Wearing a bathing suit in public: It sends chills down my back. In fact, I gravitate to big-city get-aways so I don’t even have to take my bathing suit out of its drawer. But yesterday, I did it. I put on my big girl pants (or in this case, a bikini), marched into the pool area at Soho House (because big cities have bodies of water, too), and decided I’d have a wonderful day at the pool if it killed me. I’m honestly not sure this could have happened had I not attended the Motivate Summit here in Chicago a few months ago. Let me explain.
During a breakout session at the Summit, a group of fitness pros was talking about how we coach our clients to re-write the script that runs in a loop in their heads. Scripts like, “I look fat” or “I wish I looked like that” or “What will so-and-so think if I do such-and-such?” Coach Stevo, CEO of Habitry who puts on the Motivate Summit, mentioned that his fiancé Kat had a great trick when it came to crappy self-talk like this. She will let herself think the negative thought (instead of just trying to repress it) and then will immediately follow it up by asking, “But what if I didn’t care?”
What if I didn’t care?
Those five words put together into a question: Those could be some of the most powerful in your life. They’ve begun to sink in with me and it’s been a serious game-changer.
“I will feel so gross in my bathing suit and people will totally judge me,” was the script looping around in my head as I weighed the pros and cons about going poolside.
“But what if I didn’t care?” I rebutted. Really, though. I made myself answer that question. If I didn’t care, here’s what might happen:
(SIDE NOTE: Had I not gone to the pool that day, I wouldn't have run into an old friend who I'd gone to high school with in Hong Kong, who also happened to be my freshman roommate at Northwestern, who moved to Italy right after graduation, whom I had not seen since 2002!! WHAT?! All because I jumped off the deep end and wore a bikini!)
So: What if, next time you caught yourself saying something not-nice to yourself, you asked the question, "But what if I didn't care?"...
This post was originally in my newsletter but seemed to speak to so many people that I decided to put it up on the blog! You know, because I want more people to know about my gut-busting bikini battle ;) I hope this might have helped you, too! Feel free to leave a comment if this has ever had a positive impact on YOU! (And if you'd like to receive my weekly newsletter, you can totally sign up here!)