Why Your Self Talk is Holding Back Your Fitness, And How to Fix It

Sunday, October 3, 2021 - 23:31

"Come on, don't be such a little wimp."

"This isn't that hard, you should be able to do it."

"What's WRONG with you??"

All of these things have likely been said inside of most of our heads during a tough workout. Do they help? Do you feel better when you get down on yourself, magically get stronger, and walk out of the gym feeling like a million bucks? Maybe, sometimes.

Most often, it's going to get us down in the dumps even worse and make our time in the gym less fun. Sooner or later we start to subconsciously dread our gym time because it always leads to negative self-talk which, let's be honest, is just us bullying ourselves. 

This is a stigma that has been perpetuated for almost as long as gyms and personal trainers have been around. "No pain no gain" runs most of the fitness industry, and that "pain" has unfortunately carried over into mental pain, as well. Individuals are using the gym to run away from their lives the same way an alcoholic would use a bottle of tequila, all the while forgetting to address the root cause of the mental pain.

This negative self-talk in the gym carries over outside of the gym, unfortunately. We have this thing called a reticular activating system and essentially it acts as "what you look at, is what you see." So if you told yourself to stop being a little baby in the gym, your brain has now received a signal to look for all the reasons to support the belief that you are in fact a little baby. You see, with the right words and breath you can either sabotage or construct your life.

One of the easiest fixes here is to address that negative self-talk. Thanks to our reticular activating system; if we speak kindly to ourselves our brain will subconsciously start to search for supporting evidence. So instead of telling yourself to stop being weak, or to stop being a baby-back-bitch, or to hurry up and finish because nobody likes a loser, try flipping those statements.

Aim for affirmative statements, and keep them short and sweet.

"I am strong."

"I am resilient."

"I am flowing."

"I am safe."

Find an "I am" statement that resonates with you, and use that to fuel your workout. Speak it out loud, and cast your spell of happiness through fitness.