By now we all know that our mind plays an important part when it comes to achieving our goals. And I am not only talking fitness here. That applies to all areas of our lives.
More often than not we sabotage our own success by playing scenarios in our heads about what could go wrong, why we are not good enough, or why we will never be able to achieve said goals.
Now, there are two options to deal with these kinds of thoughts. We can a) try to avoid or suppress them at all cost or b) modify them into more positive thoughts.
We all went with option a) at one point of our life and most likely found, that this approach doesn’t work at all. Trying to not think about something is simply impossible for our brain. Let me give you an example. Close your eyes and DON’T (I repeat, DO NOT) think about a pink unicorn!! There you go. You understand what I’m talking about.
So if option a doesn’t work, how do we go about option b?
There are several different ways how we can redirect our thoughts to be more empowering and more positive. One way is the so-called “Wouldn’t it be nice if….? – process” Whenever a thought pops into your head that is discouraging or frustrating, rephrase this thought into a Wouldn’t it be nice if….? question.
Here is how to do it:
Your thought: I will never be able to lose weight!
New question: Wouldn’t it be nice if I was able to lose some weight and feel more confident again?
Your thought: I hate working out!
New question: Wouldn’t it be nice if I found a way to enjoy being more active?
You see how this works? Now try it for yourself. Write down a common thought that you have and that you feel is sabotaging you when it comes to achieving your fitness goals and then rephrase it into a Wouldn’t it be nice if….? questions.
The reason why this exercise is so powerful is, that it doesn’t put a lot of pressure on your current belief systems. We always tend to defend our beliefs. If one of your current beliefs is that you are a couch potato, lazy, or that you hate working out, creating a statement like “I love to exercise!” would cause an immediate response from your brain and thoughts like “Yeah, right! Who am I kidding?!” were the natural response.
But if you simply create a question, there is no thread. You are not pretending to be something you don’t believe you are. You are simply asking yourself “wouldn’t it be nice if…?”.
While this approach doesn’t threaten your current belief systems and your brain doesn’t feel like it needs to defend your beliefs, it still does something awesome for you. It opens new doors, new opportunities.
The more often you ask yourself these questions, the easier it is for your brain to actually accept this as a legitimate possibility. Instead of falling into inactivity, depression, or destructive habits (after all, if I am doomed to be fat anyway, I might as well eat another pizza!), your brain starts searching for ways to bring your question into reality.
Try it for yourself! Be patient, though. This is not something that works overnight. You have to do it over and over again to give your brain time to develop a new way of thinking. But if you keep going you will see that almost magically you will develop new habits and new healthy desires.
Written by: Jen
The Online Personal Trainer for Women