The other day I had one of those moments where you just randomly tune into the thoughts that meander through your head. I didn’t realise it but I was thinking about losing weight and suddenly I realised that I was saying to myself:
But you never know, you might never lose the rest of the weight and in which case you might actually put it back on. Imagine that.
Quite literally, WHAT THE FUCK brain?
Let’s put this into context, if someone came up to me and said those exact words to me I’d be furious. I would recognise it as out-and-out negative bullshit and I would have dropped a water melon on that dude’s face. And yet, here I was allowing that sort of nonsense to go on right inside my own head. I would say that generally I’m a fairly positive person. I’m optimistic, I believe that all things are possible and I enjoy life. But clearly, even for someone who is more glass-half-full than glass-half-empty, negative self-talk can and does happen. It makes you wonder what evolutionary purpose this stuff serves and where it comes from.
The other thing it made me realise is that it’s a major obstacle to weight loss. If you’re playing negative tracks over and over in your head: “You can’t…” “There’s no way…” “I would but…” “This isn’t going to work for you…” then that will mess you right up. How much better would it be if instead you had a voice inside you that was cheering you on, saying: “Go on…” “Try this…” “You can…” “You will…”? It would help, wouldn’t it?
So, let’s do exactly that – let’s change our self-talk into the most ludicrously positive (I want to say American:) voices that we can muster. Are you up for a challenge?
The Self-Talk Experiment
Step one – pick a day for monitoring, write on the back of your hand “Self-Talk” or ST if you want to keep things cryptic (NB: Don’t write Self-Talk Day because the abbreviation will take some explaining). For that entire day, every time you see that on your hand you’re going to do a sweep for the messages that you’re giving yourself. Whatever it is, if you pick it up, no matter what it is, write it down.
By the end of the day you should have collected a series of the messages that you are giving yourself. Take a good look at them and ask yourself in the cold light of day what they are doing for you? Are they helping you to achieve your goals? Are they filling you with confidence, love, positivity? Or are they a series of belittling, negative bullshit? The key question is could your self-talk do more for you? If the answer is yes, then head to Step Two.
Step Two: this is where we fake it to make it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t consciously agree with the phrases that you’re going to use, all you have to do is to pick three phrases that you are going to load onto your brain’s internal CD player (or mp3 player, or gramaphone player, depending on your generation) which you are going to routinely blast into your head. What you pick will be personal to you but they should be the sort of things that would make Superman’s balls explode with pride. Aim really high. Here are some I’ve stolen from Pinterest:
The key here is to get three short, snappy, wildly positive things that you are going to load into your head. You are going to play these three statements two times a day from now on. Do them when you get up and when you go to bed. Look into the mirror and say those three things. Make them incredibly loud in your head when you say them. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t believe those three things, you’re just training your mind to feed you good stuff, rather than shit.
You can say them as many times as you like, whenever you need them, but you must also say all three of them whenever you catch any negative self-talk going on. We are re-programming our brains so that over time we find we don’t get the self-talk that trips us up, or beats us down. We get the wildly positive stuff that builds us up and picks us off the ground.
Comment below if you’re up for the experiment!