Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
Do you ever get stuck in old “failure” messages or let negative thoughts get you down? Your thoughts have a powerful ability to affect your behaviors as well as your outcome.
If old thoughts and beliefs keep getting in the way of your progress, take a look at your vocabulary. By altering a few old messages, you can increase your ability to achieve success instead of failure.
“Choose to” not “have to”
Think about how you respond when you say “I have to lose weight” or “I have to exercise.” Most of us don’t like being told we “have to” do anything.
In fact, that little phrase often makes you rebel and do the opposite. “I have to lose weight, but I don’t feel like it, so I’m going to eat a candy bar.”
In reality, you don’t HAVE to do anything. Suppose you say, “I have to clean my house.” But in reality, some people don’t. They simply leave their houses dirty.
Or you argue, “I have to go to work.” No you don’t. Some people live very simply or even declare bankruptcy rather than work at a job.
While it’s true you don’t “have to” do much of anything, you “choose” to do lots of things because you prefer the results. You consistently go to work because you like getting a paycheck. You lose weight because you want improved health and better self-esteem.
Now the phrase “I have to lose weight,” becomes “I choose to lose weight.” You make this choice because you want the outcome of feeling better physically or fitting into the clothes hanging in your closet.
If you say “I have to exercise” you want to avoid it even more. So change this into “I choose to walk today. I want to build my fitness level and improve my energy.”
Saying “I choose to” takes away the parental language that makes you feel oppressed or rebellious. It also puts you in charge of your own behavior, giving you more incentive to follow through with your plan.
Any time you feel compelled to do something, remember that you choose your actions. Practice this until you feel comfortable with it. For one entire day, refer to everything you do as a choice.
Say “I choose to get up early for my meeting” or “I choose to sit here at my desk and type this report.” Notice the sense of empowerment you get from “choosing” to do activities compared to thinking you “have” to do them.
Bob decided he was ready to start an exercise program.
First he installed a lot of expensive equipment in a special carpeted area of his basement. Then he planned the ultimate workout, one that would ultimately give him the toned body of a Greek god. Read More »
In the last post, I talked about how we set up rigid expectations around other people.
You also might be using a tight expectation square around your own behavior. Read More »
Are you an “all or nothing” person?
Even if you don’t think it’s affecting you, perfectionism can block you from reaching your goals. Read More »
I’ve been talking about all the ways our relationships can get in the way of managing your weight.