Have a Word With Yourself
Your Self-talk is Running the Show.
When it comes to who is running the show in your head it is the subconscious brain. The conscious brain accounts for only about 6% or 7% of brain activity. It is from here that a lot of your self-talk originates. Self-talk is what quite often talks you into or out of doing something. This is very true for your clients as well. Becoming aware of your self-talk (bringing it into your conscious) is important for changing behaviour. If you take the time to listen to your self-talk it can be very informative. In terms of impact on lifestyle it is reasonable to say that if you want to know what you believe then look at the lifestyle you have; this will be an exact reflection of your true beliefs. Your self-talk is an expression of those beliefs so if you pay attention to this you can start to make some changes. If you perhaps think of the client who gets in from work and then has to decide whether they will go to the gym or not. The self-talk may well be “I’ve had a hard day at work a rest would do me good”. If they were to police this, they should then ask themselves ‘how physically hard was work today’ whatever their internal answer they should then ask themselves is this really true. They should also ask ‘would a rest really do me good or would a good gym session be better for me’?
If you have done a good job with their goal setting these should be emotionally anchored and have a strong pull. If this is the case, they can then also ask themselves ‘is a rest moving me towards or away from my goals’? The answer is generally going to be away from my goals and so this will help them change their mind. This policing of self-talk or ‘putting it in the dock’ as I call it, helps people make better lifestyle decisions. You can apply exactly the same principles when it comes to diet and the choices the client is making. By putting the self-talk in the dock what I mean is, imagine you are the prosecuting lawyer. Whatever the statement (self-talk) you can ask “is this true” and “where is your evidence to support this”? You can continue to use these two questions to really drill down to the actual facts behind the decision you are about to make.
When making a lifestyle change you are going to have to change your rehearsed verses (self-talk); it is these that are ultimately running the show and so they need challenging and editing for verses that better suit the new lifestyle. You create your own reality, and your personal beliefs and values are a large component of this reality. You can often think of self-talk as a verbal reflection of the reality you perceive. It is for this reason that actively listening to your clients gives you more of a clue as to what their reality looks like.