Stop minimizing yourself

For one day, I’d like you to remove one word from your vocabulary. 

Only.

As an adjective, the definition is “alone of its or their kind, single or solitary.”  It's the only jazz joint in town. 

But I would add another definition. 

To minimize. 

So often I hear clients use the word to minimize themselves and their actions. “I only did 10 reps instead of 12. I only did three sets instead of four.” 

And these are not clients who are being lazy. They are not clients who are dogging it and taking the easy way out. These are usually people that are working as hard as they can - they are working 60 hour weeks, driving three kids to three different extracurricular activities and somedays it's all they can do to even walk through the doors for a workout. 

Ok, to be fair, I do it too sometimes.

I only worked out twice last week instead of three times.

Stop it, ok? For today, stop minimizing what you do.

When we use words like only or  just (click here to read my post on the word just) we minimize the work that we are doing.

We minimize ourselves and our efforts. We are, in effect, saying to ourselves that we are not enough and that what we have done is not good enough.

The word only, much like exclamation points (thanks to my college professor Dr. Minot) is unnecessary. When someone says they only did three sets, I repeat it back to them:

So you did three sets. 

I only journaled my food three days last week.

So you journaled three days, as opposed to the zero the week before. 

Language matters, ok? What we say matters and what we repeat to ourselves matters.

Let me say that again.

Language matters. 

What we say aloud to our friends, our coaches and ourselves matters. What we say in front of our children matters even more.  

I'm not saying that you shouldn't work hard. I'm not saying that you shouldn't push yourself. In fact, set three goals for the week. My stretch goal for meal prep is five days, my ideal is four, and my minimum is three days. Sure, you can push for five, but if you get three days in then you've done a damn good job for yourself. 

And don’t you dare tell me that you only did anything.

Ok?

Stack those successes on top of each other. Keep pushing forward. 

But stop minimizing yourself. You deserve more.