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What Might You Be Telling Yourself That's Holding You Back?

Negativity, doubt and self-criticism are often "inside jobs."

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I’m generally not a fan of diet-related fasting of any kind. However, when I read this quote from Ms. Yoko Ono, I was suddenly very much in favor of this kind of abstinence—a fast from the negativity inside our own heads.

The notion of giving up negative thoughts about one's self might seem contrite to some. Or, to those of us that are familiar with our "inner critic," this might seem easy to accomplish. But try getting through even just one hour of time without negative self-talk about yourself or your body. Even today, after all I've been blessed to accomplish, it’s surprising how often I’m reminded that my most “vocal” critic is actually that little voice inside my own head. Can anyone else relate to this? I imagine for many of you reading this, the answer is, “Yes.”

So why not try and ignore that little voice? The one that tells you that your body’s not perfect? Or that you’re not lovable? Or that says you should be further ahead in your career?

Whatever kind of negativity your mind is offering about yourself, ignore it. Try to shut that voice down. See the thought as you would a passing cloud in the sky and let it drift on by. And, of course, this "fast" should include shutting down talking out loud about ourselves in a negative fashion. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve complained about my body or my so-called “failures” to friends and family (often making myself a punchline of sorts).

What we say to and about ourselves matters. We hear it. We feel it. It becomes part of our psychological makeup. So it only make sense that changing that “voice” from negative-speak to positive-speak might actually have a healthy (and happy) impact on our lives.

It's important to remember that no matter what your health-minded goals are (whether mental or physical), you are beautiful and perfect in this very moment. The sooner you recognize this, the sooner any kind of goals can be achieved. When I set out to lose over 250 pounds of excess body weight, I didn't achieve it through negative self-talk or even self-hatred (mental avenues I'd traveled for years before). It was through building myself up, mentally, that I eventually lost the weight. And it's through continuing to take the power away from that negative voice in my head that I've managed to not only keep the excess weight off for almost two decades, but also to reach other goals.

I can't stress enough how worth it you are to let these negative thoughts about yourself go. It begins with a quiet decision to recognize the thoughts and then let them quickly drift away (again, seeing them as a passing cloud—or, perhaps, something you can wash away with a fire hose—whatever works). Don't overanalyze. Don't overthink. Just acknowledge the thought is there and watch it dissipate, out of your perspective. Over. Done with. Gone. And yes, you can feel free to replace said thoughts with notions that build you up.

So why not join me in taking Ms. Yoko Ono’s good advice? If doing this for three days seems like too much to initially take on, try doing it for just an hour, and then build from there. The psyche you save may be your own.

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