I am 100% the kind of lady who says things like “I hate going to the gym” I don’t want to” “I’m too tired” “I’ll go later” “This sucks” “How do people even know that the gym is good for you?” “My ancestors never used a treadmill, why should I have to” and on and on and on. The entire way to the gym.
And then after I workout, I …
(are you expecting cheerful and uplifting words here?)
I still say things like “uggh the gym” “Working out is hard” “Now my body hurts” “Now I feel behind on all those other things I wanted to do” “Is it going to feel like this every time I try to run?”
Yup. I’ve got gremlins. Mind gremlins. They are cute, trying to protect me, and they never ever shut up.
It’s okay though. We all have them. We all have these narratives running non-flipping-stop.
Whether it is about a workout, a job search, parenting, caregiving, cleaning, eating, all the things.
So, what are the tools I use to still move my body even when my gremlins are screaming at me?
1. I make it playful. I bring my silly Yoda backpack. I bring a water bottle in my favorite color.
2. I listen to something that blocks out the sound of my gremlins. I listen to motivational podcasts and smart people talking about important things.
(I used to run cross country without headphones, I tried to carry a CD player with me, but the disc would skip. My own voice was so loud, it would talk me out of running at my potential.)
I don’t listen to my gremlins when I’m doing something hard. I listen to other smart voices.
3. I learned the stats. I know why movement is important for my body, related to cortisol, muscle atrophy, flexibility, digestion, anxiety and depression. I know why it is important. So I do it.
4. My really smart teachers tell me it works. Even when my gremlins try to point out that nothing seems to be getting better, I trust those other smart people in my life. My teachers, coaches, therapists, doctors. They are significantly more trustworthy than gremlins.
5. Processes & Systems. This is not my strength. At all. And yet, I do it. I figure out a process that will work for me, meet my goals, & take into consideration everything going on in my life. I create the system. And yes it can be bumpy and it works.
6. Cheerleaders. I’ve got incredible people who will cheer me on, even when it is hard to do it for myself. Sometimes I have to ask directly for encouragement, other times it’s natural. Some of these people I see all the time, others I have never met in person. Encouragement can come from wherever you’d like. Ask for it, absorb it, and let their truth be the voice you listen to.
Playful things are better.
I prefer it that way.
Playfulness is not about being silly. It is about being creative.
My boring gym bag never made an impact on me.
Yet my adorable little Yoda encourages me, even when my gremlins are loud.
What are your gremlins stopping you from today? What acts like your own encouraging little Yoda?
** Could you use some help with your own gremlins? No problem, we all have them. Reach out. Coaching is all about sorting through which of those narratives you hear are truthful, helpful, and supportive.