I truly believe that our thinking is the number one thing that we need to work on when it comes to us hitting our goals.
This article series offers 3 Powerful Strategies to use our thinking to our advantage.
In Part 1 of this article series, I talked about how to utilise the power of focus.
In Part 2 of this article series, I talked about how emotions are related to thinking and how to release emotions that are affecting you negatively.
The third strategy is to:
Practice The Art Of Self-compassion
For a lot of people compassion is often easier to put into practice for other people than for themselves.
Think of a time when you’ve dropped what you’ve been doing in order to help a friend in need.
Compassion is why we can find ourselves being upset or moved by other people’s stories – even if they’re not real (like in the movies).
We all know how to be compassionate, however, many of us don’t always use the same compassion we would for a friend on ourselves.
Although some of you will think it's counter-intuitive, I'd like to invite you to think of self-compassion as an extremely valuable tool when it comes to hitting your goals.
Self-compassion is strongly related to mental wellbeing, greater motivation and happiness.
When we give ourselves the gift of self-compassion, research shows that we actually reduce our cortisol levels and raise oxytocin and opiates - the feel good hormones.
When we feel loved and nurtured, we are more likely to want to be our best in the long-term. Often we want to do the things that will make our best friend truly fulfilled. What if we decide to be our own best friend?
As a Personal Trainer, I can't tell you the amount of people I've met who talk about punishing themselves. For example, if they have put on weight, they go on to make things worse by hitting the nearest McDonalds and end up even more frustrated.
Self-compassion is not about doing whatever you feel it. It's making choices that you'll be happy with longer than a few minutes or seconds.
Self-compassion is also not over-indulgent or selfish. The more we are self-compassionate, the more we have space to contribute to others.
For just about every one of us, our greatest fear is that we are not enough and as a result, we won’t be loved. This is human psychology 101; it is hardwired into us at our most fundamental level.
Because love feels essential to our survival, we often do anything and everything we can to get it. Most of us have no idea that this is what we are doing. We don’t realise that the reason we over-ate was to feel loved or show we deserve it.
When we aren't showing ourselves enough self-compassion, we often go seeking love on an unconscious level, with behaviours that often confuse us at a rational level.
We often think thoughts such as "WHY did I have that extra helping at dinner? Now I'm too full!"
"WHY did I have drink so much on the weekend? It's going to take me days to work that off!"
Then we go on an internal beat-up fest and end up feeling even worse because of the guilt and regret.
Instead, we can choose to give ourselves the gift of love and forgiveness, and move on.
YES - learn from our mistakes and disappointments. We don't want to feel those yucky aftermath feelings from making decisions we're not happy with. But... looking backwards all the time does not lead to a better future.
I've worked with thousands of people over the last 13 years and I've not once seen someone who's 'beat themselves into submission' - who's able to sustain that kind of negativity.
When I explain this to my clients, the greatest fear that I'm presented with, is that if they are not hard on themselves, they won't be motivated to make changes.
This is simply a belief.
And it's a limiting one. It's powerful and often stubborn (I know because I've dealt with it myself!), but it's definitely a belief that is worth challenging.
It took me quite a lot of coaching, research and practice to change my thinking on this!
What I learned, is that we cannot maintain fear-based, punishing motivation for long.
The unconscious mind doesn't process negatives - so in order to create lasting, healthy, long-term change, you need to give it something to move towards, not away from.
Doing something because you 'should' is almost always a rule that you've decided to enforce upon yourself from an external expectation, rather a choice based on love and self-compassion.
Intrinsic (internal) motivation comes from who you are.
For example, having the subconscious belief that getting up in the morning to exercise because 'staying in bed is wrong' is not sustainable motivation.
Who is it that gets out of bed to exercise? Link the action of 'following through' to the YOU that you want to be - not to an external set of rules and 'should's'.
People who have nailed a healthy lifestyle long-term have not done this because of a set of external rules. They've created their own identity and they line up their actions accordingly.
There's no intrinsic motivation by HAVING to do something.
Punishment is not lasting when it comes to making healthy choices from a space of self-compassion and honouring yourself.
How about making some decisions from THAT space?
Being true to your vision of the best YOU that you want to be - and letting go of perfection.
You're more likely to do it long-term.
Choosing to be kind to yourself and focus forward is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself.
Want More Like This?
If you'd like to know more about how to use your mind to achieve your health and fitness goals, register now for my upcoming free, live, online training.
MIND BODY FREEDOM Webinar
Wednesday, the 2nd of November, 2016.
The REAL reasons why you struggle to stay on track (it's probably not what you think)
Why your thoughts can STOP or PROPEL you towards your goals
How to tap into your 3 UNIQUE Motivation Drivers
To take back control and feel CONFIDENT in your body
Spaces are limited