Talking to Yourself

What do you say to yourself when you are trying to motivate yourself?

I don’t often think of this, but after reading an article on self sabotage and it got me thinking about what I say to myself while working out or when fending off my desire to eat a family size plate of nachos to myself.


Delicious I am going to eat all of these myself!

Now I have much more experience with the working out side of things than the positive self swaying when it comes to stuffing my face with food that isn’t good for me. I realized that throughout my workouts I tell myself many different things to keep me going. I picked some up through my own personal race training, from the running room, and a whole heck of a lot of them from yoga.

I have realized that with me for the most part both my mind and body need a soft encouraging voice, but don’t get me wrong every now and then I need a full out kick in the pants and a drill sergeant going off yelling “you hold that freaking plank you hold it!” but for the most part simple sweet reminders are great for my motivation levels.

What I say to myself:

  1. I try to always thank myself for the work that I have put in. It is easy to sit there and beat yourself up for missing a yoga class, or that run you were supposed to go on after work. I find it much more difficult to be mindful of the positive you do for your body. So at the end of a yoga class, a weight class, running, or any type of rigorous activity I make sure to take a second and thank myself for doing something nice for it. I find it particularly useful to be very specific. So a 7am Saturday morning yoga class would get a “Thank you for waking up and coming here today”, a 5pm 6km run would get a “Thank you for taking the time to get this run in and unwinding from work”
  2. I try to smile. I know this isn’t talking to yourself, but I had a yoga teacher that always said “try to smile it tricks your body into thinking everything is just fine“. So when I am having particular difficulty with those last 10 push-ups I smile. It doesn’t make the task at hand any easier but in my mind it gives me just enough energy needed to finish my set.
  3. It is only a little pain, just breath. Now I am not suggesting here that if you are feeling serious joint, back, knee or any other type of pain that you should just power through, you know your body best, and it is best to listen to it as it works so hard for you. What I am saying is that if I am holding a side plank for 1 minute I know my shoulder, arm and obliques are going to get a little fatigued, and it is at the 30second mark that I remind myself “it is just a little pain, keep breathin'”. Regardless of how silly this sounds as I write it down it totally works, and eventually the pain goes away.
  4. Just one more. This one works real great while running. I generally use it on days where I am SOOOOOOO not feeling it. So once I get out the door or on the treadmill I generally say, “Lets just give’r for one song” then that song is done and it isn’t so bad so I go for 1km, and then another and another and another. This also applies to the end of long runs, where you feel like you have been running your whole life and you just want it to be over, I say “just one more kilometer and if you still want to give up you can“. Generally by the end of that kilometer I don’t feel like giving up anymore.

These are the ones that I do on a regular bases…now as I said before every once in a while I will tell myself to stop whining and push through, but generally speaking I gently push myself into finishing my sets or runs or whatever I am doing. At the end of it I get such a sense of satisfaction for pushing through that I don’t generally need to yell at myself.

How do you get yourself to push through the discomfort?


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