When it comes to making or breaking a habit, the way you talk to yourself can make or break your success. To quote the immortal words of Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right."
Tell yourself you can do it and you likely will. Convince yourself you can’t and you probably won’t. That’s why you need to stop negative self-talk if you want to make changes so you can live your best life.
External obstacles make change difficult enough. There’s no need to add to it with internal pressure. Easier said than done, to be sure. That’s why instead of trying to do away with all negative internal banter, we’re going to give you a list of a few thoughts we want you to try to silence to start. These are the most pervasive thoughts we all think: the ones that really stymie your chances of success, no matter what you’re trying to achieve. These are the thoughts that make you feel weak, small and worthless. And you’re none of those things.
So what thoughts are we talking about? Read on.
1. I'll start tomorrow.
Ugh. Who hasn't uttered these words? Or at least thought them? Promising yourself you'll start living a healthier life tomorrow implies that who you are right now is not worthy of the effort. And you're always worthy of the effort. So if you are scarfing down a 5 lb lasagna solo and telling yourself you'll start a more moderate diet tomorrow, put down the fork and and start right now. Start today. Who you are right now, even in your less than ideal circumstances, is worthy of the love, compassion and understanding of any possible future self.
2. It’s too hard; I can’t do it.
Just because something is difficult does not necessarily follow that you can’ do it. It just may mean it is really, really tough to do or you may have to work your way up to doing it. The first time you try to do a jump switch lunge or a pull-up, it’s likely going to feel like your own personal version of HIIT hell. However, with time and practice, it will get easier. You’ll either be able to do it better, or you’ll be able to do it perfectly. Either way, you can do it, even if it’s hard!
3. It's too late for me, so why try?
Yikes. More defeatist words have never been spoken. It is never too late to change your life. So what if you're a bit older? Think of your maturity has a weapon in your fight for a better life. You're more experienced and as a result, a hell of a lot wiser. The only thing you're too old to do is take shit from yourself. Put on your big kid pants and start taking control of your life.
4. Life isn't fair; I’ll never get what I want.
OK, part of this is true, and life isn't fair, but by focusing on the injustice of existence, you're forgetting about everything you have going for you. Absolutely no one has it all together, no matter what they try to portray on the 'gram, so don't use these keyhole glimpses into someone else's life to try to measure the merits of your own. Embrace what you have. By all means, recognize your weaknesses, try to improve on them where and when possible, but don't dwell on the stuff you can't change.
5. I hate the way I look.
No, no, no, no! Don’t hate on your face or body! You’re very being is miraculous and you are capable of practically limitless feats you have not even acknowledged. While there is nothing wrong with self-improvement, there is a problem when this quest toward bettering oneself involves turning yourself into someone else entirely. Take it from us: no matter what you do — no matter how much you weigh or how you change your appearance — you will still be you. If you can’t learn to make your peace with yourself, you will never be happy since you stand zero chance of becoming anyone else.
We want to hear from you! What are the negative things you tell yourself and how do you overcome these absolutely BS thoughts? We’re in this together, so let’s work to lift one another up, and make each other stronger, inside and out!
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My biggest defeatist self-talk: I’m too tired or too busy to run 5 miles today. Looking at the whole is often intimidating. So, I tell myself, Ok, I’ll run 2 miles instead, it will be faster and still be doing something. Of course, once out the door I usually do the 5, but giving myself an out is helpful on low motivation days.
What a great post! Very inspiring…. Nailed It
Amazing inspirational post. Sometimes we are really our own worst enemy.
WOW!!! Thank You!!! Really hit home!