See It and Be It!
One of the most powerful things I learned in studying performance psychology is the power of your own self-image. Your self-image is how you see yourself and it guides every action you take.
Your self-image is like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Another way to look at your self-image is to compare it to a thermostat. If the thermostat is set on 72 degrees and the temperature drops to 67, the thermostat is going to raise the temperature back to 72.
If the temperature rises to 77 degrees, the thermostat is going to lower the temperature back to 72. At all times the thermostat is trying to get the temperature to 72 degrees. 72 degrees is the thermostat’s self-image – any other temperature and it scrambles to get back to its comfort zone – 72 degrees.
If you don’t see yourself as an exerciser who loves to workout then it is going to be very hard to be a consistent exerciser. Ask yourself this question, “Do I see myself as an exerciser?” The first step in strengthening your self-image is becoming aware of your current self-image and its limitations.
The next step is to start changing the images and thoughts in your mind to support the new self-image you are strengthening. The concept works like this – SEE IT and BE IT! You have to see it before you can be it. The last part is called “Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable”. If you can allow yourself to be uncomfortable you can strengthen your self-image!
I can up with an acronym for a way to train your self –image. I call it MVP and it does not stand for most valuable player. The M stands for Meditation, the V stands for Visualization, and the P stands for Positive Affirmations. I advise everyone to do MVP once a day for 5-10 minutes. Start by taking 10 deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe in for about 5 seconds and feel the air go all the way down to your belly. Slowly breathe out and stay focused on your breath.
Next visualize yourself being the person you want to be. Even if you don’t enjoy exercise, see yourself having a big smile in the gym. See and feel yourself experiencing all the positive effects of working out. Finally say positive affirmations to yourself for a couple of minutes. One example might be “I love working out every day because it makes me feel so good”. The key to affirmations - believe in them!
Training your self- image is like getting a good workout in the gym – it’s a little uncomfortable. However, you are worth it! The more you act like you love working out the more you will actually love working out! Remember, See It and Be it!