Self Story

The lies we tell ourselves”

“I’m not cut out for this exercise lark” Dave said as he was feeling sick and out of breath at the gym.

Dave was in his late 30s and out of shape. He used to be pretty fit when he was younger, playing football once a week and just assumed he’d stay that way.

The football got put on hold when he got a new job because he had to work late most evenings. Which also meant he was more stressed, slept less and ate more takeaways. Just the usual. That’s life, right?

The steady decline…

As he hit his 30s he started to put on some weight. Nothing major, but there was definitely a change. It wasn’t until he saw a Facebook memory photo from 5 years ago that he noticed how big of a change it was.

Dave had continued to think he could start playing football again at any time and be just as fit as he was before. But he never got around to it. There was always something more important happening in his life.

Dave now found himself at the gym because he’d recently discovered that he was considered obese – a Body Mass Index (BMI) score of over 30. And that people who are obese are statistically more likely to suffer heart failure and strokes than other people.

Sometimes it’s not as easy as it looks

But it wasn’t easy getting back in shape, Dave was finding. “I can’t do anything. I’m fat and feel sick. I’m past it. I’ll never get back in shape.” is what Dave was telling himself, sometimes out loud to his trainer and always in his head.

This story, the negative self-talk that Dave was using is pretty common. But it’s not helpful at all.

What do you say when you talk to yourself?

Remember in a previous post where I talked about “you are not your mind”? What is your mind saying which you are just listening to…?

Can you identify the stories that you are playing over and over again in your mind? Are they helpful or are they little gremlins that are destructive, bringing you down.

You can become aware of your own thoughts, your mind working, so take control of it. If you allow your wandering mind to control you, that means the machine has taken over. You are not your mind and you can control it. It’s a great tool if you can learn to use it wisely.


  • Try to notice what you are saying to yourself today

  • Do you have a story on repeat in your head?

  • Do you talk negatively to yourself when you make a mistake?

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