Friday, July 24, 2015

Lies, Damn Lies, No 3

(and proof they're not real)
No. 3

"Sh*t it's too late to go to the gym.
- I don't care. It doesn't matter."


Here's the truth:

I do care. 

It does matter. 

When I say these things, it's because: 

I feel frustrated. 

I feel powerless. 

And maybe I really DON'T have time now that I've worked late. So maybe today isn't going to be a Gym Day after all.  Too bad, life is tough.  Plans fall apart, they change.  Deal with it. #SuckItUpButtercup

But to say "I don't care" and "It doesn't matter" devalues my efforts.  It's one of the worst ways I can sabotage myself with negative self-talk.  Here's why:

  • If It Doesn't Matter, then why go to the gym at all?  Why plan on it in the first place?  If I Don't Care, then what's for dinner? Deep-dish pizza?  Pasta with extra Alfredo sauce? Just dive right into a vat of ice cream? 
  • That's the next step in that line of thinking.  If I Don't Care, there's no reason to eat mindfully, make goal-oriented food choices... because if I Don't Care, there's NO GOAL to work toward.  Convince myself that It Doesn't Matter and not only is the battle lost, there's no battle left to fight.

I'm pretty sure at some point I read a post from Michelle that I would really love to reference here... but I can't seem to find it.  She's been blogging pretty regularly since like the dawn of time, and she's very insightful, so I'm sure it's there somewhere... 

Here's what one article has to say on the topic:  Top 10 Things NOT to Say to Yourself
"There’s no use. Telling yourself there is no use steals your personal power and leaves you with no motivation." 

One of the suggestions in this article is to clearly identify when you have such thoughts. This is actually something I do often.  Because when I HEAR these thoughts out loud, they sound RIDICULOUS - which, of course, is exactly what they are.  RIDICULOUS. Calling it ludicrous puts me in the position of devaluing the THOUGHT, rather than the other way around.  I can reclaim my value, confidence and esteem just by segregating my negative thoughts into their own little Shame Box.

Here's the author's suggestion:  “Use the following formula: “I just had the thought…” (repeat the negative thought here). If you caught yourself saying, “I am not worth it,” for example, then you would pause and say, “I just had the thought, ‘I am not worth it.’” Using this formula securely labels the thought as a mere thought. If you do not realize that what you said was just a thought, you run a higher risk of taking it personally and allowing it to ruin your day.
Here's another good article on the subject (I found while looking for that mystery post on Michelle's blog!)  Challenging Negative Self-Talk - this one provides questions we can ask ourselves to help challenge those lies we tell ourselves.  For example: 
  • Are there any other ways that I could look at this situation?
  • Is this situation as bad as I am making out to be?
  • Are my thoughts factual, or are they just my interpretations?
  • Am I jumping to negative conclusions?

I don't really have any wrap-it-up conclusions for this post.  I'm writing here about a concept that continues to challenge me.  I'm working on it.  And I'm going to keep at it, try to catch those I Don't Care and It Doesn't Matter thoughts as they happen, call them out, and keep acting like I DO care; it DOES matter.  

Because it matters. 
To ME.