Four Things I Needed To Do…And it Can Help You Too

One of the biggest obstacles to healthy living can be overcoming negative self-talk. Whether it’s because we don’t like what we see in the mirror, or we’re disappointed in our efforts, or we live under the assumption that other people are judging us. The negativity can become bigger than we are and before we know it, we accept it as the truth.

My husband opened my eyes to this truth about myself about a year ago. He wrote a blog with some ways he tries to help me battle the negativity, or as he calls her the evil twin, in my life.

And he continues to be true to:

  • Providing unconditional love
  • Giving non-stop compliments
  • Focusing on me with intention and
  • Showing the Schindlings that I am a priority

Over the last several months it’s been a journey for me to stare the negative truth in the face and change it. You see the things he does to counteract my evil twin are the same things I need to do for myself.

These are the four ways I am battling negative self-talk.

These are the four ways I am battling negative self-talk.

Unconditional Love

I had to ask myself, why is it that you can forgive others but you have a hard time forgiving yourself? Instead of learning from the things I did ‘wrong,’ and moving on, I spent too much time rehashing my mistakes and how I could have done better.

The truth is I am human. I’m going to make bad decisions, I’m going to let my impulses take over, I’m going to fail. I have to accept that. But I then also have to own those decisions and commit to make better choices. I have to learn to check my impulses with rational thoughts and actions. And I have to accept failure as a part of growth.

Giving Non-Stop Compliments

I’m definitely not one to take a compliment well. If you compliment my top, I’ll tell you how I got it on mega-clearance, if you compliment my hair, I’ll say thanks and credit my stylist (who is awesome by the way!), if you compliment my body I’ll look at you in disbelief and say, ‘Really?’

I realized I needed to change that. I’m learning to say thank you for the compliment and stop discrediting it. I’m learning to look in the mirror and tell myself positive things, rather than focusing on what I don’t like.

Because compliments made me uncomfortable I wasn’t great about giving them either. So lately I’ve been trying to share compliments when I feel it is genuine.

Focusing on Me with Intention

This one is hard. It’s hard to find time for ourselves. I get that. I recently wrote about my own struggles with finding time. But it’s not impossible.

At the beginning of each week I set my goals and intentions for the week. Every day I remind myself of them. Sometimes I don’t succeed. Other times I do. Either way I am stronger for the effort and what I am learning about myself.

Take a few minutes and set some intentional goals for yourself. You’re worth it.

Showing the Schindlings that I am a Priority

I adore my children. I will do anything for them. But I am also committed to raising them to be independent and confident. This is kind of a two part process…

First, by taking the time to take care of me, I am modeling for them how to live a balanced life. It’s okay for me to say no to them if their desire conflicts with my need.

Second, I require them to do certain tasks for themselves. While they get paid a commission for completing these tasks, I see it more of them learning life skills. I’m not always going to be there to do everything, so the more time I have to guide them through the process while they are under my roof the more successful they will be.

I’m not saying the evil twin is gone, but I’m taking the steps to living a more positive life.

I’d like to close with this thought. I was fortunate enough to meet up with some friends for coffee this morning.

 

As we chatted and laughed about life I was struck by a phrase that I’ve recently had made into business cards,

‘Don’t say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say about your best friend.’

 

I can’t imagine ever saying to them any of the things I sometimes tell myself. Why am I willing to hurt myself when the thought of hurting someone else with those untruths makes my heart ache.

I’m NOT a Morning Person

As a trainer I would talk to my clients about being realistic with setting goals. I encouraged them to examine truths about themselves that may prevent them from achieving goals. One of my favorite examples to use was the fact I am not a morning person so I purposely avoid setting exercise goals for early morning workouts to avoid failure and disappointment.

Now that I’m working my hatred for mornings is going to have to take a back seat. I feel rushed every night to try and spend time with the kiddos, run errands, make dinner, do laundry, teach classes and still get to the gym for my personal workouts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fortunate enough to have a supportive family who all pitches in around the house, but as many of us know, there can be more to do than the hours in the day will allow.

So this morning I set 3 alarms: two on my phone and one on my FitBit. My phone and FitBit both went off as scheduled at 5:00am. I silenced both alarms and pulled the covers up a little higher, all while battling with myself about the good reasons to get up and the ‘good’ excuses to stay in bed. Five minutes later my second alarm went off on my phone and the good reasons won over the ‘good’ excuses. 

Half awake, brushing my teeth, I decided my pajama sweats were good enough for the gym. I then tiptoed past our bed and looked on my sleeping husband thinking, ‘He said he was going to the gym this morning too. If he’s not getting up, maybe I should just lay back down too.’ Despite the temptation to reset my alarm and get back in bed, I swapped out my top, threw in a ponytail and searched for my gym shoes.

I couldn’t help but notice I was about the only car on the road as I headed to the gym. My thoughts returned to my husband and I wondered if he had since rose and headed to the gym as well. While still thinking fondly of my warm bed, I pulled into the lot at Patriot Boxing and I realized I wasn’t the only crazy one – there were at least 4 cars there and more following behind me.

Groggigly I explained that I had forgot my card and entered the gym. A number of the women clearly already knew each other and were chatting and laughing. Who in the world is this happy to work out at 530am?! Instead of joining in the chatter looked to my phone to check in for my Gym Pact. Now it’s not my intention to be unfriendly, but let me remind you how much I despise mornings. I thought I’d be better off saving my conversations for the cool down.

Before I knew it we were running laps for a warm-up and the groggy feeling started to lift. My steps got a bit lighter, my pace got a bit faster and before I knew it the warm-up was over and the true workout began. I’ll admit, there were a couple times throughout the workout I checked the clock and wondered what in the world was a non-morning person doing at the gym so early. But as I worked to catch my breath and the sweat rolled off me, I couldn’t help but think this was a pretty good way to start my day. 

My early morning boot camp helped me to:

  • Complete a solid hour of cardio and resistance training
  • Achieve over 4,500 steps before 7 am
  • Work the grumpy out
  • Regain an hour and a half of my evening (the time normally spent working out and driving to and from the gym)

But most importantly, early morning boot camp made me realize that not being a morning person isn’t a truth anymore, it’s now an excuse. It’s an excuse that is no longer going to stand in the way of me achieving my health and fitness goals. Early morning workouts are going to become the norm, and rather than being the grumpy lady looking at my phone, I’m going to engage in the pre-workout conversation and laughter. 

Do you have any ‘truths’ that may simply be excuses holding you back from achieving your goals?

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