Have you ever heard the phrase ‘being true to yourself’ and wondered what the hell it means? I have. In fact if someone had said that to me a few years ago when I was going through a tough time I would have just laughed it off as a silly passing comment.
In fact being true to oneself is a simple process of aligning the different centres of our body; our thoughts, our emotions and our instincts.
Our life is shaped by our thoughts, our thoughts are influenced by our surroundings; the internet says that we have about 68000 thoughts per day, that seems like a lot right? Possibly quite accurate though. If that is the case then how does that affect what we do each day? More importantly, how does this shape us as human beings?
Imagine that this picture below is you. Each of the circles influence each other.
Our thoughts will influence our emotion, our emotion is also influenced by our instinct. With the amount of exposure to social media, advertising and the new quick sharing video formats as well as all the other pressures of our modern world, we are exposing our minds to a lot of distraction. In fact research shows that a large percentage of our thoughts each day can be quite negative.
If you have followed this blog for a while you’ll know that I am a strong believer in empowering ourselves to make healthy choices. Choosing means that we are in control of out thoughts, we are less distracted and focused on positive influence.
Using the same image from above I’d like to simulate two thought scenarios and their possible outcome.
On the right you have a positive thought process regarding exercise, inside the red circle is the thought; the amber circle is the emotion attached, an excitable change! Our instinct says the thought is a good one and because it compliments the emotion the thought process is verified as positive.
On the left you have a negative thought process regarding exercise, a negative thought about becoming fitter creates a negative emotion, the instinct realises the challenge but because the emotion is negative and the thought is negative you create another negative, bad nervous, or being scared. Instinct can be overpowered if we are not careful.
It is safe to say that some of us will go through each of those processes every day, we will be confident about certain things and negative about certain things. The trick is to understand when we have a negative thought process and challenge that process in terms of your dream or goal.
For someone new to exercise (or someone getting back into it) failing at becoming fitter is not possible because being fitter is being able to do more than you have previously done.
What I do each day in my job is turn people’s thoughts into the right hand column of the picture. I get them to disengage with the left hand column. In other words I get people to learn HOW to think, not WHAT to think. If you know HOW to challenge your negative thoughts and manoeuvre your way to a positive result then you’ll ultimately be on the path to your goal or your dream.
For example: THOUGHT - “I haven’t trained in a while, I feel fat.” EMOTION = Unhappy. INSTINCT will recognise the challenge and you should rise to it by doing exercise. Where a lot of people fail is when they let the immediate negative thought spiral into more negative thoughts, (I know I certainly did when I was big) the negative thoughts take hold of the EMOTIONS, those emotions then overpower the INSTINCT and you are left fighting a battle in your own mind.
This can lead to anxiety, stress and sadness. What is the number one best thing to fix being sad? Target the pleasure centres of the brain! How do most people do that? They get their hands on some 'feel good' foods, drinks or even alcohol and other drugs. (I know first hand what negative thoughts can do.)
What is my point for this fine Monday morning? Well, my point is that you really need to challenge yourself each day to think more positive thoughts! I can’t think for you and just because I write this blog each week doesn’t mean that I am the most awesome, positive thinker in the world. I had to teach myself to be positive and the only way I could do that was to take some time and ask myself a question within my thought process...
Does this situation, thought or action align with my goal in life or the things I am striving for? If yes then that is positive, if no then chances are I am allowing a poor choice into my life.
I.E. I want to eat a cheeseburger! Does it fall into line with my ultimate goal of being fitter? Probably not, therefore what can I do about it? Is there a healthier option? Could I eat a watermelon?
This week do yourself a favour, be focused on being true to YOURSELF! Choose to ask yourself honest questions and give yourself honest answers...
"Is this thought, action or situation contributing positively or negatively to my life?” If positive then GREAT! If negative then what can you do to change your direction towards your goal?
If you are unsure about goal setting and would like some help then I encourage you to contact me below and I can guide you through a few steps.
I hope that this post has been helpful and I trust that you will draw from it what you need for your life at the moment. Results and positive thinking don't just happen over night, it is a process, a habit and one that we are all more than capable of forming.
Have a great week ahead!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Get Updates, Fitness Tips and More! Subscribe to the Raw Motion Fitness Blog!
Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.