I had the worst five alarm hormonal fire mind battle today, and I heard sirens in the distance; it was a roller coaster of crappy food cravings, no energy or focus to workout, random bouts of tears, and short-of-breath moments.
We women particularly struggle with this mind battle and let it halt our progress when we’re trying to take care of ourselves or our own health and body goals. For me today, my “I can’t” mental battle was about the “overwhelm” of all there is to do in growing a business to serve others, but the truth is, no human brain is completely immune to its amazing ability to zero-in on the negative. It’s pre-programmed for negativity excellence.
I was blessed to have parents who drilled the “you CAN” into my mind and repeatedly gave my opportunities to get out of my comfort zone, so I was able to flex that habit a lot over my lifetime and somewhat uncommonly as a child, but I still struggle some days.
Starting a business is without a doubt the hardest thing we’ve ever taken on in our lives. It’s one of those things… like childbirth.
Everyone avoids talking about the intensity or sacrifice or incredible investment of yourself or pain you’ll go through in the “birthing” process, because they know if you know, you may never have the courage to do it.
The same mental process happens when we decide to reach a long-term goal with our health and body with daily commitment over long periods of time. Our minds often get us off track!
Our conscious plays this vicious game with us when it comes to our bodies, or any goal we decide to consider that is going to take a CRAZY BOATLOAD of energy, patience, consistent effort daily, learning, and our courage and faith, over a long period of time.
This is how I feel most days starting a business to help others… learning things I’ve never had to know or do because it’s so important to us to help others get in a great relationship with their bodies… and this is EXACTLY what I imagine you feel like some days, too, working on your healing or weight loss goals, or even if you’re an athlete investing endless days for a long term competitive goal.
It feels a bit like walking through a jungle in the dark, chopping vigorously with a machete at the brush to force our way through, having no idea what we’re doing, learning as we go, stumbling and falling, feeling alone, wanting desperately for someone to pick us up and throw us over their back and carry us the rest of the way – these are not easy places to venture. I think that about sums it up, right? Welcome to the visual of body transformation and business ownership!
And it is, without a doubt, going to happen when we feel weak, when we’re tired, when we just don’t think we can go on anymore – the mind sees its prey and jumps in to bear down on us at just the right time. It’s this incredible wrestling match with our conscious that sucks all our energy and positivity! It’s a right hook with the “I can’t”, a left with the “the mountain top looks so high, I’ll never get there”, and a knockout upper-cut with the “look around you – you’re so far behind everyone else, why waste your time? It’s impossible – you’ve never done this before, what makes you think you have it in you to do it now, huh?”
Well, the #1 thing to do when this happens is just THAT — recognize that it’s happening!
Too often we fail to step back and see this taking place, and we let it paralyze us in energy-sucking fear and doubt.
Recognize that YOU are fully in control of your brain and what you allow in it, where you allow it go, and when it misbehaves or acts up like a bad-behaving child, give it a kiddy corner time-out for 10 minutes. “SIMMER DOWN, negative mind! I run the show here.”
Whatever it takes, refocus your mind for just that space of time, walk away from what you’re doing, go outside and get some air, look at the sun, see the beauty in your environment, play with your dogs and feel laughter for a minute, meditate, pray, or find some positive affirmations and repeat them to yourself quietly over and over. Whatever it takes – just break the cycle!
#2: Move into Gratitude Mode!
Pick just 3 things right now in this moment that you have to be grateful for; it doesn’t matter what. EVERYONE has 3 things to be grateful for, and if you can’t figure them out, then that’s another article.
The next move is a keeper…
#3: Get a Second Opinion.
We’re all HUMAN — none of us are built to take on new and big goals alone. We need support, we need sounding boards, mentors… there are days we need encouragement, and even mental head kicks!
When you’re struggling getting your mind back on the positive track, reach out to a friend, a family member, a co-worker… just share with them openly your worries, fears, concerns, whatever your mind’s battle. Ask them to listen openly, and then offer their own perception of what you’re sharing. Often you’ll realize how someone else sees you and your progress is entirely different than what your negative mind perceives it as. In fact, you’ll often hear how the efforts you’ve been putting forth for your goals are inspiring others around you in ways you never even knew.
Better yet, get your second opinions team in place before your journey, ready for the pre-emptive strikes when you need ‘em, because YOU WILL.
#4: Try a Positive Psychology Coaching Mindset Technique: “Decisional Balance”
Ask yourself, “What are the worst possible outcomes and then the best possible outcomes if I give up on trying and I stay where I am today and do nothing more?” Now ask yourself, “What are the worst possible outcomes and the best possible outcomes if I KEEP GOING?” Write them down in a list and read them aloud to yourself. How do you feel now? Helps put it in perspective.
#5: Don’t Under-Estimate the Physical!
The quality and schedule of your sleep cycles and your food input tremendously effect your brain’s hormonal balance. If you start messing with them, or put garbage in the machine, you will disrupt the brain hormonal chemistry that controls emotions. Get back on track by making a solid deposit in the body bank of good, scheduled, undisturbed rest and quality nutrient-dense foods to hit your emotional refresh button from the TOP down — go for the CONTROL CENTER (a.k.a. the noggin).
Last but not least…
#6: Look Backwards at How Far You’ve Come.
If you’ve been working for a bit of time at your goal, write a list of all the things you’ve already learned that you didn’t know before you started, and positive changes you have already made.
Would you have experienced those if you gave into negativity or fear in the past? UM, NO!
So remove your mind from the pity train of fear and negativity, flip the switch on how you see it, and now the big, hairy, scary monster of a goal “too big” to achieve, really isn’t that big at all. Choose to build on that momentum.
Don’t let that negative self-talk strangle your inner power and keep your progress at bay or get you off track!
All it takes is a little mental regrouping to get back on the positive mental train, so DON’T GIVE UP!
If you have questions or just want to share your thoughts or additional suggestions to winning the mind battle that have worked for you when working at a health or body goal over a long period of time that may help others, please post your comments below.
Author: Heather Dubé, INHC, AADP, ACSM CWC, NASM CPT, NC Cand. & BA Psychology, is a Functional Nutritionist, Mind-body Psychology Practitioner, US National-Level Natural NPC Figure Bodybuilding Competitor & Contributing Expert Magazine Writer with 24 years experience, and Co-Founder of the e3 Energy Evolved™ System.
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