Recently a family member sent me a link to a video that she found on Facebook. I put the link at the bottom of the post so you can see it too. The gist of the video is that a woman wanted to swim with her children, but self-talk prevented her from swimming and from making memories. I could really relate to the video. The post is from a woman’s perspective, however the message is appropriate for both men and women.
There have been so many times that I have talked myself out of doing something cool until something else happens first. “I will take a ride on a zip line when I lose weight. I’ll read that book when the semester ends. I’ll visit family when I get my tax return.”
I bet as you were reading my thoughts you were thinking of your own examples. Why do we do this to ourselves??? Why are we waiting to be a different person, for work to lighten up, for circumstances to change before we do something that we want to do?
Now I know that life responsibilities do take the driver’s seat. Imagine this phone call, “Hey boss, I won’t be into work today because I feel like taking a ride on a zip line.” Yea, not good. I have to handle my adult responsibilities so I can pay my rent, buy food and have health insurance. Being a grown up means that we do the right things for ourselves, our family, our employer, our government. But does that mean we can’t also do the things we want to do?
Self-talk can be empowering or limiting, it just depends on the conversations that you permit into your thoughts. For me, the empowering conversations are about family and work. The limiting conversations are often about weight and money. I am so thankful that thought bubbles only occur in cartoons. If the people around me could see what I am thinking and how often my thoughts change, they might think “that woman is a bit odd”. My thoughts change so quickly that the popping of the thought bubbles mimic the sounds make by a child playing with bubble wrap.
The other day I was swimming (yep still on my back) and my thoughts turned to negative self-talk. I was criticizing my slow speed, poor form and how terrible I look in a swimsuit. As soon as I realized what was going on, I immediately began to focus on my breathing. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. What happened next was pretty amazing. The thoughts were gone and I was happy to be swimming.
The list of things that I will do when I am rich, famous, thin, talented grows daily. After watching the Facebook video, I have decided to begin checking items off that list. And I’m promising myself that when presented with opportunities, I will say yes more often.
Since that day in the pool, I have used the breathing technique whenever I needed to clear my thoughts. It has been really helpful. Now I know this is not a new idea. People have been doing this for years. But it is new to ME. As I continue Tinkering With Success, this breathing strategy is becoming the newest skill in my toolkit.
So what are you talking yourself out of? When do you need to breathe? Making memories doesn’t always have to be time consuming and expensive. Take a look at your own list, then plan to make a few memories.