I HEAR VOICES! (why doesn’t this surprise me…)
Okay, we’ll call it “self-talk” because that’s what super smart Phds and psychotherapists call it. It’s the inner critic that lives in your head. Some call it “the committee” and they rarely pipe (shut up?) down, or come to some kind of consensus at any one time.
Mobile technology, the internet, or your phone at the gym (or just in life?) doesn’t make it any easier either. There’s always another selfie to take, tweet to tweet, something to look at, “like” or share.
With NO ONE relevant in the present.
Some stuff my voices say to me: (examples of self-talk?)
“Dude. You are SO awesome right now.”
“I like him. I like her. What a dirtbag. She’s a total….2.”
“Oh my god, how did you get more awesome, in like 12 seconds?!”
“That guy/girl over there is hot.”
“I want new shorts. No shoes! Yes, I need some shoes.”
“I gotta pack for my trip,” and then all the “What do I bring, how to plan” shit associated with it.
“Hold up, someone’s totally wrong on Facebook right now.”
“Crap, only the entire fuckin’ workout left to go…”
“Sometimes, I don’t know why I’m here.”
“Ugh, I’m not doing that. It was hard last time.”
“I suck at this shit. I’m not getting any better, stronger, faster, skinnier, better. Or better.”
“This blows. I should go home.”
“I should go to that site for some inspiration or motivation right now. Yep, I’ll do that”
I’ve had one, more, or all of those conversations in my head. Here’s what I and most of you have had too. We’ve all had coaches in a sport, or instructors in a class, instrument or “thing” we’ve wanted to learn. We’ve had some not so good ones, and we’ve had our favorite, memorable ones. Remember them those favorite teachers and what they said, and how they treated you. Single them out...that’s the only voice you should listen to. It’s that coach.
Guess what. You showed up. You made it to the gym, and you’re here. Great job getting here. I mean it. If you had a coach or trainer, they’d tell you too. Me? I’d shake your hand, pat your back, or I’d give you a high five, smile and go, “Let’s get to work.”
So for the next hour, two hours or even twenty minutes, listen to that voice. The coach’s voice. If you had one when you were little, they never said any of that negative, unnecessary shit up there. If you messed up, I’m pretty sure they didn’t reinforce your “suckiness” and blast you for it. I’m also pretty sure they didn’t remind you about your trip, or other random stuff in your life.
So, for the next span of a workout, even if you’re on your own, find and only listen to your inner coach. They sound a lot like your favorite one.
What would they say if you couldn’t get that last lap, weight, or exercise?
Would they push you to really try with your best effort?
Would they push you beyond your limits?
Would they know them?
Would they work with you to solve the problem?
What would would they say if you gave your best and STILL couldn’t do it?
Would they say you suck, to give up and not try it ever again?
Would they understand your struggle, say “It’s okay, let’s re-think our approach?”
Would they tell you “Good job, that’s called TRYING,” and “look how far you’ve come!”
Would you know they were proud of you in a shitty moment?
What about a great moment?
What about this, would they say this?
“Good work today. See you next time.”
NOTES -- i like these.. you should elaborate.
Your trainer/coach is that “other” voice.
Whether they’re positive or negative, hypercritical or reinforcing, do you actually turn and look at the voices in your head when they talk to you? Can you even!?
How many times have your parents or teachers said, “Look at me when I’m talking to you!” That’s the thing, you don’t. There are some things so engrained engraved in us, that we do them out of habit. In certain cases though, you have to break from those traditional, accepted or historically long deep habits.
Go back to them after training