Combating Negative Self-talk and Programming your Brain for Success

Published:  08/10/2015

Do you say things like this to yourself?

"I ate too much at dinner. I have no self-control."

"I sure blew it with my diet yesterday."

"I can't seem to do cardio for more than 20 minutes. I must be lazy."

"Everyone else can lose weight. What's wrong with me that I can't?"

"I'm going on vacation. I just know I'll overeat and gain weight. It's what I do every time even though I tell myself I'm not going to."

Negative self-talk can have a terrible effect on your ability to successfully lose weight. Your thoughts and self-talk are the primary creator of your emotions, which motivates your actions and therefore lead to your results.

Whenever you use self-talk you are programming your subconscious mind - and creating the behavior patterns that will either help you succeed or cause you to fail. In other words, when you think a particular thought, it causes you to feel a particular way, which causes you to act in a particular way, which causes particular results, which then "proves" that your original thoughts were correct. These patterns are repetitive and self-reinforcing. If you think these thoughts hundreds of time these create automatic feelings and actions, and therefore, predictable results.

When you say things to yourself like "I have no self-control", you are programming your brain to act in ways to ensure that you really are. How you program your subconscious mind will determine whether you succeed at your goals. The good news is that the opposite is true. If you think positive, empowering and affirming thoughts, you can program your brain for success. Learning how to manage negative self-talk can have a positive response.

First, try using the following questions to challenge negative self-talk:

Is it true? (Isn't there some untruth in that your statement?)

Is this thought empowering or disempowering you? (What thought would be more empowering?)

What's one thing you could stop or start doing today that would have the most positive impact in your life?

Then use an encouraging, gentle inner voice and positive self-talk to motivate yourself toward the changes you want. For example here are some healthy thoughts:

"It's challenge to turn down inviting food but I know I will feel better for not eating this and by choosing to do something else right now."

"I'll feel so much better if I take even just a short walk. I'm going to feel so proud of myself that I even did a little bit."

"I know you are stressed out right now, but the chocolate will make you feel worse. Let's go for a 10 minute walk."

"I understand you are feeling down right now, but choosing to eat those cookies or candy will not help you to feel better. Let's make a cup of tea then sit down on the couch and read a magazine."

"You are worth so much more than a piece of chocolate.  Eating that will negate a lot of progress you have made - don't sabotage yourself."

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