Blow the Whistle on Negative Self-Talk

I meant to get my workout in this morning.

That’s not something I say often. Typically, if I set the goal, I get it done.

Right on cue, my inner critic has shown up and started telling me that I’m lazy—one of its long-time messages.

I’m blowing my internal whistle on the negative self-talk.

When that part of you that believes that you are less than who you really are shows up, it’s important to take your rightful place as the Coach calling the plays of your life.

Remind your Gremlin that it’s a member of your team meant to help and support you.

I’m assigning my Gremlin the job of helping me get back on track. If I’m taking an unexpected rest day, then tomorrow I want it to encourage me to get up and get moving, remind me of my form, ask me if the weights I’ll be using are challenging enough, and push me to squeeze out one more rep. I want it to help me push past my beliefs about what I think I can do and really give my workout my all.

One of the reasons so many people let that internal voice dominate their inner monologue is they don’t know their own power. They don’t realize that their Gremlin’s job is to help them, not hold them back.

When you give all your power to the Gremlin, it gets a little greedy and controlling. What player left in charge of the team wouldn’t start to believe they’re calling the shots? What’s more, the Gremlin likes being in charge!

This can result in a bit of an internal power struggle when people do start to claim the right to create their own lives.

There are ways to not only make this process easier, but to increase your ability to successfully reclaim the position of Coach in your life.

Here are some tips to recruit and begin to train your inner critic to become the motivational voice that encourages you to move past your believed limits.

  • Look for the Truth. That negative thing the Gremlin is saying isn’t the Truth. It’s just playing on your fears. Figure out what is True. For instance, if it’s telling you the healthy food on your plate is too fattening, look for the Truth, which is that you have thought out your meal plan, you have chosen quality foods bursting with nutrition, and your body not only is perfectly capable of utilizing the calories you are eating, but actually needs them to function optimally.
  • Treat your Gremlin with respect. Your Gremlin is a part of you and because of this you can’t kill it, beat it up, threaten it, or destroy it. Any attempt to do those things will just make it stronger. When it pipes up uninvited, thank it for the input and then remind it of the Truth.
  • Give it a job supporting you. Think about how the energy of the Gremlin could be shifted to help you meet your goals rather than hold you back.
  • Remember you’re the Coach. Take ownership of your life and begin calling the plays. You have the power to decide how you are going to react in every situation. You can follow the Gremlin’s old game plan, or implement a new one that helps create the body–and life–you want.

How are you doing at being the Coach of your life? What can you do today to train your Gremlin to support you? How does that change your ability to meet your goals?

Together we can do it!

That Is So Bogus!

Your thoughts are often your worst enemies. They are probably keeping you from loving everything about your body—and your life.

You may be accepting the negative messages offered by your inner critic as true. And you feel bad.

Struggling with losing and regaining the same 30 pounds over and over again is often a sign that your Gremlin has been given reign over your inner Queendom.

Symptoms of this include:

  • Feeling body shame when you look in the mirror
  • Being overly critical of specific body parts
  • Wanting to hide under the covers when you have sex with your partner
  • Feeling impatient when the weight doesn’t drop off instantly

Stop right there!

Chances are those flimsy arguments offered up by your Gremlin are totally bogus. Search your thoughts with the bright light of Truth—those Universal Truths that are true no matter who, no matter what.

Now you probably won’t be able to jump in an instant from feeling body shame to the Truth that your body is beautiful. But a feeling of relief lets you know you are headed in the right direction.

Choose a different—better feeling—thought that creates an entirely new path.

This might look like:

  • Recognizing that your body is working hard to help you meet your goals. You didn’t get where you are overnight and it will take a little time to get where you want to go.
  • Focusing on a body part you can praise.
  • Focusing on the love you are expressing with your body.
  • Having faith that your body is responding to your eating healthy and exercising. Changes are coming!

When you catch yourself feeling a negative emotion, use that as a cue to look at your thinking. If you think it’s your Gremlin talking, reason your way through its messages looking for Truth.

What better feeling thought can you choose that moves you towards your goals?

Together we can do it!

Tips for Training Your Inner Critic

During my workout this morning, my inner critic showed up and started telling me that I was never going to achieve my fitness goals. I blew my internal whistle.

I took my rightful place as the Coach calling the plays of my life and reminded my Gremlin that it’s a member of my team. “Your job,” I told it, “is to help me give this workout my all.”

And it did. Each rep it reminded me of my form, asked me if the weights I was using were challenging enough, and pushed me to squeeze out one more rep, in many cases going beyond what I thought I could do.

That’s more like it!

One of the reasons so many people let that internal voice that tells them they aren’t good enough dominate their inner monologue is they don’t know their own power. They don’t realize that their Gremlin’s job is actually to help them, not hold them back.

When you give all your power to the Gremlin, it gets a little greedy and controlling. What player left in charge of the team wouldn’t start to believe they’re calling the shots? What’s more, the Gremlin likes being in charge!

This can result in a bit of an internal power struggle when people do start to claim the right to create their own lives.

There are ways to not only make this process easier, but to increase your ability to successfully reclaim the position of Coach in your life. Here are some tips to recruit and begin to train your inner critic to become the motivational voice that encourages you to move past your believed limits.

Look for the Truth. Those negative things the Gremlin is saying aren’t the Truth. It’s just playing on your fears. Figure out what is True. For instance, if it’s telling you that you always get lost, look for the Truth, which is that you know how to read a map, stop and ask for directions, or dial up the GPS on your phone. You always find your way eventually.

Treat your Gremlin with respect. Your Gremlin is a part of you and because of this you can’t kill it, beat it up, threaten it, or destroy it. Any attempt to do those things will just make it stronger. When it pipes up uninvited, thank it for the input and then remind it of the Truth.

Look at how and when it came into your life. Often we can think back and pinpoint when and how the Gremlin was created. It’s helpful to do this, but if you can’t remember, don’t worry about it.

Accept that it was created to help you. While it doesn’t feel like it, the Gremlin was created to help us in some way. Perhaps it was to avoid embarrassing situations. The problem is, how it shows up in your life now no longer serves you.

Give it a job supporting you. Think about how the energy of the Gremlin could be shifted to help you meet your goals rather than hold you back.

Remember you’re the Coach. Take ownership of your life and begin calling the plays. You have the power to decide how you are going to react in every situation. You can follow the Gremlin’s old game plan, or implement a new one that helps create the life you want to live.

How are you doing at being the Coach of your life? What can you do today to train your Gremlin to support you? How does that change your ability to meet your goals?

Together we can do it!

Photo by Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are You Feeling Successful?

Can you be too happy? Will positive thoughts keep you from meeting your goals? Can thinking you can do something get in your way just as effectively as the negative thoughts generated by your Gremlin—that inner critic that tells you that you aren’t good enough?

I don’t think so, and neither does Shawn Achor, a Harvard psychology researcher and author of The Happiness Advantage.

In a funny and engaging TEDX talk, Archor shares research that shows pinning our happiness on achieving a goal actually hinders our progress. Instead, it’s being happy that help us achieve our goals.

As Archor explains in an Inc. online article, this is because every time you have a success, your brain changes what success means so that happiness is always on the opposite side—meaning you never get there.

But if you increase your levels of happiness in the midst of a challenge, he says “all of your success rates rise dramatically.”

The key is feeling positive, which he says allows you to be “smarter and more creative.” In fact, “optimism was found to be the greatest predictor of entrepreneurial success because it allows your brain to perceive more possibilities.”

And if this is true for entrepreneurs, it’s true for everyone. Being positive helps you become solution-focused.

One of the arguments that I hear most often is people feel their emotions and negative perspective are outside their control. Archor says, “It is a myth that we cannot change our happiness.” While happiness may come easier to some people, it’s a possibility that everyone can achieve–if they change their behavior and mindset.

And Archor’s research confirms that changing your mindset may not be as hard as people often think. “What we found was something as simple as writing down three things you’re grateful for every day for 21 days in a row significantly increases your level of optimism and it holds for the next six months.”

He adds, “The research is amazing. It proves we actually can change.”

Begin by shifting your thinking from, “I will be happy when I achieve my goal” to “Being happy helps me achieve my goal.” And then look for reasons to be happy right now.

Together we can do it!

Photo by federico stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What’s Holding You Back?

One of the benefits of taking on a new challenge is the opportunity to identify and clean-up limiting beliefs and other blocks to your success that absolutely will come up. The quickest way to ferret these blocks out is to pay attention to negative emotions.

When I identified a whiff of discouragement, I knew this was a fabulous opportunity to identify and shift some limiting thoughts, feelings, and beliefs so that they will better support me in achieving my goals, rather than hold me in place.

I am in week two of an 18-week challenge for Transformation Mastery. When I decided to take on this challenge, not only did I set the goal to release 10 pounds of fat and increase my nutrition and fitness level, but I also wanted to let go of lingering fear or limiting beliefs about what I can and cannot do.

My only surprise was that they showed up so quickly!

After a week-and-a-half of eating cleaner than I ever have before, and going after a new high-intensity workout program, I was shocked yesterday when I pulled on my jeans and they were tight. Sure enough, when I stepped on the scale, I was up a pound-and-a-half.

The first thing I did was go into troubleshooting mode and look at what I’ve been eating. What I found was plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and other quality protein, and complex carbohydrates. I had already replaced one cup of coffee a day with a cup of ginger-green tea, and was working on letting go of the second cup so that I would be half-and-half free. Other than adding an apple and a few strawberries here and there, I couldn’t see what the problem was.

So I added up the calories and discovered that I was actually eating between 200 and 300 calories more a day than my goal of 1,800. I wrote out a new plan for the rest of the week that would help me hit my mark and the problem seemingly was solved.

But my Gremlin, that inner critic that likes to tell people they aren’t good enough, took this opportunity to kick in. With this increase in self-criticism, I found myself really struggling with my workout this morning.

The good news is that, as my mentor coach likes to say, your Gremlin shows up when you are about to step into your greatness.

What are the thoughts that were coming up for me that were at the root of this feeling of discouragement?

  • My metabolism is too slow. Maybe my body type just can’t lose weight.
  • What if I get through this and there are no physical changes? I’ve been pretty public about this challenge. Won’t people think I’m a failure?
  • Maybe this is the best my body can look and feel, and I should just accept it.

If left unchecked, these thoughts would lead to actions that would begin to undermine how well I would stick to my eating plan or how much I would challenge myself during workouts. What’s the point of eating clean or pushing yourself if you are only going to fail anyway?

These types of thoughts are normal. We all have doubts, fears, and worries. But the difference between people who achieve their goals and those that don’t is that they learn how to shift their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs to support them.

What are some new thoughts that I can think?

  • My metabolism may be efficient, but everything I am doing can certainly kick it into a higher gear. And I have been fitter, stronger, and leaner in the past, so I absolutely can get there again.
  • If I truly can get through these 18-weeks loving my body enough to consistently feed it high-energy, anabolic foods and move it with intention and intensity, then regardless of any physical changes, I will achieve my goal of being an authentic example of successful weight management, and optimal health and wellness for my clients and everyone I encounter. That’s what matters.
  • If my words and actions are in alignment with my intentions, values, and beliefs and I am allowing myself to be the fullest and most authentic version of me, then it truly doesn’t matter what size I am or what my body looks like.

The emotion these new thoughts generate is confidence and renewed commitment, because for me, this isn’t about being a certain size or body shape, it’s about striving to be the best possible me that I can be.

Are your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs supporting the achievement of your goals, or holding you in place? How can you shift them to better support you? What new feelings does that generate? How does that help you achieve your goals?

Together we can do it!

Photo by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Take Back Control

I wasn’t the best possible version of myself last week. Suffice it to say that my being physically and mentally tired is a prime opportunity for me to take my Gremlin’s trash-talk seriously. By Saturday, my inner-two-year-old was in full control and I literally threw a temper-tantrum. (Sorry about that Honey!)

The good news is I knew it was time to take back control. Not only did I get plenty of rest over the weekend, but I spent a good part of yesterday meditating and reconnecting with my Higher Self.

If I was a computer, it would have been the equivalent of rebooting.

One of the insights I had was that I had slipped into looking outside myself for confirmation of my progress and success.

This is exactly how so many of us get in our own way of creating the life of our dreams.

The only true barometer of success is how you feel.

Positive anabolic emotion is your notice confirming that you are inviting the Universe (God, Source Energy, All-That-Is, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) to work miracles on your behalf.

You only have to look to your body for physical evidence of the power of this energy. Anabolic energy generates positive chemical processes that literally rebuilds cells and generates cell-to-cell communication that facilitates healing and optimal health.

Negative catabolic emotion is your shut-off notice. It’s the message from the Ultimate Power Source that you have cut off service. It’s your declaration that you are going to go it alone.

Catabolic energy generates stress hormones that literally attack and destroy your cells and immune system. Chronic catabolic energy can lead to heart-disease and stroke, and other serious illness.

Most of us are so conditioned to catabolic emotions that we’re not even aware that what we’re focused on is generating negative emotion. If we were—and truly understood what it was doing to our body, minds, and spirit—we would shift our focus pronto. But we’ve gotten used to it. It feels normal. As a result, we’re confused when our bodies start screaming at us to change our focus and we take an aspirin instead.

And it can be easy to fall back into those patterns. I was doing it last week. When my Gremlin started telling me I wasn’t good enough, instead of thanking it for it’s input and sticking to what I know is true, I started focusing on what’s missing from my life and what I was doing “wrong.” I was beating myself up for things that are outside of my control, which made it that much harder to move forward on the things that I can control, and I got caught up in that negative spiral that just feeds on itself.

This is why being focused on your goals is tricky. If you are focused on them with confidence and knowing that your success is already a done-deal, get out of the way! You’re leveraging the power of All-That-Is on your behalf. But most of us focus on our goals and notice that we don’t have them, yet, and that they’re hard to achieve. We spend a lot of time looking for signs that we’re making progress, only to get frustrated and discouraged when they don’t come fast enough.

If you stop and notice how those two perspective’s feel you can detect the anabolic and catabolic energy. Being in catabolic energy doesn’t mean you won’t meet your goals, but it means you’re picking the much harder road, and the journey will take a significant toll on your body, mind, and spirit.

So we can meet our goals and consistently feel good and supported, or we can meet our goals and consistently feel tired and frustrated, and like the Universe is out to get us.

I don’t know about you, but I choose to feel good!

Together we can do it!

Photo by markuso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Give Your Gremlin a New Job Description

I spent the weekend in Atlanta going through some intensive coach training. One of the things I love about these trainings is the personal awareness and growth that I experience. Knowing that, however, inevitably my Gremlin—that inner critic we all have that tells us we’re not good enough—shows up in all its glory.

The purpose of our Gremlin is to keep us playing small as a way to protect us. Often we can actually remember the incident that created the Gremlin. It may have been a time when we experienced great embarrassment, or some other fear or pain. Your subconscious created the Gremlin to keep something like that from ever happening again.

For me, a big part of my Gremlin was created in the second-grade when the teacher wouldn’t give me permission to go to the bathroom and I peed my pants. I later got called up to the front of the room and all the kids laughed at me.

It makes sense that my Gremlin would try to protect me from having that kind of thing happen again. It explains some of the extreme nerves that I have about speaking in public, and why my face and neck can flush bright red when the eyes of an audience look my way.

As we grow and develop, we become capable of handling a similar situation, but if we don’t take our power back from the Gremlin, we may never give ourselves the opportunity. We may never stretch to become the best version of ourselves out of fear of experiencing the worst, and if we do stretch, the pain created by the Gremlin can often make us quit before we reach our goal.

In other words, we can expect to encounter our Gremlin when we are about to step into being Who we are truly meant to be.

When we acknowledge our Gremlin’s presence and understand the reason it was created, we can begin to understand why it’s showing up today. Once we have a solid understanding of the Gremlin—and can truly begin to appreciate that its purpose has been to protect us—we can consciously begin shifting the negative catabolic thoughts and energy that it generates towards positive anabolic thoughts and energy that supports us in meeting our goals.

To do that, give your Gremlin a new job description. Let it know that you can now handle the situation and tell it how it can support you in meeting your goals, rather than holding you back. And then harness that energy to move forward.

To quote Henry Browne, “When you know that you’re capable of dealing with whatever comes, you have the only security the world has to offer.”

By taking your energy back from your Gremlin, you are letting your inner light shine. Letting your light shine at its brightest is a beacon for others to follow, and is Who you are meant to be.

Together we can do it!

Photo by Apple\’s Eyes Studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net