“Change the voices in your head… make them like you instead…”
There are several artists whose songs help me through tough workouts. One of them is definitely Pink. The title of this post is a lyric from her song “Perfect”, which has a great message: we all make mistakes and we are our own worst critics.
I struggle with my inner voice. I set high expectations for myself and I am strict with my plans and goals. I know that this is part of what makes me successful, but I am also very hard on myself for any deviation from the plan. For example, my sister was visiting this weekend. We went out dancing on Saturday night and I had a few drinks; nothing even close to over-indulgence, but I don’t drink alcohol very often. Sunday is my long run day. I knew that it was going to be more difficult to run with alcohol in my system, but I drank a lot of water in the morning and headed out in the afternoon. About two miles into my run, I knew that there was no way I was going to get five miles done. My legs felt like bags of cement and I was barely dragging myself along. I ran my regular three mile path and added some walking.
If I were listening to a friend tell this story, I would say that there are going to be days like that. Great job on getting out there and doing what you could. Even if you decided to take the day off, that happens too. A plan is just that, a plan, and life gets in the way of plans. Have fun with your friends, take a sick day when you need it, take a mental health day when you need it, rest if your body says rest. Then get right back on the plan. Be confident in your commitment to yourself.
Unfortunately, I was talking to myself and it sounded more like: “You shouldn’t have had a drink if you knew you were supposed to run. You only have until July to be ready for this race. Not only did you have food that you shouldn’t have had; now you’re off your exercise plan too.” Make the voices in your head like you instead.
For every time that you are sad or mad or disappointed in yourself for a slip or a break or a “life happens” moment, think about all the times you had a great day or a great run or stuck to the plan or went over-and-above. Did congratulate yourself with the same enthusiasm that you are kicking yourself now? Let’s stop delivering our own knock-out punches. I know that I have many more good days than bad days, but it’s the bad days that seem to get the most attention in my mind.
I think this carries over to all aspects of life, whether it be food or exercise or work or kids. I think we can all talk a little bit better to ourselves. It is a good thing to be driven and to hold yourself accountable to your goals; it is what makes us successful. Knowing that we all makes mistakes or have bad days and that life happens is what makes us wise. Giving ourselves permission to roll past those things is what makes us compassionate.
“Pretty pretty please… don’t you ever, ever feel… like you’re less than, less than perfect…”