Managing That Mean Little Voice in Your Head

We all have it. Negative self-talk that distracts us from our goals and makes tempting not to follow our chosen path to health. If you don’t master your inner voice of negativity, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Allowing it to run unbridled through your mind can cause you to quit as you lose hope that you can really get the results you want.

So how do you manage the negative voice in your head?

Know that you will have your failures. Seriously, we will all fail. Sometimes over and over again. When we fail, we learn. Don’t let the fear of not being perfect in your process paralyze your efforts. Know that you don’t have to prove yourself as a constant pillar of fitness perfection. Allow yourself to have setbacks and just go right back to doing what you know will work.

Don’t take other people’s advice. People will offer well-meaning advice, but they don’t understand that this is YOUR journey. Focus on what you know is right for you and you’ll be much more likely to stick to your plan. Keep your eyes on your own paper. There will always be a girl at the gym with advice or that fitness magazine article or a pro athlete that does such-and-such. When you find yourself comparing your journey to someone else’s, let it go. Shrug it off and move on to new thought about what you can do that will make you successful.

The Mean Little Voice is insecure. The last thing we need when taking on such a personal venture is the need for public approval. What about your own perception of what you are doing? You can acknowledge the inner voice saying that things aren’t working as quickly as they should, or that you’re not doing things “good enough,” but then LET IT GO. Give it too much attention and it could become nagging doubt. That doubt may make you want to abandon your plan, in favor of one that sounds more appealing or easier. Not a good move.

Don’t let your little voice tell you that you should just quit. The two biggest things you can do to thwart your own efforts is to not have a plan or to not see your plan through until completion. If you are constantly changing approaches because of either fitness plan ADHD, insecurity or because you’re just straight-up impatient, you will fail at every attempt.

Give it time. It doesn't matter how good a plan it was, if you don’t give it time to do its thing, you might as well not do it at all. Don’t let that little voice to tell you that “this is taking too long!” and cause you to give up. Listen to your coach or guide. Don’t adlib or edit. Don’t decide that if a little is good, then a lot is better. Realize that your constant changing of approach is making it even harder for you to keep your plan in order. Once you give things time to become habitual, you are more likely to be able to live comfortably with the changes. They become normalcy and normalcy is long term. That’s how lifestyles are created.

Focus on the benefits of your ongoing effort. Realize that you are making changes that will bring a lifetime of benefits. Hopefully it’s a long life which means you’re in a marathon, not a sprint. If you put forth a consistent effort over time, not only will you make a huge difference in your health, you’ll inspire others to take charge of their own fitness. Focus on that, not the little annoyances that could cause you to veer off course.

How about you? How do you manage your negative thoughts so they don’t derail your plan?