DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU DON’T MEASURE UP?
It’s Not True
I feel like I don’t measure up sometimes. Seriously. Yes, me. Fit, in shape, the guy who pumps out videos each day and writes blogs, Mr. Positive and Mr. Inspiration. The guy who looks like he has it all together. Some of you – and I know this because you tell me – look up to me as a source of information and inspiration. Do you know that sometimes I don’t feel worthy of being that to you?
Yes, it’s irrational thinking. Yes, I know deep down – when I take the time to analyze it – that it’s not true. But still the thinking happens to me sometimes. I bet it happens to many of you as well. If you’re like me, you probably think to yourself, sometimes, “Man, if they only knew how I really felt inside…”
I’m a strength and nutrition coach here in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. I write nutrition programs, weight loss programs, and exercise programs for people both near and far. I’m also a fitness trainer (a personal trainer and strength coach), and help people to get strong, shed fat, and tone up.
I’m capable at what I do. I’m confident that I know what I’m doing, and that I can help people to reach their goals. So why do I sometimes not feel worthy?
Negative Thoughts: Self-Talk Gone Wrong
I don’t know about you, but my brain likes to hijack me sometimes. I’ll be cruising along, minding my own business, when all of a sudden it starts to talk to me, and what it has to say is none too nice. I wouldn’t talk to my friends the way my mind talks to me sometimes. What’s going on?
Sometimes it tells me that I don’t know enough to do the work that I’m doing. But I know that’s not true, because I’ve helped so many people by using my knowledge, experience. I do know enough, if I examine the evidence. But then there’s times my mind tells me that I’m not successful enough. This usually happens when I compare my insides to what I see on the outsides of others, and sometimes I don’t seem to measure up.
You know what I mean: our friends on Facebook. They seem so happy, so successful, with the right job, the house, the cottage, the boat, the motorbike, and the place in Florida. I don’t have all that stuff, so I must not be a success, right?
Don’t Believe Your Brain
Wrong. 100% wrong. We all have a different path. Mine isn’t yours, and yours isn’t mine. I’ve helped many people to a better life, and not just in the area of weight loss. You’re damned right I’m a success: I’m a big success. And so are you. True story…don’t believe me? Well, start by not believing your mind. It’s lying to you, and you can’t trust it. It’s setting you up to fail.
Believe your brain when it’s thinking like this, and you risk making a series of decisions based on lies that your mind is telling you. And the results for sure won’t be good.
Take a look at what you’ve accomplished in life. Do you have people who love you? Who rely on you? Do you have a pet that relies on you? What have you contributed to society, to your company, to your friends, to your family? Anything?
Some of you are going to say no, you haven’t, but that’s because you’re believing your lying mind.
Call me: 647-677-6025. Or text me. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. We’ll have a chat, and I’ll show you how your mind is telling your stories that just aren’t true. I’ll guarantee I can show you what a success you are, and I can do it in less than 5 minutes. Don’t believe me? Take the challenge and call me.
We Need New Thinking to Feel Better
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is the art and science of changing our thoughts in order to change our feelings. Do you feel depressed or anxious? It’s your thinking that’s the problem.
In other blogs in the past I’ve mentioned David Burns’ “10 Days to Self Esteem,” a great book that can get your thinking turned around so you can start feeling better. When you’re able to see things as they really are – and not as your mind is trying to make them out to be – you’re on your way to enlightenment. Really. It’s that simple.
Sometimes, however, CBT (“Cognitive Behaviour Therapy”) isn’t enough. In my next blog this week we’re going to look at a technique for what’s known as “Thought Distraction,” a term used in “Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.” This tool is perhaps the most potent tool I’ve ever come across in rapidly changing negative thinking. Literally in a matter of minutes I can go from feeling miserable to feeling like a million bucks using a technique known as mindfulness. Stay tuned to learn more.
Find the T.R.U.T.H. In Your Thinking
CBT can be boiled down to this:
1. State your negative thoughts
2. Examine them to see where they are distorted/untrue
3. Replace them with more realistic/true thoughts
I’ve created an acrostic that you can memorize if you like to help you when your thinking goes south. Let’s face it, if you’re trying to lose weight, the last thing you need is negative self-talk. You’re going to want to soothe the hurtful emotions that result with something, and food usually fits the bill perfectly. We’ve got to get rid of the crazy thoughts.
I’m writing a book called “Where Winners Lose & Losers Win: PERMANENT Weight Loss Made Simple.” This little acrostic can be found in the chapter titled “Act As If.” Here’s how it works:
1. T – stands for a “Traumatic Event” that happened to us which resulted in negative thinking (it doesn’t have to be a huge trauma, just something that started us saying some not-so-nice things to ourselves). Identify the event, and write it down, describing it in 20 words or less.
2. R – stands for the “Response” in our minds to the traumatic event, the emotions and feelings that come up when we think about what happened. Write down all of your feelings that arise.
3. U – stands for the “Unhelpful Thoughts” that arise as a result of the negative thoughts, feelings and emotions. Write them down: messages like “I’m a loser,” or “I should have known better,” or “Bad things always happen to me.”
4. T – stands for “Twisted Thinking”: we look at the thoughts and ask ourselves if they are really true. For example, you can’t be a loser, because there is no uniform definition for loser. Bad things don’t “always” happen to you, because we can always find examples of good things that happen to you.
5. H – stands for “Helpful Thoughts”: we replace the twisted thoughts with true thoughts that will serve us better.
This general process usually works, if we use it. As a matter of fact, it is shown to be at least as effective as antidepressant medication in helping people overcome depression. Why not give it a try, if you’re struggling with negative self-talk?
I Can Help
My coaching programs include techniques like this, to help you to find a more serene path. I have long realized the need for dealing with negative thinking in the weight loss game: nothing hijacks a program quicker than when our thinking starts to sink. We will turn to the food for comfort if we don’t have the tools in place to overcome the thinking.
A good friend of mine just caved in to a binge today after 5.5 months of clean eating. His words? “My misery is why I binged.” My response? Not using the tools you have to deal with the negative thinking is what caused you to binge.
If you’re struggling with emotional eating, and you don’t have the tools to overcome it, I can help. Call or text at 647-677-6025, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. for a free consultation. I will assess you to determine what the problem is exactly, and make a recommendation as to how to deal with it.
Please, it’s free, and you’ve got nothing to lose…except the weight.