From Self-Talk Comes Self-Belief: Who Do You Think You Are?

In my business, I spend a great deal of time in a one-on-one setting with people. During this time I talk with my clients about all kinds of things—the weather, their work, their family, their friends, but mostly about themselves. Over the years I noticed something quite extraordinary. The people who spoke the most negatively were the same people who had the hardest time achieving their fitness goals. As a matter of fact, at the time of consultation I can pinpoint who is ready to achieve their fat loss and fitness goals and who will be held back from them! The reason for this boils down to something called self-belief. We define ourselves by who we think we are. Your self-belief is a culmination of your “I am” statements. This sense of certainty about who you are determines what you will (or will not) do.

I am fat.
I am unattractive.
I am a failure.
I am uncoordinated, and so on.

These “I am” beliefs are formed at various stages of our lives, starting in our childhood, and they ultimately form our identity. Everything you do and all you feel about yourself stems from your self-belief. This is the story you keep telling yourself, and if that story is negative, filled with doubt, or constructed of limiting beliefs, it is holding you back from having the body and life you desire. When a person comes into my office and I hear negative “I am” statements, I know I have more to deal with than simply changing the client’s eating and exercise habits. The first thing that must change is that person’s belief about himself or herself! One of the best methods to test your own self-beliefs is to get out a piece of paper and write the words “I am” followed by what feels true to you today:

In terms of my fitness I believe I am:
In terms of my health I believe I am:
In terms of my relationships I believe I am:
In terms of my finances I believe I am:
In terms of my I believe I am:
Take a long look at this list. Does it read negatively?

It is important never to define yourself as being something or someone whose qualities you do not want to possess. Always think of yourself as being that which you desire to become. Thinking, speaking, and defining yourself as fat, out of shape, or lazy becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and will quickly derail any chance of becoming the healthy, fit person you can be. Now that you know this, I want you to make another list with the same “I am” statements followed by a blank space. Now, fill in this space with the “I am” statement of the person you want to be:

I am attractive.
I am in great shape.
I am happy.
I am successful.
I am loved.
I am sexy.

Isn’t it amazing how much better it feels to write positively about yourself
rather than negatively?

Record your new “I am” statements in your daytimer or diary and review them each day.


Your thoughts and beliefs are the catalyst to your habitual behaviors that ultimately form your life. Your behavior consists of all the things, big and small, that you do each day—when you get up, when you work out, what you eat, how you handle stress. All of your habitual behaviors have led you to the point where you are right now. Whether you need to lose body fat, gain lean muscle, or improve your overall health, your behaviors have brought you here. The good news is that by using the power of positive thinking and by implementing the following six steps, you can develop new behaviors that will take you wherever you want to go.

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