The power of doubt

It’s amazing how much power a little bit of self doubt can have.

Last week in one of my classes somebody started to question whether they were doing an exercise right. Within a few seconds almost half the class had stopped what they were doing, trying to figure out if they too were doing things wrong. One tiny speck of self doubt had managed to totally throw these people off their workouts. This is just one small example of how we let our doubts have a negative impact on our lives.

  • “I’ve never been able to stick to a workout before so why bother attending a new class”

  • “I think Pilates is too hard for me, I’ll probably be the worst in the class”

  • “I always fail at my diets, I don’t think I will ever lose the weight that I want to”

  • “I’m doing this exercise wrong” (even though you know your instructor will tell you if you are doing it wrong!)

These aren’t facts, they are doubts but the more we repeat them to ourselves the more real they become until eventually we’ve turned them into our reality.

Everyone has doubts, whether they are related to fitness, health, relationships, jobs or just life in general. It’s how you frame these doubts and how you think about them that matters. The words you use (and more importantly think!) are SO powerful, they literally have the power to change the outcome of a situation.

So challenge yourself to reword your doubts and worries. Instead of thinking you aren’t good enough ask yourself what would help you to improve. Instead of telling yourself you will be the worst in the class find a class aimed specially at beginners and commit to focusing on your own workout rather than watching others.

When I was training to become a Pilates instructor I was so nervous when teaching big groups, I always told myself that I wasn’t ready to teach until one day my tutor just said to me “you are more than ready, you need to teach, it’s the only way to progress”. I realised she was right, I took a deep breath, told myself that I could and should teach, got my act into gear and started teaching and it was the best decision as it helped me to learn and grow.

Have a think about your doubts. Can you reword them into more proactive comments? Or even better, face them head on and do the thing that scares you? Challenge yourself to feel the fear, have the doubts and do it anyway, trust me…it’s worth it.

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