Anyone else have to confront your own self sabotage today??
Today was day 3 of my new training and I fully admit a few times before I headed out for the gym I went through my list of excuses for why I could probably just skip today. This happens often. All of the time, actually.
→Confession time: even people who absolutely love and adore working out struggle to get their workouts in sometimes. I love working out a LOT. I love that it increases my energy and decreases my anxiety and depression. I love that it's therapeutic and I love that it makes my body strong. But sometimes, I. Don't. Want. To. Do. It. I go through what I call "the list". It sounds like this: "I really could just skip and do it tomorrow." "The floors really need mopped." "I could just sit and relax." "I could get started doing that thing I've been meaning to do that I don't even really need to do." "It's cold." "I don't even know what exercise I will do." "I was up late last night." "I'll get back to it next week." Allllllll the excuses and none of them justifiable.
Now there's a difference. Knowing your body truly needs rest, illness, school/work, sick children, a family emergency, etc. Sometimes there are obstacles in life and fitness has to take a back seat, justifiably so! This summer I had an all day chemistry class and though I was able to keep lifting, cardio had to take a back seat. My grades came first. A few weeks ago Ben was sick and he needed me. A workout was the LAST thing on my mind, understandably.
That is different. That is not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about are the excuses that you spend a few minutes trying really hard to justify and you've used them frequently. The ones that aren't legitimate, but somehow always win. That is the self sabotage I am referring to.
The kind of self sabotage that is holding you back from reaching the goals you set for yourself.
Your mind is incredibly powerful. You can talk yourself out of something you SO BADLY wanted to do an hour ago and not even think twice about doing it!
Overcoming and outsmarting your incredibly powerful mind is hard, but it IS possible. It may take some work, but first you have to accept that sometimes you have to do things you don't want to. Isn't being an adult fun? I thought once I became an adult I could do whatever I want. And for the most part, I can! But now it's not my parents telling me what to do, it's my conscious. I know I want good health and good energy so I can have an active body and be around for my kids as long as possible (so I can tell them what to do). And I know in order to have those things, I must eat well and exercise regularly.
There are going to be workouts you don't want to do. Accept that. Also accept that sometimes you have to lace up your tennis shoes and just show up.
A little trick I like to use is the "show up" trick (very inventive and creative name, I know). It goes like this - "okay. I don't want to run today. But I'm going to at least show up. I'll just walk. And if I am miserable after 5 minutes I will go home." Or "I don't feel like lifting at ALL today for no good reason other than I just don't feel like it. But if I can just get to the gym and do one exercise, just ONE, then I can leave after that."
Nine times out of ten I end up getting my run in or getting through my entire lifting program. Just showing up is pretty powerful. Often times, getting there is the hard part. Once you're there, you may surprise yourself that the workout you "just showed up for" is one where you find out just how strong you really are.
Being aware of your self-sabotage is key. Know that self-sabotage is going to happen. Recognize it for what it is. Stare it right in the face. Then tell it "nope". You're in control. You've got this. You just gotta show up.
So how can we overcome our own self-sabotage?
- Recognize your self-destructive behaviors. As with most things, we must do a little self-analyzing. This IS NOT EASY! We don't like to admit our flaws, it hurts our ego a little, but it is absolutely necessary to move past our current habits and into the new, healthy habits we want to form. What do your excuses look like? Do you hit the snooze button too many times? Do you depend too heavily on others for accountability? Maybe you convince yourself you're too tired or too busy. Whatever it may be, recognize it for what it is - a destructive thought or behavior that is holding you back from reaching the things you want to accomplish.
- Now write them down! Do not take this step for granted. Putting your sabotaging behaviors on paper makes it real and it helps keep you accountable. Keep this list visible, in plain sight, wherever you can see it and easily access it.
- Refer to the list when you see those old behaviors creeping in. Truly ask yourself: is this a legitimate reason to not show up for the goals I set or am I reverting back to sabotaging behaviors? If you took spent good time on 1 & 2, you will know quickly where you fall.
- Just show up! Maybe you aren't in the mood to run three miles today, just show up for one mile. Maybe that's all you'll do or maybe you'll run for four. What's important is that you overcame your self-destructive thoughts and behaviors and you started the beautiful process of building a new habit: overcoming your own self-sabotage.
Stay strong. You've got this.