We all know the little voice inside our heads. It's always there, and it's always saying something. Many people don't realize that the voice has a lot to do with outcomes of our fitness journey.
Here's what I mean: when we talk negatively about ourselves or beat ourselves up, we don't do very well. Just like when we talk negatively to a friend and beat them up with our words, they don't do too well either. Our words matter. Words matter friend to friend, and self to self.
A stranger calls you a big mean monster. Response: we get mad, instantly defend ourselves internally, and get over it. (Obviously we aren't a big mean monster).
A friend calls you a big mean monster. Response: we get sad, question whether we are or not, then hopefully talk about it or let it pass, then move on. (I'm not a big mean monster, right?)
WE call ourselves a big mean monster (Or that we will never be successful in our fitness journey). Response: we believe it and hold onto it, like idiots.
Cognitive Distortion is Real
Just because we feel like we aren't moving forward does not mean that we are not moving forward. That's why we try to take pictures at least once per month and measure other key metrics: work done, body weight, and body fat.
"I feel like I'm not moving forward." I hear this a lot. Usually, all I have to do is show any athlete that I train their pictures and how far they've come. Sometimes it doesn't work. It's the inner voice that's on a continual negative loop that is wreaking havoc.
Fire The Critic
The little internal voice can be a real jerk. Nothing but negative criticism on full volume.
Here's what I propose: get rid of him!
Hire A Tiny Coach
A good coach is life-saving. They'll pull you to higher levels than you ever thought possible. They'll demand excellence as a new standard, if you let them.
A great coach will lift you up constantly. A great coach will believe in you. So, hire a tiny coach as your internal voice.
I don't like the word "hack", but fostering positive inner dialogue is one of the biggest ways to improve your fitness journey: be KIND to yourself, compliment yourself, and motivate yourself. All of this especially when you're having a hard time.
Sometimes my own inner dialogue is a coach that is screaming at the top of his lungs:
You can do this. You deserve it. You're tough. Look at how far you've come. Make it happen.
Full. Volume. Over. And. Over.
I believe in you. The fact is, you have what it takes. You should believe in you, too.