The first big truth of fitness is how much of your physical output is determined by your mental toughness. The target health zone in your workout is usually accompanied by a mental intensity. The more ready and able your mind is, the better your performance. I have found this to be a universal truth in all areas of my life. My hardest days at the gym, the toughest days at work, are predicated by poor attitude or a mental block.
When pressed with adversity our minds do terrible and great things. Pushing your body to new heights, trying your limits with new things, or just dealing with stress at work can bring up emotional and mental blocks. Have you felt depressed and confused by the catalyst or completely incompetent and unsure why? When stressed your mind turns inward and often you will hear yourself.
“I’m so fat.”
“I could never do that.”
“I will never be enough.”
The things you tell yourself matter. You are focusing your energy and thoughts on what you falsely believe you cannot do. You are building the foundation of your mental fort with failure and negatively. Those awful things said to you in school, or the hurtful words yelled in anger by a loved one, you are repeating them. You are holding on to the hurts and piling them around yourself as a barrier against your success. Every time you allow yourself these thoughts you are giving power to your pain over your happiness.
If you have ever suffered abuse either mental or physical, I want you to know that you can be happy. I hope for you that you have found happiness, safety, and security. I want your prosperity and continued growth. As a victim I was told that I deserved the abuse, that I asked for it with my looks. I was continually blamed for violence against me and for the hurtful words that accompanied it. I escaped many of the trappings of my abuse, but I have held on to more than I would like to admit openly. I fear disappointing, upsetting, or having someone dislike me. I accept their poor treatment of me for fear that I do not deserve better. I tear myself apart for the smallest failure because I must be better or stronger or more than I am. I lose sleep as I break down my mental barriers, reiterating words told to me in my lowest moments. I continually give others power over me.
I was emotionally low and vulnerable yesterday. I could not push play on my work out or make myself run. I was worthless, lazy, incapable. Deep aspects of my fear of being noticed came out. My lifelong desire to hide myself and my body from others, my need to distance myself from any harm. I want to be anyone else. I want to be strong. I want to be happy, healthy, whole. I feel less than because I have so many broken aspects. I must deserve the way people treat me, I must ask for it, I must want it like they say.
The cycle of abuse is continued in my own voice to myself. I do not raise my hand to others, or spread hate. I do not put harm out into the world. I breed the hate in myself, attacking everything I might love, and destroying any confidence I might have built. I harm myself more than anyone else, because I am still doing it. There is no safe haven from my thoughts. The battle in my mind is very real.
Last night I told myself that I would beat this. I cuddled my children close and told myself over and over that I am loved, I am good, I deserve happiness. Inspirational quotes and mantras are often laughed at or ignored, but their value is intrinsic to your inner voice. Make the things you tell yourself positive. Start your day with love and goodness in your thoughts. Calm the battle in your own mind by building a fort of ability, positivity, and confidence. Make yourself mentally tough and the work out will be easy.
You’re not lazy, you’re afraid. You’re afraid of failing, or not being perfect, or of not being the person you think you are. You’re afraid to start because you don’t believe in yourself. You are deeply unhappy because the words you tell yourself are harsh and unforgiving. Take it from a friend, you are loved, you have value, you matter, you can do it. If you cannot be trusted to be kind to yourself rely on a friend. You will need support and love to grow.