Hey Uncommon! As most of you know, I recently attended a BirthFit seminar and it was an incredible experience. One of my favorite parts of the seminar was the heavy emphasis on mindset. The more I read and learn about mindset, the more it excites me because it is an area with unlimited potential for improvement.
One of the battles we all face is self-doubt. I don’t know what it is about human nature, but almost everyone I’ve ever met is WAY more positive and WAY more encouraging to other people than themselves. That is not necessarily a bad thing. I think it’s perfectly healthy if you tend to compliment someone else before yourself. But the disparity between how positive some of us are towards others and how negative we are towards ourselves is often drastic. It’s not like we are all positive and encouraging to others and neutral towards ourselves. For some reason, self-deprecation is normal. It’s expected. Do we actually believe all the negative things we say and think about ourselves? Maybe not. But repeatedly saying and thinking those things makes it normal. Those thoughts become part of you. They become such a part of us that we don’t see anything wrong with them. And that is the problem.
We might think that it is normal but it is truly affecting our happiness in a negative way. If you could make yourself a happier person with something as simple as changing the conversations you have in person and in your head, wouldn’t you do it? Well here is a great way to start.
I STRONGLY encourage you all reading this to participate along with this exercise. Worst case, you’ll waste a few minutes of your time. Best case, you’ll bring some awareness to your thoughts and maybe change your life for the better.
Start by stating a belief that you have where you feel like you are battling with reality. What is the belief or substance of this argument? WRITE. IT. DOWN.
This could be anything. I suck at CrossFit. I’m not good at my job. I’m a failure as a parent. I’m not fit to be a parent. My kids don’t love me. I’m not a good coach. I’m not a good husband/wife. I’m not attractive. People don’t enjoy my company. I’m not worthy of being loved or praised. Whatever you choose, make it some negative thought that you tell yourself or others regularly. Maybe you share it openly. Maybe you have never told anyone. But write it down!
Next, answer the following four questions about this belief or argument. Be as honest as you possibly can be. You’re only doing yourself a disservice if you’re not. I will fill in answers as an example.
Belief: I am not a good coach.
1) Is the belief or statement true? Can you absolutely know it is true?
– This one is actually very easy to answer. Your initial instinct will probably be to answer “yes”. But if you look at the second question and take it literally you will probably find that your answer is “no”. Especially if this is a thought with which you have lived for a long time, you probably really do think it is true. But do you ABSOLUTELY know it is true? With 100% certainty? Do you have indisputable evidence that it is true? So in my example, my initial thought is “Yes, I already had the thought many times. I am not a good coach. Therefore, I am not a good coach.” Do I have evidence of this? Yes! I have screwed up soooooooo many times. But you know what? I also have evidence to the contrary. A good number of people have told me that I do a great job. So I suppose I can’t say with 100% certainty that I’m not a good coach. So my answer for this is “No.”
2) Is there a peaceful reason to keep this belief?
– I’d answer “Yes”. If I keep thinking I’m not a good coach then it will keep me motivated to work hard, learn more, and become a better coach.
3) Who would I be and how would I live without this belief?
– I’d say that I would feel a lot more confident about myself as a coach. Maybe members would respond to what I say better because I’m saying it with more confidence? My example is incredibly tame compared to what some people deal with on a daily basis. Imagine those folks whose anxieties cripple them. Their beliefs about themselves make them constantly unhappy with themselves. They’re so convinced that they are unattractive, unloved, and unworthy that they miss out on many great things in life. Imagine the things they could accomplish without those thoughts holding them back!! That is what you must do on this question. Imagine all the times you talked down about or to yourself. Did anything good actually ever come of that? What if you didn’t have those beliefs?
4) Turn it around. If the belief is about yourself, can the opposite belief be true as well? Describe it.
-This one is where poop gets real. So here’s my answer for this one. Yes, it’s possible that I’m a good coach. Pete and Crystal have told me that I’m doing a good job. My wife tells me I do a good job. Members frequently tell me that they like me and my classes. You get the idea. Again, this example is pretty mild. Imagine taking something reeeeeeally serious and turning it around on yourself. Something that you’ve held onto for years, even since you were a child. What if you are actually a good parent? What if you are actually doing your best at work/home/the gym? What if you actually are attractive/funny/enjoyable to be around? What if you actually ARE WORTHY OF LOVE? Think about how life-changing it could be to take something like that and flip it around. Holy smokin’ biscuits.
I understand that this kind of change doesn’t happen overnight. But nobody went from being weak to getting their first pull-up in a day. Just like in CrossFit, if you want to see results it takes consistent effort. So next time you have any of those familiar negative thoughts pop up, don’t just let it happen and move on. Consciously think about it. Use these questions. Flip it around and start a different conversation. I think we would all be much happier people if we did that. Seacrest, out.