If you want to get the most out of your bodyweight workouts you must control your internal voice.
Pleas read on and find out,
The purpose of the internal voice.
How it affects your bodyweight workouts.
Why most of the time the voice causes negative thoughts.
The simple key to controlling your thoughts to achieve anything you desire.
We all have a voice inside our heads that speaks to us constantly throughout the day – no you do not need to go and see a psychiatrist – it is something we all possess and it governs much of what we decide to do or not do. So far so good, we all have it so what is the problem? Well unfortunately for a lot of us it causes mainly negative thoughts.
It is the voice that tells you that you shouldn’t do this or that because you are not as good as every one else. It is the voice that says you can’t fulfil your dreams because you are not intelligent enough or it makes you feel uncomfortable in social situations because it convinces you people won’t like you because you’re not funny, a bit shy or lack confidence.
So what has this got to do with bodyweight workouts and healthy eating you might wonder!
Well when it comes to bodyweight workouts and healthy eating the negative thoughts from your internal voice can affect you in two ways.
The voice can stop you even starting your exercise and healthy eating plan because the little voice in your head whispers – you are to fat to exercise or to week to become strong.
It tells you that if you join your local gym you will make a fool of yourself, people will laugh at you or you will feel awkward, so what happens? You listen to your negative thoughts and do not go to the gym and another life changing opportunity passes you by.
Or if you do make it the gym your internal voice can stop you training to fulfil your potential by putting doubts in your mind when you want to achieve your bodyweight exercise goals.
For example, lets say you can do 17 pull ups and decide that today you will try for 20, that is a great exercise goal to strive for, but what happens? Just before you attempt your new record, the internal voice says – oh no, I don’t think this is a good idea, you didn’t sleep good last night, you missed a training session last week and you didn’t take your protein shake today. No I don’t think you can do it today – The effect it has on you is the negative thoughts have already convinced you that you will fail before you have even tried.
Is the internal voice really that powerful?
Well consider this, one of the biggest industries in the world is advertising and all the big companies spend billions of pounds trying to get us to buy their products. They are no fools so if receiving constant messages didn’t affect your thinking they wouldn’t spend so much money getting us to think what they want us to.
Now consider that on average a person will have about 25,000 internal messages each and every day, if a lot of them are negative thoughts you’d better believe they will affect you whether you realize it or not. They can in fact paralyse you mentally and stop you being free to pursue your dreams.
The reason we sometimes have negative internal voices!
If negative thoughts can be so destructive you might be wondering why our minds create them in the first place. Although the extent to which people’s internal voices create negative thoughts is influenced by many factors some beyond the scope of this article. The real purpose of negative thoughts is to protect you. I know it sounds crazy but it is true!!
You see, way back in time – even before the credit crunch – our ancestors’ main aim in life was to find food, water and shelter in order to survive and if they were lucky they’d pull a nice girl and reproduce.
So because it was such a real challenge just to stay alive our internal voice was a way of making sure we didn’t do anything to crazy and risk the survival of ourselves and other members of the tribe. There was no time in those days for dreams and goals, for them it was just a case of putting food on the table.
However, in today’s modern society most of us have overcome the problems of food and shelter (unless you are a banker)which gives us the time and inclination to set bigger goals and dreams for ourselves. We basically want more out of life than just survival but the problem is the internal voice designed to protect us is still living in the past.
You see if you set your heart on achieving goals and big aspirations there is a chance you will take risks, push yourself to far or even fail and the prospect of taking risks and failing causes us to have emotional responses such as fear and anxiety.
Unfortunately because the internal voice hasn’t caught on to modern day living and is still stuck in earlier evolutionary times it doesn’t realize that taking a risk or failing at something doesn’t mean that a big sabre toothed tiger is about to eat you. It associates negative emotions like fear or anxiety with danger and so it tries to talk us out of things were failure is a possibility.
So here is what happens when we decide to set goals and take a few risks.
Want to improve your education and get a better job, well there is a chance you will fail so the internal voice says – oh no! Best not do that, you’ve never been academically gifted anyway.
Want to be an artist, writer, or singer, probably even more chance of failure so the negative voice whispers – you shouldn’t do that you’re not good enough.
Want to start exercising, loose weight, or build up muscle, again you could fail so the internal voice designed to protect you thinks – the prospect of failure will cause fear and anxiety so don’t do it. you weren’t meant to be slim or strong.
So the sad fact is the internal voice designed to keep us from danger by creating negative thoughts to protect us from taking risks now just holds us back by stopping us from trying to do the things we want and live the life we deserve. Therefore as they said in the old cowboy films – this town is not big enough for the both of us, one of us has to go – and it is the negative thoughts that are moving out.
The question is how?
Well many self help gurus will tell you to repeat positive affirmations which in time will replace your negative thoughts. It’s not a bad idea but it takes a long time, commitment and only works to a certain degree.
You could learn one of the many meditation techniques available to calm your internal voice, stop negative thoughts and lose your fear and anxiety. I have the utmost respect for Buddhist monks, particularly the Running marathon monks of mount Hiei, Japan who face a life or death battle to accomplish their goal; however, once again it takes time and a lot of dedication to get rid of the negative internal voice through meditation.
Another one of the options recommended by self help gurus is to imagine the internal voice speaking to you in a different tone of voice maybe even a comical one that you can’t take seriously. I think there is some merit in this, but I don’t think it would completely solve the problem. The internal voice is with us constantly and if it creates lots of negative thoughts as is the case for many people, then just thinking of negative thoughts in a different tone of voice, even a comical one, will not work if the doubts you have are really strong.
So what is the answer?
Well the answer is really simple, particularly when it comes to improving yourself with bodyweight workouts and sticking to healthy eating plans. It is all about being totally honest with yourself, if you can do that then you will know exactly at what point you are now and if you know that you can easily set goals that you can realistically achieve and build on.
Remember, if you set goals that are relatively easy for you to do then there will be no reason to fail and if there is no reason to fail, there will be no need to have emotional responses such as fear or anxiety. If those emotions don’t exist then there is no need for negative internal voices to try and protect you by telling you can’t do something when you clearly know you can.
Therefore, negative thoughts only happen because you are not sure if you can reach the goals you want. For example, suppose you can now do 15 pull ups every day comfortably without any problem what so ever and you decide that today you will do 16. You will not have any negative thoughts because you know if you can do 15 easily then 16 should be know problem what so ever.
Alternatively imagine a scenario were you can do 15 pull ups easy but today decide to raise the bar and try for 20, because there is such a big increase in what you can do now and what you want to do, the chances are you will start to have negative thoughts about achieving your goal because your internal voice will know you are asking your body to do much more than it has done before.
So the way to achieve big dreams is to take steps so small you hardly notice them and build them up until your final goal is reached. If you apply this technique and one more I am going to share with you in a moment you simply can not fail.
Every time you try a new goal you will succeed, there will be no negative thoughts and you will feel relaxed and confident because the goal you have set is well within your capabilities. Also as you know the more you succeed the more you expect to succeed, and as the saying goes what you expect is normally what you get.
So here is the final key to your bodyweight workout and healthy eating goals.
Once you have been totally honest with yourself about what you can do now and what you want to do in the future and you have agreed with yourself to keep each goal small.
The final step to success is this technique which is practised by the great body building legend Frank Zane.
What you do is make an agreement with yourself before you attempt your bodyweight goal that if you do not reach it in one continuous set you will simply wait a few seconds and complete the task. So for example, let’s say you can do 15 reps easy and you try to increase to 16.
If you only manage 15 reps simply take 10 or 15 seconds rest and then do the final rep. If you have agreed this with yourself before you started then you haven’t failed and you will not need to listen to negative internal voices because by using this technique you can never fail.
The best part about doing this is I guarantee that even if you have to stop for a few seconds to do 16 reps you will soon be able to do the 16 without stopping at all because you will get used to doing 16 reps in the part of your body that counts the most i.e. your head.
You only get one life so always have big dreams but remember the secret to making them come true is to keep your short term goals well within your reach at the present time.
In bodyweight workouts, if you adopt the attitude that stopping for a few seconds before the last rep or two is simply part of the set you are doing then you can never fail and if you can never fail you have no need for negative thoughts from your internal voice.
Good luck with your bodyweight workouts