“The words we use can either create or destroy.
Words create worlds, choose them wisely.”
With self doubt, judgment and criticism becoming more prevalent in the health and fitness industry, and as it presents itself to me more and more on a daily basis with clients, I wanted to discuss this ever occurring issue and provide some helpful tips as to how to tackle the negative voices in our heads.
Self-judgment is the least effective tool we have for changing our bodies, in fact, it has the complete opposite affect, our bodies and our cells literally hear and respond to the thoughts we have; if those thoughts are filled with negative emotions our bodies will respond in such a manner, negatively.
Unfortunately, we let negative speech, guilt, self-comparison and criticism run amok amongst our minds. How often do you notice yourself using negative self-talk?
I often hear girls say things like “if only I wasn’t so lazy with my workouts I would have seen more progress” (guilt/ criticism), or “if I hadn’t eaten that cheat meal I would look better in these photos” (guilt), “my progress isn’t as good as hers, what am I doing wrong” (comparison) and things like “if I looked more like the girls on Instagram I would have more success in love” (comparison).
How many times will you hear your friend say something negative about her self and then you join in “in support” and put yourself down also? Self-deprecating humour about your physical attributes is another huge “no-no” in the way of self love.
It seems bizarre to me that we then try to utilize these self-forms of torture as a way to “motivate” us into forming different and new behaviours and habits; only to discover a few days or weeks later that shame-based motivation has worn off and we are back to square one, on this viscous roller-coaster of self loathing.
Have you ever stopped to consider why fad diets and training schemes fail mostly? The answer is simple; guilt, self criticism, revenge, etc are all fleeting emotions; they are not long lasting and they come from a negative space. In order to evoke change you have to come from a loving space to begin with. It is only in the presence of love do we ensue enough purpose and determination to propel us forward for the long run.
I am sure we have all heard that quote that says something like “ you can still love yourself for who you are now, while you are creating who you will become”, I love this quote so much. Positivity is the path to change my darlings, it is the only way to ensure sustainable growth and self love. Despite what any one may have previously told you, or the conditioning you’ve previously placed upon yourself, you absolutely can love yourself into a fitter, healthier, stronger, leaner body. You can love yourself into feeling more confident and happy. You absolutely do not have to hate yourself or the journey the whole way.
Whatever it is that you want and where ever it is that you want to be, it begins with accepting yourself as you are now.
Acceptance is about choice; Love and acceptance are the only things that ever truly change people in the long run.
I challenge you to implement a few of the following simple, yet extremely effective tips for self love and make them daily habits and rituals. I promise your life will change because of it!
Self Love Lists
Before we can receive more of what we want, we have to love and accept what it is that we already have. Each day when you wake up, write down 10 things you love about yourself and 10 things you are grateful for. If you aren’t used to expressing love for yourself or focusing on your self then this can often be challenging. Stick with it though, practice makes perfect, and I promise you will be happier for it. For an extra challenge try make them different each day.
I know this seems easy, however so many of us do not know how to accept compliments graciously, we often deflect with that self-depreciating humour I mentioned earlier. Understand that if someone gives you a compliment, it is because they genuinely mean it. So next time instead of rebutting it, avoiding it or down playing it, simply accept it with gratitude and reaffirm the ideal of self-love.
Treat Your Self
Every day or once a week, make a commitment to yourself that you will indulge in some self love or self care. This could be as little as buying yourself a coffee daily and sitting somewhere to enjoy it, it may be making time to mediate daily or applying a mask at home once a week, or it may be as big as a pamper day. The more we give love to ourselves the more whole, confident and loving we will feel.
No Judgement Zone
End the cycle of self-criticism, comparison and doubt. From this point on when you feel yourself having negative thoughts about your self, gently remind yourself that you are no longer going to listen to those voices, and change the dialog; use positive words, loving affirmations and empowering thoughts.
Be mindful during this time, it takes a while to break habits like this that are so deeply ingrained. When thoughts do come up, you may even like to write them down and go deeper in to the analysis of why you are feeling like this then address the root cause.
Stand In Your Power
Learn to say no to the things you do not want to do, say no to doing things for others when they are capable of doing things for themselves; say no to sacrificing your time, your emotions, your happiness, your self worth for the sake of others. When you say no to the things that do not actually serve you, you create a loving space where you can say yes to yourself.
If you find these tips helpful, you may be interested in a new program I have launching in 48 hours time.
It’s a 4 part program with a holistic approach to health & fitness – including motivation and mindset.
Simply leave your email address below to be among the first notified when it launches.