The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Our minds are powerful things. They can help empower us to be brave and do things we never thought possible or they can hold us back and keep us from realizing our potential.

A lot of this has to do with the stories we tell ourselves. Unfortunately, some stories can be negative. Things like:

“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not athletic.”
“I wasn’t born rich, so I’ll never have enough money.”
“He/she must have good genetics, but I don’t.”
“Everybody in my family has (diabetes/heart disease, etc), so I will too.”

These are beliefs that we can take for granted as being true, but ultimately they’re limiting beliefs. These are stories that detrimental to our progress and keep us from even trying.

If you find yourself thinking these things, there are a few things to realize:

  1. When it comes to fitness, we’re not getting paid to workout, so who cares who finishes first or last. Figure out your personal reasons for working out and focus on those.
  2. You don’t have to PR everyday. Once you’re out of the beginner stage of fitness, it’s normal to plateau and have sporadic PRs.
  3. For fitness and pretty much anything else (work, life, etc) much of what we see on social media is curated and only shows what people want you to see. It’s not saying it’s all fake, but just like pictures that you want printed, you’re generally going to pick the good ones to show.
  4. You’re harder on yourself than anyone else. I bet you say things to yourself that you never would to a friend.

Most of us can use better stories to tell ourselves. If you need to tell yourself new stories, try these:

“I’m going to try my best because effort is in my control. Results are not.”
“There’s no such thing as an overnight success.”
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
“I have my own definition of success.”
“What’s the rush? I’m on my own timeline and you’re on yours.”

The fact is that life is not a zero sum game. Just because one person is “killing it” doesn’t mean you can’t. Plus, that’s probably just your perception of them anyway when there are really many layers to each of us.

Don’t take things for granted. If you find yourself stuck, dig deep to figure out if you’re telling yourself any limiting stories and try to flip the script.

-Coach Chris

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