Do you talk to yourself whilst you’re working out? Serious question! Or would you rather not be the person everyone avoids on the gym floor as they’re worried about the mental state of someone happily having a conversation with themself?
Okay, another question. Do you respond better to motivation? Could you push out a few more reps or go just a little bit faster with someone there to encourage you? I’m guessing most people would say yes – which is perfect as it keeps us Personal Trainers in a job! So if you respond to someone pushing you to the next level, getting the very best out of you, motivating you to try those last few movements – why can’t you be your own cheerleader? You can “have a word with yourself” without anyone else seeing or hearing…. use the voice inside your head to tell yourself you CAN. I’ve seen amazing determination in clients or class participants when I re-assure and re-affirm to them I believe they can do this and inspire them to push just that little bit more, and far be it from me to talk myself out of a job, but you can coach yourself.
In my blog post a few weeks back, discussing “mind/muscle connection” and visualising your muscles doing the work I mentioned the power of positive thinking, and trust me, it works. As soon as you start to tell yourself you can’t, you’re too tired, or you’ve done enough – your body will follow. It is responding to the signals form your brain, and if those signals are negative chances are your body will fail you. But you have control over that – you can grit your teeth, dig your heels in and tell yourself I CAN do this, I DO want this, I WILL finish this.
So conversely, how do negative words and negative attitudes affect us and our workouts? Or our outlook and body image in general? Not sure? Then think of it like this….. would you tell your best friend she looked fat? Or your partner that they weren’t fit enough? Or your sibling that there’s no point exercising as they’re too lazy to keep at it? You wouldn’t dream of it, right? But yet we all tell ourselves, every day that we’re too fat, too unfit, just plain not good enough to even try. Words we wouldn’t dare speak over anyone else, so when did it become acceptable to put ourselves down? We all need to learn to reign this in. If you heard two friends arguing in public, one telling they other they were fat, ugly and useless we’d be horrified, yet we have these conversations in our head, with ourselves on a daily basis. It needs to stop! Negative words have negative impact and over time those messages will sink in. Think how a bully undermines their victims – slowly but surely whittling away their confidence. With every negative thought we are putting ourselves down, taking away our self belief bit by bit.
So today, take a deep breath and exhale all that negativity from your body. Tell yourself, no more. From now on, head up, chest proud, knowing that you ARE good enough, you CAN do this and you WILL succeed. Nip negative thoughts in the bud and stop the negative energy drain.
Those weirdos talking to themselves on the gym floor may be on to something after all…..