How we talk to ourselves matters, much more thank we think.
I tell my personal training clients all the time that if they tell themselves already beforehand that they can't lift that weight up, they can't. Thinking the I can't thoughts is bad enough, but saying them out loud makes things worse. Now we've really convinced our brains that we can't do something!
But I have done the same and although I've gotten better, sometimes I still do.
I Have Been Really Mean To Myself.
A few of nights ago I found my notebook with entries from 2015… It hurts almost physically to see how mean I had been to myself during that time.
For example, I was angry at myself for not being able to build up more clientele and make more money in my personal training business. At the the time, I had exactly ONE personal training client. Yes, that's it. Doesn't sound like a successful business, right?
But I didn't realize that I hadn't even given myself much time. At the time I wrote this, I had been in the new country for about 4 months, didn’t have the job at the gym or teach classes. I didn’t even have a car so I literally walked to the park with my 15 and 25 lbs kettlebells in my backpack, to train my only client.
In my diary, I would call myself a loser who will never have more clients, never have enough money and never achieve any kind of success.
Today, I feel sorry for myself for talking to myself like this.
Embracing More Positive Self Talk
Over the course of 4 years, the way I think about and talk to myself has changed a lot. I didn’t realize it back then that what I was saying to myself was exactly what was holding me back from being more successful. You simply can’t get any better if you’re telling yourself that you’re a coward and a loser, which is exactly what I did!
Luckily I have my husband by my side whose impact has been huge. He doesn’t tell me to just think positive like it's the easiest thing ever to do. But his interest in reading, learning and self development is contagious. He was and still is always busy figuring things out, while my default used to be sit in my comfort zone and think why the world is so unfair. But super slowly, as I started learning more as well, I started changing too.
It's so important to not give up and it's even more important to be kind to ourselves, because no positive change can happen from the place of anger, self judgement and hopelessness.
How Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Changed My Perspective
One more thing that made me re-think the way I talked to myself was going through significant weight gain when I was recovering from hypothalamic amenorrhea. I had no choice than saying bye to my leanness and 6x/week hardcore workouts because my body was so stressed out and begging for rest and, well, body fat.
During the 5-month period when I wasn't working out and was gaining weight, and also after that, I learned to accept myself much more. I learned to appreciate myself and my body, and the weight stopped mattering so much. I'm so much more at peace with myself than I've ever been before.
I figured: if this is what my body needs to look like, what’s the use of hating it? Is there ANY way how calling myself ugly and fat can make my life better? Obviously, the answer is no. So might as well be nice to myself.
Remember: Your words – including the ones you say to yourself – matter. So be kind to yourself because otherwise you can never feel truly happy and at peace.