Your self-talk may be holding your back, both inside and outside the gym. How you talk to yourself can be one of the biggest hindrances or boosts to your performance. Here’s how to check your self-talk and talk back.
We have all been in the middle of a long, grueling workout when that voice inside our heads says, “You’re so much slower than everyone else,” or “Why did you think you could do this? You’re too weak.” That voice can sound so loud.
Maybe you have heard it outside the gym. You have a big presentation or you are trying to close a sale, and on the way to the office, that voice pops up again and says something like “You know you are over your head, right?”
So what can you do about this? The answer is to stop listening and start talking. Combat that voice in your head by talking back.
First, pick a mantra, or even a single word, that you will use in the middle of a workout or before a big presentation. Something simple like telling yourself, “You got this!” or “Smile” can be a huge help in combatting that tiny voice. Then, as things get tough you repeat your word or phrase.
The goal is to give your brain something positive to “chew on” instead of repeating whatever negative self-talk before.
While this solution is simple, it is not easy. It is just too natural for us to complain. But building the habit of talking to yourself is one small way to combat the negative tendencies we have.
Next time you walk in the gym, pick your word or phrase and prepare to talk to yourself. (And don’t worry about the crazy looks you may receive if you say your word out loud! Everyone else is too busy listening to the voice inside their heads, too.)
Another simple trick to combat this voice in your head is to change your language. Instead of saying “you have to workout today” or “you have to go to work”. Change that to “you get to workout today” or “you get to pick up your kids from school”. It may seem hollow at first but you are building the habit of expressing gratitude. And gratitude has been proven to bring numerous benefits.1