What do the following phrases have in common?
“I could never do that”,
“I’m just not that type of person”,
“I wish I could do that”.
These are all very common phrases that I hear people say when referring to goals that are perceived of as being unachievable or too difficult, in particular to do with their health and fitness. These are also highly disempowering statements. All three contain an underlying assumption that these are stable characteristics of the person which are being voiced, therefore removing any potential for even starting to consider change.
It is important to remember that whenever you say something out loud, you are “putting it out there” into the world. It is no longer just something that exists in your head, but in a way takes on a form that is much more real, and much more dangerous for your mindset. Hear something often enough, and you will start to believe it as the truth – this is only further amplified if you are the one saying it in the first place.
There is a lot of very interesting research being done at the moment on change, which I am delving into, so you can expect to read lots more about this. In the meantime I would like you to set yourself a small challenge:
Whenever you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself in this way that implies an inability to change, try to rephrase it. Reword the sentence so that it becomes a description about where you are right now, and where possible, add something that implies a willingness to change rather than helplessness. For example, the sentences above could be rephrased to:
“I am not able to something like that on board at the moment”,
“That is really not my head-space right now”,
“I would love to learn more about what it takes to do that”.
Have a think about how these changes open the doors for possibility instead of accepting the current state of affairs as being an unchanging reality that must be accepted.