk chances are that you are going to be listening to the wrong voice. Listening to that Debbie-downer-of-a-voice makes you more apt to throw in the towel the minute you make your first stumble. We tell ourselves a litany of awful things about ourselves that we wouldn’t dare say to loved ones. The good news is that this dark-side-of-the-moon voice is just a habit, a running commentary that you have the power to believe or not. You also have the power to exchange that voice for one that is a kinder, compassionate, and entirely more motivating.
I created the bend part of the bend burn breathe ethos with this in mind. It’s all about learning how to cultivate a positive mindset and choosing goals from that perspective. Spend some time this week trying out the tips below:
Be Flexible and Reassess: If you’ve found yourself floundering, before you give up entirely and give into the negative chatter, take an objective look at your goal and ask yourself if you have set the right one for your life right now. It’s OK to alter a goal for practical reasons rather than setting yourself up for failure. I help my clients do this all the time. For example, you may have set a specific goal to exercise four days during the week, but after two months it’s just not working for you. Instead of beating yourself up for what you didn’t do, first see what you did do and then make a new plan. You realize that practically speaking you can commit to two days during the week and one day on the weekend for right now. That fourth day is a bonus. It works every time. We tend to blame ourselves personally for things that have very practical solutions.
Write or Speak Out Positive Affirmations: What is the best way to combat these negative thoughts in the first place? Try some positive self-talk. I first came across positive self affirmation back 1990s when I was introduced to self-help guru Louise Hay. It wouldn’t be until 12 years later when I was reintroduced to them by fitness pioneer Patricia Moreno who just created intenSati, the cardio workout where you shout positive affirmations out loud! I was hooked. So, when you are feeling down and out, try giving affirmations a shot. Just remember to put them in the positive tense – such as “I am Strong,” “I am confident,” I love myself.” It may sound hokey if you’ve never done it before, but it doesn’t take long to raise your level of positivity. Keep them in easy sight, on your phone or on the bathroom mirror. Write them down before you go to bed. Rebut negative thoughts with powerful affirmative statements.
Surround Yourself with Positive and Supportive People: I can’t stress this enough. I had a rough week a couple of weeks ago and I was headed into a downward spiral of moping negativity. My partner Tim not only provided an ear, he provided valuable support validating all of my strengths and calling me on my BS of self doubt. I also reached out to my mentor Adeline who patiently listened to my ills and woes and offered me exceptional advice. I don’t know what I would have done without them. They provided important external positive affirmation during my time of need.
Think Like an Olympian: I love, love, love the Olympics! One of the other things that got me out of my funk was watching the Olympics this month. These are people with some serious goals. I don’t just love seeing the competitions, I love to hear various athletes’ stories. Some of them have known bitter, bitter disappointment but persevered, oftentimes for years and years for another chance at victory, gold medal or not. Imagine if they gave up after their first loss? You’ve gotta have the same kind of grit and determination, and we all have it inside of us.
Please feel free to share your goals with me and ways you’ve overcome your negative chatter!
I’m still awaiting the 2018 highlights reel so I’ll leave you with this: