Someone recently said to me that she’s no longer trying to LOSE weight. She had decided to release it instead. That way her mind wouldn’t go looking for the lost weight and try to gain it back. I think that’s a great idea. I’m really curious to see how this works out for her. I don’t know if it will work but I do know the things we say to ourselves over and over again have a profound impact. We’ve been talking this week about the stories we tell ourselves and how they shape us. Often we are completely unaware of what we’re telling ourselves. We may not even notice how often we utter things like. I’m just a bad money manager. I’m no good with money. For the life of me, I can’t figure out relationships. I just can’t make a relationship work. I’m too shy. I can’t talk to people. It’s impossible for me to express myself to other people. I’m doomed to be fat. I can’t run. I’m no good at swimming. I have zero self- discipline. I’m not smart enough for that. How could I be so stupid? I always have trouble figuring out anything that has to do with math. I burn everything. I can’t even boil water right.
Those statements and many others like them reinforce a hopeless view of ourselves, a defeated view at least in some areas of our lives. You’ve probably heard the saying, “a lie told often enough becomes truth.” Those statements we make about ourselves become truth too, even if we don’t realize how often we repeat them. We’re telling ourselves that we are incapable of certain things when in reality that is rarely true. We may struggle to master certain skills or to become comfortable in certain situations but we are rarely doomed to the complete inability to improve these things. Just look at one my previous guests, professional drummer, Dan Caro who has played with people like Carlos Santana. But He has no hands. He lost them when he was 2. He could have told himself that playing the drums was just impossible and eventually he would have believed it and stopped trying. Every time the sticks flew across the room because his new method to attach them didn’t work, he could have said this is impossible – no one would have blamed him. The words we tell ourselves are the words we will come to believe.
If we believe what we tell ourselves then how can we change the message? Like, changing anything else, we first have to be aware. We have to start to notice the words we say about ourselves. If there is an area of struggle in our lives, we want to be especially aware of what we say about it. Listen to how often we doom ourselves to where you are. First, we want to just listen to what we’re saying.
We could take a cue from a lady I know. She made an offer to pay a dollar to any person who heard her say “I should” for every time she said it. And rather than seeing the exercise as a negative costing her every time she was caught using the phrase. She explained that she was paying her teachers for helping her change. I think her sons gained as much teaching experience as they could.
So first become aware and then begin to rephrase. Instead of words that doom try some like these. I’m working on expressing myself to others. I’m learning to let people in. I’m making an effort to keep track of my spending or I’m beginning to track my spending. I ran a 2 blocks today, I’ll run again tomorrow. Find a way to turn those identified statements to something positive – something growth oriented. I challenged myself one time to utter no complaints for 7 days. I had to get creative. Like when offered tea. I would either say a simple no thank you or I prefer coffee. I’ve been known to say tea? ewww I don’t like tea. You can do the same thing when asked about yourself. Be creative – stop and think about how you can rephrase your statements. Give it a try – a real try. Pick one thing in your life. Pay attention to what you tell yourself about how you handle it then rephrase it. Try to do this exercise for 30 days or just 7 days and see what happens. Then please share your results with me! When you share your successes no matter how small you think they are – they encourage others. Thanks for joining me today. I hope when you come back, you’ll bring a friend to listen. If you want to be sure you never miss an episode be sure to subscribe to Rockin Life with Colleen Crain in iTunes Click here then click on the word subscribe under the Rockin’ Life logo or subscribe to my newsletter and every Saturday, I’ll send you a link to the week’s episodes. You can subscribe by clicking here. Have a great weekend! We’ll talk again!