I should go to the gym more. . .
I would have done better but. . .
I could do that if. . .
These are the big three.
The big three words that can be vocalised internally or externally and add zero positivity to any situation. Find yourself saying the big three a lot? Good, you’ve recognised a problem and it can be fixed. Saying the big three is a way of letting yourself off the hook for not doing something you want to be or can be good at. You’ve not put the work in to be where you want to be, so the big three come in to rescue you.
Instead of thinking you should do things, ask yourself do I want to? If you do want to do something then confidently say that’s what you want to do. People either support you or not, if not, their opinion isn’t worth worrying about anyway… A want is more likely to turn into a should when you are talking about something you don’t want to do. Don’t want to run? Then don’t. Feel like you should? Why? ‘because i want to lose weight’ Ok fine, then find a mode of exercises that you do want to do and get rid of the should. This has been challenged to me in the past when people say well I don’t want to do the washing up but I should do it anyway, to keep partner/housemates/cat happy. Simple, do you want your partner/housemates/cat to be happy? Then you want to do the washing up to ensure that.
I would have but…
There is levels to the I would have.
The common blame; I would have but J. Blogs distracted me.
The not wanting it enough; I would have but it’s too far to go and on too late.
And finally, the self downer; I would have but i’m not good enough to do that.
Replacing I would have with a simple yes or no stops the but. There is a saying, anything you say before but is a lie. If someone says to me ‘I would have but’ all I hear is ‘I didn’t want it enough’. If someone says ‘No, I had to take the cat to the Vet because an unwashed plate fell on its head’ I know its a valid reason and they’re worth investing time into for the future.
I could do that if…
If you had enough time? Everyone gets 24 hours.
If you didn’t have other commitments? Everyone has commitments.
If you were as gifted as them? Read ‘Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice’.
I could is like saying I had an opportunity but I didn’t take it. Again there is valid times to say I could but back it up with the truth and be honest about it.
Become aware of when and in what situations you say the big three. You can then start to catch yourself doing it and hopefully change your approach to giving reasons for not doing things.
You want to be better, you can be better, you will be better. Thats the positive type of sentence I hope you start to say to yourself and others from now on.
By: Tom Walker, Endurance Coach