When it comes to reaching any goals you may have for yourself, whether they are related to fitness, business, or personal, the biggest obstacle you will face is yourself.  We all have that inner critical voice - you know the one that tells you that you cannot do x, y, or z.  It is where all of your excuses are stored and unfortunately it tends to rear its ugly head when you least want it to.  It is this voice that can sabotage your goals before you even attempt them or convince you to quit once things get tough.  I am sure you can easily recall a time or two that you let these thoughts keep you from achieving your goals.  Even the most secure individuals have these self-limiting thoughts, but those that are successful have mastered the art of quieting them.

When it comes to coping with your own negative thoughts, it is important to remember that you always have a choice.  It is 100% in your control to decide whether or not you are going to entertain the thoughts and play the blame game or change the way you respond and react to your circumstances.  If you take the negative you will find yourself in a constant state of self-sabotage.  You are essentially placing your success in the hands of these external circumstances that you have little to no control over.  Your critical inner voice will thrive in this environment because you can always make excuses and never take responsibility for your actions.  I am by no means dismissing the fact that there are many challenging circumstances faced daily; we all face our own life challenges.  But they are by no means the deciding factor as to why we do not succeed.  If this were the case, then how do you explain the many people who have faced the same circumstances or even worse and yet managed to succeed?

A much more positive way to deal with your critical inner voice would be to change the way you view your circumstances.  You can change your thoughts and behaviors and most importantly your attitude.  When you think about it, it is really the only thing we have 100% control over.  Regrettably, we are creatures of habit, good and bad, so it takes a lot of conscious effort to make these changes.  So many individuals are caught up in this vicious cycle that starts with negative thoughts leading to negative and self-destructive behaviors. They mentally beat themselves up about it leading to negative thoughts which start the cycle again.  If you find yourself in this situation you must be able to identify those negative thoughts and behaviors and more importantly be aware that you are making a choice to allow yourself to move further and further away from what you want most by engaging these thoughts and behaviors.  Be truthful with yourself and realize that by entertaining those thoughts you are in direct conflict with your own happiness.

Instead, break this cycle by looking at every thought and action you have as a chance to move you closer toward your goals.  Think of your thoughts as a filing system. Of course, the negative ones will show up but do not waste any energy on them.  Rather, simply file them away into your trash pile and make sure that the ones you keep and engage in will lead you towards behaviors that create a more positive and healthy you.

“Make sure your worst enemy is not living between your own two ears.”

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