You’re stupid and useless. You will never lose those last five pounds because you don’t even have enough will power to put down the donut in your hand. Forget about being able to run that 5K, you are so out of shape why bother even going to the gym today.
If you are reading this and kind of want to punch me right now, congratulations, no one should ever speak to you this way, and if they are you don’t need that person in your life. What do you do though, when the voice saying these horrible things is your own? How do you stop something that has probably been going on for so long I bet you don’t even realize you are thinking these thoughts?
Chances are it started when you were very young, maybe your parents taught you to be modest and to never directly accept a compliment. Maybe you were picked on in school so to cope you would say bad things about yourself to others, so they never had a chance to say them first. Maybe someone so vile got into your life that they broke you down into believing you are just a piece of garbage. The truth is it doesn’t really matter how it started all that matters now is how it stops.
Did you know your brain has its very own pattern recognition software? How cool is that? We receive so much data in a day from the world around us that our brains must figure out a way to sort through it and edit out what WE decide is important or relevant to us. This phenomenon is called the “Reticular Activating System”, although you probably know it better as the “Laws of Attraction”. Basically, there is a system of neurons in your brain that decides what information to allow you to acknowledge in a day, and it was programmed by you and all the other people you deem important in your life. So, if you feel unlovable, or stupid, or weak, you brain is programmed to seek out and show you every piece of evidence it can find in a day to confirm that unlovability to you. This is why habits in your life are so hard to break, and why it is so hard to create new ones, you literally have to re-train your brain to look for new evidence and patterns.
Where do you even start? To begin with you need to be able to recognize your negative self talk, it won’t be easy to start with, you will probably need to enlist the help of those around you the most because other people hear the negativity more than you do. Once you recognize that you said something self deprecating you need to acknowledge the slip in a physical way. When I work on this with clients, we make it a 2-week habit to start. So for 2 weeks every time the client slips they immediately do 10 squats, or 5 pushups, etc. Not only does the physical action act like a trigger for new filter to form, it also helps them on the path to their final weight loss goal.
The last part of the change is replacing the negative information you want your brain to stop fixating on, with positive information, we are talking about visualization and positive self talk. I don’t want to lose you now with the new age stuff, so hear me out. There is not a professional athlete or self-made millionaire out there that doesn’t visualize where they want to be in the future, so there must be something to it. You need to re-program your Reticular Activating System to look for new, positive evidence to support your goals, or else it will just slip back into its old pattern. So, if you want to lose 10lbs, or compete in a 10k, or go back to school etc. you need to remind yourself everyday what it is you want. You need to see it in your head when you close your eyes, write it down in the morning, have a picture of it on you wall. Whatever it takes to remind yourself that you are worthy of your goals and dreams.
If you aren’t sure if this is something you need to work on, ask someone you spend a lot of time with, they will tell you. If it is you, start working on this today, don’t wait, your self worth is too important, not only for you, but the generation behind you who’s patterns are still forming.