I am not sure when I started evaluating myself, my actions or my comments but this has become one of my most valuable personal growth lessons. The human brain is extremely powerful and our influence on the brain makes it all the more powerful. If we wanted to, we could convince ourselves that the sky is purple.
My main point for bringing this up is to inspire you to embrace an internal locus of control. Many of you have probably heard of having an internal versus external locus of control. “A locus of control orientation is a belief about whether the outcomes of our actions are contingent on what we do (internal control orientation) or on events outside our personal control (external control orientation).” (Zimbardo, 1985) Give yourself some credit, we have way more control then we sometimes let on. We have control over our actions whether they are good or bad. Half of the battle is owning these actions, learning from them, and making better choices the next time.
A couple examples of how an external locus of control can negatively affect your health & fitness…
- I didn’t get my workouts in this week because it was too cold outside, work was crazy, or my dog ate my workout shoes.
- My nutrition hasn’t been great because it’s Christmas/Thanksgiving/Valentine’s Day/New Year’s/St. Patrick’s Day/National Donut Day/My mother’s sister’s brother’s daughter’s first cousin’s birthday month…you get the picture.
Take these same instances above and revamp your thought process with an internal locus of control…
- Say to yourself, “I’m not going to let circumstances derail my plan of staying healthy. I’m going to get my four workouts in this week, even if I have to do a few at home with just bodyweight exercises.”
- Say to yourself, “I have goals to reach and my health and performance are more important than constant celebration through detrimental health choices.”
Our mental power is immeasurably strong. That’s what is so fantastic about your relationship with yourself and your brain. Taking control over your thought process and decision making ability can be a life changing practice that creates a healthier you.
The next time you come to a moment of truth deciding between healthy & unhealthy actions…be honest with yourself. Own your decision. Learn from it. And move forward.
Repetitive good decisions equal habits, and these habits mold your lifestyle.