Do you ever have those moments where something happens, you internalize the heck out of it, take it SO personally, and then shortly afterwards you snap back to reality?
Just last week I was finishing up a training session with a client (at a fabulous wellness studio that I've been working at for just over a month). I had been working with her for a few weeks, and she was pretty sociable. Young, hard-working gal, travels weekly for work, and uber health-conscious. As she's wiping away the sweat from her forehead after an intense training sesh, I mentioned that she'd be working with another trainer for her next session. The conversation ended up like this:
Client finishes guzzling her water: "Oh okay, great! Thanks Jolie, awesome workout."
Me: "Have you trained with her before? She's awesome, read up on you, and will take great care of you"
Client rushing her way out the door: "Yeah! Legit the day I met her, I asked her how she got her abs and ass, and NEEDED her to teach me her ways! Her body's amazing....See you next week!"
I smiled, and as she closed the door behind her, my brain started buzzing.
...So, she doesn't think I'm 'fit' enough to be a trainer. She doesn't think I look like one, and she doesn't want MY ass. She doesn't think MY body is amazing, and therefore doesn't have respect for me.
This thinking continued for a (seemingly long) few minutes as I was putting away some dumbbells, and I could feel my brow furrowing with the thoughts of, am I even GOOD at this?
Stop. it. Right. There.
I glanced at myself in the mirror and it shook me out of this senseless daydream. I noticed my toned arms as I was placing dumbbells back on the rack. My strong, tired, body reflected back at me in the mirror. I took a deep breath, and let it out.
This client's comments had ZERO reflection on me as a person or a trainer, so why the hell am I internalizing it and making it ALL ABOUT ME? She barely even knows me! Why was I inferring that she had all of these negative feelings towards me, and digging myself into a hole? Unless she's incredibly narcissistic and wanted me to feel terrible, her comments were purely lighthearted and she was expressing her excitement for her next session (a good thing!)
Alright, so some insecurity crept in. Clearly, this is NOT a good way to view oneself. Something that she said obviously triggered something inside me to think that I wasn't good enough, and that's just not gonna fly with me.
While I don't have 20 years experience in this industry, I've been doing this long enough to know that it's incredibly easy for people to pass judgment on you. After all, they're coming to you for a service that is extremely physical, and you're pretty much on display for them to see. From the moment a client walks in, they size you up, compare, and internalize it in their own way. It's human nature -we've all done it at some point. Some people are upfront about it, some genuinely do not mean to do it, and others will make comments in the form of those lovely "back-handed compliments" (i.e, "so you're pretty toned now, but you used to be fat like me? Well at least you understand a fat-girl's perspective").
...So, what's my point? How do I deal with this, keep perspective, and not go crazy?
Enter: positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations refer to the practice of positive thinking and self-empowerment, helping us foster a belief that we can achieve success in ANYTHING. Sounds pretty cool, right? It might also sound pretty difficult to do. People will ask me, Jol, how do I know if I'm affirming myself? If I'm doing it the 'right' way?
...Well to be completely honest Jolie, it's not the most complex idea, and you can't really do it WRONG. In all seriousness, if I'm alone and feel like I need some positivity, I google positive affirmations. I read a daily meditation guide every single morning that helps to put me in a positive mindset and ground myself (book: Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie).
I even have a Pinterest board of quotes and positive affirmations that I've found inspiring. This stuff is EVERYWHERE!
YOU CAN DO THIS TOO.
IT could be as simple as leaving yourself a post-it on your mirror to wake up to in the morning telling yourself that you're great. Stick one in your car. Inside your planner/laptop, or even set a reminder on your phone. You're probably writing down to-do lists (maybe) already, so why not make yourself feel amazing instead of stressed?
Think of it as a to-do list for your mental health: What do you want to remind yourself of today - How you're going to kick ass in that interview? That you'll get through this rough patch? Write it down. Personal trainers ARE NOT the only people who do this, or who could benefit from a lil' pick-me-up affirmation. I think it's safe to say that almost every single person I've met is harboring or has harbored some form of self-doubt at some point in their life, and these positive affirmations, daily meditations, and feel-good quotes are a great tool to use. It's so simple that it almost feels weird calling it a "tool" .
Who doesn't need a little more positivity in this crazy world that we live in?