There Is Room For Negative Self-Talk In Fitness

I’ve said things jokingly in the past like all you have to do to start your fitness journey is hate yourself just the right amount.

I thought it was just a intricacy of mine, really, but on an instagram post recently two people got talking and expressed that they felt the same way. One said she used her negative self talk for motivation, hence the title of this post, and the other said she had a fear of doing nothing which really rung my bell.

Our culture convinced us that broadcasting high self-esteem at all times was the path to success and it kept a lot of people down.

Crossfit Games legend Mat Fraser talked (in this interview) talks about how he was coasting in second place behind previous champ Rich Froning and when he later lost to Ben Smith he, on camera, got mad at himself. For being in 2nd. For the vast majority of people the response would have been that it’s a honour just to be there, there’s no shame in 2nd, respect for this and that, blah blah blah, but Fraser said No, I have to do better.

If you have to act like acceptance is the key to happiness then that really screws up the narrative of why you’re getting better in the first place. Why try anything if you’re fine just the way you are?

It gets a little too children’s TV show. People want so badly to feel good they won’t acknowledge that they don’t feel good. I say if you’re never happy anyway – good. Change should get easier and easier the less you like yourself or your situation.

It’s not that you have anything to lose, it’s just your ego telling it might be too embarrassing if you fail, especially if you – like Fraser – acknowledge that you want to do better, you expect yourself to do better. But the question is so embarrassing that what…? You’re unhappy…? Oh no! You’re already unhappy, man.

My personal negative self-talk is always other-focused (as is my straight forward negative talk, zing), my consciousness is a hall of mirrors and I actually made my life a lot better when I started acknowledging that what I thought other people were thinking was just what I was thinking and I was putting someone else’s name on it because I didn’t matter to myself.

My negative self-talk was always telling me that literally no one believed in me. Which is true that vast majority of the time by the way, literally no one believes in you and even your closest friends kiiiiinda want you to fail to prove them right and boost their egos. Anyway I’ve chosen to work with that talk (because denying it just pushes it to the side where it waits happily because it knows it’s going to be proven right) and say that yeah no one believes in me, no one likes me or thinks I’m special, and I can prove them right or I can prove them wrong. Because if I do nothing then they were right and how can I fault them for that?

I feel like the English language lacks terms for discussing the pluralistic nature of self perception without sounding crazy.

Take-away: When your ego says you’re phoney, you’re a piece of shit don’t try to prevent that thought – you can’t prevent thoughts – just say well, I am if I do nothing and then don’t do nothing.

Remember: Leave No Doubt.

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