things i have gotten really good at lately
1. Saying no to things I do not want to do and that are not going to make me happy.
2. Deep down, not caring what people think.
3. Not putting myself down when I talk.
4. Being very careful about the words I put after "I AM ___".
Number 1 Saying no to things I do not want to do and that are not going to make me happy.
I wrote about this a couple weeks ago in response to a reader's question about how I handle social events, while staying so committed to training and nutrition, and an overall healthy lifestyle. It does take practice, and it takes a lot of self-confidence too. Self-confidence may actually be at the root of the whole challenge some people have with saying no. Think about it. Are you worried about what other people will say or think about you because you aren't doing what they wanted or expected you to do? Are you afraid you are going to miss out on something? Lose friends? It all boils down to self-confidence, or a lack thereof. If you are truly confident in yourself, your life, and you have an honest understanding of what you hold so close to your heart, you will find that saying no becomes a whole lots easier.
Number 2 Deep down, not caring what people think.
It took me a long time to get to the point I am at now, and it certainly goes back to self-confidence as well. I was raised to pretty much only care about what other people think and how I portray myself to the outside world. I've realized that this mindset had a pretty negative impact on my life and how I felt about myself. Thankfully, over the past few years, I have worked really hard to change my mindset, grow my confidence, and surround myself with people who want me to be ME! The other day, I was having a conversation with a friend I do not see much. It was a pretty personal topic and I always find it so interesting when someone thinks that they can have any input or opinion on it at all, but this person said, "People are going to think you are a weirdo". I immediately said out loud, "I do not care what anyone thinks, at all". It felt so good to say that, and for the first time it felt like I truly, TRULY meant it.
Number 3 Not putting myself down, complaining, or making excuses for myself when I talk about myself.
I have become very aware of how I speak about myself, to myself and to other people. Here are some examples of what I mean...
- Talking about my training. I consciously stop myself from thinking, saying, or writing things like: "That was so hard", "I was so tired" "I didn't think I would make it because ____", "I can't believe I did it because _____", and instead I have just become much more matter-of-fact about training in general, with a positive spin. Of course there are times when I joke around and say that I am dying and whatnot- but the real reflections have become much more matter-of-fact.
- Taking compliments.You guys know how it goes... someone might say, "I love your hair like that", and you might respond with, "Really? I didn't even wash it today". No, stop, and take the compliment- why are you immediately making yourself look and feel small here? I have been practicing just saying "Thank you", and let me tell you, it makes the compliment feel real!
- When someone else complains or says something negative about themselves, do you find yourself saying something like, "Oh my god, me too?" or "I know, I am so bad at that", even though you don't truly mean it?? We do this to make the other person feel better, and they are saying it to you so that you will make them feel better! It is a stupid cycle and no way to have a conversation. I've said for a long time now, "complaining is not conversation", and it's something I notice others doing all the time and consciously have trained myself to not do. Except lately with the weather.... and the school year dragging on lol (but those are real complaints by me not ABOUT ME, but still please only respond to me about them if you truly share the same feelings!!! Get it???)
Number 4 Being very careful about the words I put after "I AM ___".
My yoga instructor used to talk about this a lot. Whatever words you put after "I am" will come looking for you. I literally think about this all the time and I am super aware of it. So, if you wake up and say, "I am tired", guess what? That was a declaration that you are tired and now you are free to look and feel and act and be tired. Is that what you WANT? What if instead you said something like "I am ready" or simply "I am awake". How does that change things? You are free to feel tired, but by changing the words you speak of yourself, you do change yourself, your mindset, and your life. Here are some of my favorite declarations to make:
- I am powerful.
- I am prepared.
- I am strong.
- I am important.
What about you guys? What are your favorite words to put after "I am ____"? Do you find yourself doing any of the things I wrote about, or are you working on any of them yourselves? I would love to hear about it!