Don't Sabotage YourselfSelf-Image
Friday September 16, 2011
There are common self-sabotage patterns people fall into and the negative self-talk or inner dialogue is what fuels them. As you can see, this is a common theme I work on. Especially as we continue into fall, we start hibernating more and eating more than we want. However, the way we ‘talk’ to ourselves will determine how we get out of a perceived downward spiral.
Don’t be an all or nothing thinker. If you are, you will tend to see the world in black and white. If you’re eating and exercise performance on any particular day is not 100 percent of what you had hoped, you’ll feel like a failure. Don’t focus on what you didn’t accomplish, or the ‘extra’ food you ate; focus on all the good things you did today. A lot of the times we fall short of our long term goals, because small perceived ‘failures’ along the way re-enforce our negative thoughts about our ability to be successful.
Don’t ‘Over Label’ yourself. I hear people say things like: “I’m a total failure;” or, “I’m just destined to be the way I am.” You are not destined to be a certain way, nor are you destined to fail. It’s how you talk to yourself that will re-enforce a positive sense of self: “Well, I had a bad week, but I won’t allow this to get in the way of my determination to lose 10 pounds over the next month; I can do this.”
Don’t over generalize. When people hit mini plateaus, they often say to themselves, “I knew it wouldn’t work, this always happens so I might as well give up.” Again, you are selling yourself short with that type of thinking. You will have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks...so just be confident that you will succeed long-term and no bumps in the road will stop you from being healthy, smaller and fit.
See the good in everything you do; don’t discount success. (I’m referring to people who undersell themselves. They may have lost 25 pounds, but will still say, “I don’t see much difference;” or “no one at the office has made many comments about my weight loss so why keep trying?”) I suspect people don’t want to acknowledge themselves as successful; they have programmed their brain to see only personal failure, and haven’t yet learned how to pat themselves on the back for a job well done. It’s hard to like ourselves, isn’t it? But this is the process of learning to look at yourself and like what you see. It’s ok to be proud of yourself. You worked at it; you deserve to feel happy about what you did.
Don’t jump to conclusions that have no basis. I commonly hear from women that they are afraid to “bulk up” if they start weight training. You will not ‘bulk up’ unless you are taking steroids. You will in fact burn fat and create more muscle density; you will not develop huge arms or thighs. I also hear comments like, “I can never eat less pasta or rice because that’s the way I’ve always eaten.” Why do we put “never” in front of ourselves? That would be like Roger Bannister saying “I could never run a four minute mile.” In fact, he SAID he could do it, and he did. “Never” is a state of mind. You can do anything if you want it (truly want it) bad enough.
Hang in there; keep trying. You can do it. Don’t ever give up!