In our little studio, we have the benefit of learning life’s lessons from hundreds of people. There are patterns that emerge, that i am sure a psychologist sees everyday, and that would take us a lifetime to learn if we weren’t in the company of so many people each day.
This line of thinking sprang from a conversation that another trainer had with one of my clients. She remarked on his remarkable ability in the sport we were participating in, and asked if he intended on continuing it when we returned to work. His reply was “I really hope I do”. When we discussed this later, both of us agreed that he probably wouldn’t, but why?
The sentence “I really hope I do” has an implied “if” – “if” the weather is nice, “if” i have time… It is setting the person up to fail.
Our conversation then turned to what the client must be thinking, what questions does he ask himself? He has found a sport that is is remarkably gifted at, that he professes to love, that he has invested a lot of money in already, why ready himself to fail?
We brainstormed some ideas, perhaps the questions and reservations he has are along these lines, that we have heard before in the gym:
“will i be good enough?”
“what happens if i fall?”
“what if i can’t afford it?”
Perhaps we ask ourselves the wrong questions! Perhaps, instead of harping on what we cannot control, we ask questions that put a practical plan in place, to ensure that “I will definitely” continue this sport (or other thing that we’d like to do but never get around to doing!):
“when will i do this”
“what is my plan B”
“how will i make sure it gets done?”
“where will i go?”
Once those questions are answered, the next step is to follow through, which is much easier once there is a practical plan, rather than a “pie in the sky” idea! This line of questioning turns the tables on whether or not a thing will get done, and if you really want to do it, ensure that you do!
This week, try and be aware of your self-talk. One of the patterns we have seen in the studio is one where people say one thing, but behave in a way that is contrary to their words. You do not have to share these discrepancies with us or anybody else, but honesty with yourself may help you overcome some of the little things that are holding you back.
For example, do you say “i want to lose weight” , and then meet girlfriends for cake and coffee every second day? A few honest questions to yourself would have to be:
“Do i really want to lose weight?”
“is there another way i can socialise with my girlfriends that doesn’t include cake?”
“do i prefer the routine of cake and coffee over my possible weight loss goals?”
Whatever the answers are, that is okay! But i think it is important that we break the habit of lying to ourselves, or making excuses, so we feel better about our behavior. If you can identify just one aspect of your life where you are behaving like this, and turn it around to achieve your goal, wouldn’t that be amazing?
We all talk to ourselves, we all have our own insecurities, as i like to term “the inner chicken”. This is an internal reflection exercise for those of you who feel like you’ve plateaued and don’t know why. Good luck with it!!