Did you know that how you communicate with yourself has an astonishing influence on your behavior?
Research shows that positive self-talk has the power to manage anxiety, enhance confidence and performance, as well as motivate behavior change.
If you find yourself setting the same goals over and over again (think: valiant attempts to get 8 hours of sleep per night, or limiting treats to 2-3 times a week) yet struggle to make meaningful progress there’s a chance you’ve been focusing on the symptoms instead of the source of the problem.These internal conversations set the tone for how you make decisions. Consider the following example: if you don’t really believe you deserve to spend time and energy working on yourself and your health imagine how difficult it will be to get up and out of your warm bed at 5 a.m. in the middle of winter to get to a 6a.m. training session.
Similarly, if you tend towards perfectionism and narrowly define success as getting to the gym five times a week and never having a class of wine, cookie or slice of pizza imagine how tempting it will be to just eat five more slices of pizza after your first one since your diet is already “ruined.”
As you can see, the issue isn’t only that self-talk messages are often negative but moreover that the messages aren’t true. The irrational and disparaging stories you tell about yourself aren’t helpful. They get in the way of all the hard work you’re doing to reach your goals.
If you make a conscious effort to tell yourself you are strong and capable of working around the obstacles that come your way you are much more likely to engage in goal-oriented behavior than if you continually berate and criticize yourself.
Feel good chemicals in your brain work overtime when you reflect upon your successes and will further bolster faith in your abilities. Then take a little deeper look at what didn’t go as well as you would have liked. You’ll already be in the right mindset to see setbacks as something to learn from instead of something to be discouraged by so use what worked as a springboard for strategies to get around what wasn’t working.