What if a one-hour workout could lead you to your dream job with your dream salary? What if it was the thing that helped you find The One? What if it kicked your self-doubt in the a$$ and produced confidence you haven’t felt since you won the third grade spelling bee?
Working out should not simply be about burning calories or getting smaller thighs. It is truly an opportunity to step into your power, connect to your best self and transform fear-based thinking into an empowered and profound conversation with yourself.
But how do you accomplish this when much of society mostly equates fitness with weight loss and external appearance?
Let me explain.
When I was studying dance in college, I discovered how using affirmations could dramatically improve my performance, focus and sense of confidence.
Every day before class, I would sit for 20 minutes, write down the ways in which I felt like I was struggling as a dancer, then turn them into positive mantras.
Then I would continue to write the ones I truly wanted to embody, over and over again. My pen would glide over the paper. It was more than just writing; it was like a moving meditation.
I would close my journal and head into dance class and like magic, my balance was better, I picked up choreography faster and my teachers were singling me out more and more. It became clear that the affirmations helped to silence the negative and fearful voices that would often run through my mind on a regular basis, allowing me to simply be present and open to the moment.
But what was even better was that I began to recognize that the power to change and focus my mind not only had a dramatic affect on my physical performance, it began to effect every other area of my life as well. I was kinder to myself. I had more confidence in social situations. I felt more at home in my body. As a result, I was attracting success quite naturally.
Now, what if you could take this principle of positive self-talk to your everyday workouts, boot camps, spin classes and marathon training runs so that you could improve your entire life?
Here are a few ways to do that:
1. Write it out.
Spend 15 minutes before your next workout with a pen and paper. Spend the first five minutes writing down whatever fears or doubts you are experiencing.
Take another five minutes to transform them into affirmations.
FEAR THOUGHT: I am not talented enough to have a career doing what I love.
AFFIRMATION: I have innate, brilliant talent to accomplish everything I want in life.
Take the last five minutes to pick one that you want to focus on today. Without letting your pen stop moving, repeat the affirmation over and over again. Let your mind and body relax as you are writing. Keep writing despite any self-judgment that comes up.
2. Keep it systematic.
Take yourself through this process every single time before you head into any workout. It takes a little practice, but eventually, the mind will begin to relax through the writing.
3. Use the rhythm.
If your workout includes music, turn your affirmation into a phrase that you can repeat to the rhythm of the music. Repeat it to yourself, or even out loud throughout the workout. Once you have a few memorized, you can add more.
Workouts don’t have to be a tedious, humdrum experience. You can infuse them with spirit and joy. The experience of bringing that to your movement routine will spill into other areas of your life as you watch your experiences and interactions improve.
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