It’s estimated that the average person has approximately 70,000 thoughts daily. These thoughts are like the invisible threads that weave the fabric of our lives, influencing our attitudes, behaviours, and ultimately, our outcomes.
When working with clients on their health and weight goals, one of the first things we look at is mindset. Addressing mindset is often at the core of personal growth and development, and this includes lifestyle and eating habits, feelings of self-worth and thoughts about our body image.
I find working with clients on their mindset to be very powerful. I guide my clients in recognising and reshaping their thought patterns, self-beliefs, and perspectives, which leads to them taking back control of their health and weight.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the impact of your mindset and how the thoughts you choose to embrace can shape your health, body image, daily experiences and your future.
The power of self-talk
Self-talk is like an internal monologue. It’s that voice in your head giving you a continuous stream of thoughts. There is nothing wrong with self-talk, but we need to be aware of what’s going on as these thoughts can significantly influence our mindset and, subsequently, our actions and well-being. This inner dialogue can be helpful when it’s positive and supportive, giving us confidence, motivation, and resilience. On the other hand, when it’s not positive, it can undermine self-esteem, breed self-doubt, and reinforce a fixed, limiting mindset.
This self-talk significantly shapes our outlook on life – it can either propel us forward to achieve our goals or hold us back in a cycle of negativity and self-sabotage. Recognising these thoughts and actively working to cultivate a positive and empowering inner dialogue can lead to personal growth, improved mental health, and a more fulfilling life.
Positive vs. negative mindset
I am sure you have all heard of the importance of keeping a positive mindset. It’s pretty simple – with a positive mindset we have an optimistic outlook, we see challenges as an opportunity for growth, and failures as valuable lessons. This does not mean we don’t experience negative emotions, we absolutely do – we just accept and learn from them, find solutions and move on swiftly.
In contrast, those with a negative mindset tend to dwell on the problems and obstacles and often give in to self-doubt, fear, and pessimism.
These differing mindsets can lead to vastly different life experiences: a positive mindset can empower you to approach life’s challenges with resilience and enthusiasm, whereas a negative mindset can perpetuate a cycle of stagnation, missed opportunities, and unhappiness.
We can often see this in examples of people who have had the same negative experience. One recovers quickly, sees the learnings and opportunities and grows from the event. The other holds on tight to the circumstances, feels stuck and has trouble letting go of the ‘story’.
Emotions and mindset
Our thoughts can influence our emotions and therefore our mindset. Positive thoughts tend to generate feelings of joy, optimism, and contentment, whereas negative thoughts can evoke stress, anxiety, and even depression. Cultivating a positive mindset not only creates a more optimistic outlook on life, but also contributes to emotional well-being.
Our thoughts create our reality
Our thoughts possess a remarkable ability to shape our reality. When we genuinely believe in our abilities and maintain a positive mindset, we are more likely to take action, persist in the face of challenges, and ultimately achieve success. This belief acts as a powerful motivator as we work toward our goals.
Self-doubt can erode our confidence to where we feel stuck and don’t progress in the way we want to. We can get stuck in a cycle where our negative expectations limit our potential and lead to outcomes that confirm our initial doubts.
The growth mindset
Having a growth mindset means we embrace challenges as valuable opportunities for learning and personal growth. It’s a belief that we can develop our abilities and intelligence through dedication and hard work. When we are in this mindset, we are more likely to see setbacks as stepping stones, and failures as lessons, choosing to improve ourselves rather than stay stuck. We also have a greater resilience in the face of adversity.
Overcoming limiting beliefs
We all have limiting beliefs – recognising and challenging them is the key to getting rid of them. This can take some practice, so start by noticing when you doubt your abilities or underestimate yourself. Then, challenge them by seeking evidence to the contrary, and reframing negative thoughts into positive ones, i.e.: ‘it’s really hard to lose weight’ can be reframed into ‘it’s easy to lose weight’. ‘I have no will power’, can change to – ‘I choose to eat healthy foods’.
It can help to seek support from a coach, therapist or mentor who will help you uncover these beliefs.
Mindfulness is the act of becoming aware of what’s going on in the moment. By becoming more attuned to our thoughts as they arise, we have the power to choose them more consciously. This practice can also stop unwanted automatic actions, like walking in the house and immediately pouring a glass of wine, or reaching for that third biscuit.
Rewiring your brain:
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s remarkable ability to reorganise and adapt by forming new neural connections throughout life. By consistently choosing positive and growth-oriented thoughts, you will be rewiring your brain to think more positively. Your thoughts hold the power to reshape your brain’s structure, influencing your perspective on life and your capacity for personal growth and happiness.
Daily affirmations can help in developing a positive and empowering mindset. By repeating positive statements about yourself and your capabilities, you reinforce self-beliefs and train your mind to focus on your strengths and potential. Consistency is key—by incorporating daily affirmations into your routine, you can steadily cultivate a mindset that empowers you to overcome challenges and pursue your goals with confidence and determination.
Your mindset is the lens through which you view the world, and it has the power to shape your reality. By embracing positive, growth-oriented thoughts and shedding self-limiting beliefs, you can transform your daily experiences and set the stage for a brighter future.
Let’s apply this to your health and weight goals.
Setting goals and believing you can reach them is the first step.
Developing a growth mindset means you won’t beat yourself up if you fail, you simply learn from the experience and start again. It helps to be curious about your failures – why did I order in that take out last night? If it’s because you were tired or stressed, look into why and take steps to be less tired or deal with the stress.
Being aware of our thoughts means we can catch ourselves if we start to have a negative dialogue about our failure or believe that we won’t reach those goals. It can help to journal around this – as your write you may uncover some of your limiting beliefs.
I believe everyone has the power to become the healthiest, happiest version of themselves. By working with a professional like myself I can help you reach those goals, uncover what’s holding you back and be your cheerleader, keeping you going when you want to give up!