Change Starts in the Brain: 6 Tips to Avoid Mental Sabotage
You can’t expect to change your body without, first, changing your mind.
Our mind gets in our way of our success far more than it ever should. We talk trash to ourselves, beat ourselves up and constantly say negative things to ourselves all the time. It doesn’t matter how talented we are, what our IQ is, how big our muscles are, how much money we have, or how popular we may be, we WILL find all of our weakest points and be sure to remind ourselves of those weak spots every single day.
Lose the Tude
Negativity first starts with a poor attitude, and our attitude is determined by your thoughts. The problem is, we don’t actively try to control our thoughts. We just let them run rampant, and let our mind think about anything it wants to think about. Have you ever thought about putting your mind on a leash? Seriously people! We need to do more than just try to control our body, we need to actively and aggressively work DAILY to control our mind.
Transforming your mind takes work, just like transforming your body. We work SO hard to force our bodies to workout and control our weight. We work SO hard to do everything that is necessary to prepare healthy food and watch what we eat so we can shed unwanted fat. Yet, we do very little (sometimes nothing) to control our mind, transform our thoughts, shed negative thinking, and gain a positive constructive mindset. How can we expect our body to be transformed if we don’t first transform our mind?
Go Against the Flow
Our thoughts are affected by what goes on around us – advertisements, flashy cars, money, bills, work, grumpy people, cars that cut us off in traffic, gossipers, news, politics, etc. It’s like they are screaming “buy this, do that, go there”, and it’s very easy to let life push us around and get us off course. Key word: LET.
Don’t let your mind go with the unhealthy flow. As award winning author and preacher, Joyce Meyer, says “where the mind goes, man follows“. This means if you want to run a 5K, your mind has to run a 5K first. And, if you want to have an affair, your mind will have an affair first. We have to learn to take control of our mind no matter what is going on around us.
If you don’t think you can control your mind, think again. Scripture says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind“. God knows the how powerful our mind is and just the fact scripture tells us to do it means it is possible. You can’t expect your body to do great things when your mind is in the dump. Also, notice it didn’t say “renew your mind” it say “renewing”, meaning continually renew – everyday you start fresh.
We don’t have to let this world control us, and mold us into what it wants us to be. We CAN transform and renew our mind just like you hope to constantly transform and renew your body.
Six Mind Fixes
1. Have a yes mind. Get in the habit of using words like “I will” and “I can”. We often say “I think I can”, “I want to”, “I hope I can”, and even “I can’t” way too often. These are the same words we use when we don’t want to commit to going to an event or doing something. These wishy-washy words give us an out – and in fitness, we don’t need to give ourselves an out. These words say “No” before we even say “No”. Learn to have a yes mind.
2. Forget the past. The past does NOT have to affect our future unless we let it. If you’ve failed before, forget it. That was a different time, a different set of circumstances, a different you. Don’t let your past failures sneak their way into the present.
3. Shield your thoughts. We can’t always avoid negative people and the stresses of life, but we sure as heck can avoid many other downers to help protect our thoughts. You can have much better control of your mind if you are purposefully surrounding yourself with positive like-minded people and avoiding people that bring you down. There are also certain places you need to avoid. Whether you avoid a restaurant or bar, or watching depressing stressful news – you can control where you spend your time, and what you watch or listen to, to help reduce stress and negative thoughts.
4. Stop thinking about useless crap. How often do we not only think about negative stuff, but we actually dwell on it. We ponder, we dig, we obsess – all about stuff we have no control over. We think about who did us wrong, past failures, bills we can’t pay, people who let us down, etc. Those are all things that we have absolutely no control over. We have to get in the habit of shutting those thoughts out. As soon as they come to mind, we HAVE to say “STOP! NO MORE!” We have the power to shift gears and to change our thoughts to stuff we can actually control.
5. Fill up on good stuff. There can’t be a lot of room for negative thoughts if you are constantly filling your mind up with positive ones. Actively seek fitness mantras (like the ones I post), listen to music that is uplifting, and make sure you have at least one person or source (spouse, friend, Bible, preacher, relative, devotion) who can give you a daily dose of positive words every day.
6. Stick to the facts. Facts don’t lie. People lie. People doubt, they fear, they struggle. However, if you focus on the fact that working out WILL pay off, dieting WILL pay off, and fitness DOES work, (whether you doubt it, fear it won’t or struggle through it) you’ll make it all the way to your goal.