Negative Self-talk Can Limit Your Success And Change Your Body

Negative self-talk can be one of the most toxic things we can do, and although sometimes we may not even realize it, it can have a serious effect on us both mentally and physically. Most of us have struggled at some point or another with that nagging voice inside our heads. You know… the one that tells you that you’re not good enough, you’ll never improve, you can’t achieve the things you want to achieve. We’ve all been there, but the truth is, that little voice that speaks so negatively simply isn’t telling the truth.


Most of the time, the things we tell ourselves are false and are fueled by anxiety, trauma, and deep-rooted emotions. But negative self-talk can actually be extremely harmful to us and can stop us from achieving the things that we so badly want to.



What Is Negative Self-Talk?

Negative self-talk is an inner dialogue that can be seriously limiting, it can stop you from believing in yourself and reaching your full potential. Sometimes, it can seem logical or realistic, but the truth is that it’s almost always stressful, and can really prevent you from feeling confident and implementing positive changes in your life.


Self-talk can take a number of different forms. It can be mean, self-deprecating, or cruel, but it can also be positive and uplifting! Focusing heavily on negative thoughts can lead to decreased levels of motivation, greater feelings of helplessness, and depression. This may seem obvious, but one of the biggest issues with negative self-talk is that it’s not, well, positive! Positive self-talk is a big predictor of success, and can really help us to stay motivated and live a fulfilled and happy life. 


After reading all of the above, it might be pretty simple to put two and two together to see how negative self-talk can decrease your success when it comes to fitness. Decreased motivation and lack of confidence can be seriously detrimental in the gym! Often, when it comes to fitness, you can follow intense workouts or a strict nutrition regime, but ultimately a large part of your success really comes down to what you tell yourself.


You see, so many aspects of fitness are not just physical, they’re mental too, and by creating a negative space inside your own head and listening to those pesky voices you can damage your ability to reach your full potential in the gym. Negative self-talk might be limiting your ability to positively change your body and increase your fitness by de-motivating you or preventing you from really trying your hardest. 


Negative self-talk can also lead you to have a bit of a gloomy mindset about working out. Think about it, if you beat yourself up every time you’re at the gym, you probably aren’t going to enjoy it very much! 


It’s all too common for people to be hard on themselves when it comes to fitness and their health journey. We’re bombarded everywhere we look these days with images of fitness models, six-pack abs, and big muscles, which makes it all too easy to criticize ourselves for not being good enough. But the truth is, your journey is your own, and you should appreciate it! Talking negatively to yourself will only taint the experience and stop you from enjoying the process. Instead, a more positive mindset can not only help you to look forward to your workouts, but it’s also more likely to positively impact your gym sessions and get you the results you want!



If that wasn’t enough to convince you to stop all your negative self-talk, there’s more! All those nasty self-criticisms can prevent you from celebrating the small wins. When we’re so stuck on being critical of ourselves and comparing our bodies to others we often fail to notice the positive changes that we are making. The issue here is that those little wins, while they may not seem like much, are exactly the motivation that we need to stick to our healthy habits and continue on our fitness journeys. 


Multiple studies have shown that individuals who use positive self-talk during their workouts (such as telling themselves “you got this” or “you can do it”) have more physical success and even perceive their workouts as easier. It really is a case of mind over matter!


How To Prevent Negative Self-Talk In The Gym


Recognize The Negativity

The first step to preventing anything is to first realize that you’re doing it! You might not even notice that you’re engaging in negative self-talk, but how many times have you thought to yourself “I can’t finish this workout” or “I’m dying! I don’t want to do this anymore”? Start to recognize when you are engaging in negative self-talk so that you can move your attention on to changing that process.


The truth is, if you start noticing when those thoughts come to mind and focus on consistently replacing them with positive mantras, you might end up seeing significantly better results. Instead of thinking “I can’t,” tell yourself that you can. Replace that nagging voice that tells you to quit when you’re faced with 3 sets of burpees with an uplifting voice that says “I can do this.” If you practice positive thinking in the gym you could start to change your mindset (and your fitness) for the better.


Celebrate Your Wins

Remember what we said earlier about self-criticism preventing us from recognizing our wins? Well, one way to counteract that is to do just the opposite! Celebrate your small wins and notice when you’re making positive changes, no matter how tiny they may seem. This can make big difference in motivating you to keep on going!

Believing that you aren’t fit enough to complete that killer 20-minute assault-bike session or you’re not strong enough to squat heavy weight increases the chances that you’ll give up, or that you won’t even try to begin with. So much of fitness is believing that you can, trying, improving, and never giving up, which is why negative self-talk just doesn’t belong in the gym! Keep your workouts positive!



Looking to push yourself to the next level, achieve your fitness goals, and revel in the results?  Demco Fitness is a Seattle fitness center that’s rooted in a positive community of members and personal trainers. We work with our clients to meet their personalized goals, wherever they’re at on their fitness journey. If you’re looking for a positive atmosphere, without the negative gym vibe, Demco Fitness is the Belltown gym for you. 

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