We all have an inner chimp, this is our saboteur, the inner voice which tells us, 'there is no point', 'you won't be able to do it', 'today I can't be bothered' 'its easier to not do this' etc.
Most of the time you (your human and logical self) is well intentioned and wants to improve your fitness, eat healthier and get better.
But you are in a constant battle with your inner chimp. Just like a real chimp, it is stronger than the human and most of the time it wins, especially when the human is tired!
Don't blame the chimp though, it is still you, you can't control it, but you can use it to your advantage...
You chimp represents your feelings and emotions, while your human represents your logical thinking. When we are acting purely on 'chimp mode' we let out emotions get the better of us and our healthy eating or fitness plan goes out the window.
The chimp is clever and can also trick the human into thinking that what it wants is logical... there is a constant dialogue going on inside your head which can sound a bit like this...
Human: 'I am going to workout and eat well, so I feel and look better.'
Chimp: 'Sounds tough, you won't have time, it will be expensive to buy healthy food.'
Human: Yeah I know it will be tough, I can make time for TV, so I can make time for this, its something that I really want.
Chimp: But if you go to the gym you might miss X-Factor.
Human: Yeah but that is not as important as being fit and healthy.
Chimp: Your also going to need to do these other important things, like update Instagram and look at Facebook, you just don't have time.
Human: of course I have time, I don't need those things. I am going to get started right now, let's go for a run.
Chimp: But that means, getting changed, putting on trainers, then you will be sweaty and have to shower, there is no time. X-Factor will be on in 30mins.
Human: Hmmm, yeah maybe you right
Chimp: Why don't you start tomorrow? It looks like it might rain today.
Human: ok good idea I will start tomorrow...
Guess what, this person is never getting started, or maybe they do, but the chimp always finds reasons to stop when the going gets tough.
How can you get around this?
Take a moment to think about how good you will feel when you achieve your goals. Visualise that feeling, take a moment right now to think about how great it will be to achieve your goals.
The idea is to build your chimps emotional attachment with that thought and use the power of the chimp to get what you want, instead of letting it sabotage you!
For those of you who think emotions are BS and do not control the way we behave, just think about how you would react when someone cuts you up when your driving. Does your human react calmly or does your chimp go 'ape-shit'?
Your chimp is also the one that beats you up about how shitty you look or how you lack energy or strength, so remind your chimp of that next time it wants ice-cream!
Don't be fooled by your inner chimp, you will be at times, but be aware when it happens and take a moment to think about how good you will feel when you achive your goal.
It is what you do today that matters.
Daily actions and good habits are what will win the race and get your to achieve your long term goals.
For those of you who signed up with me, but never got back in touch. Its ok, I know it is your chimp delaying you getting in touch, finding reasons why should not get your act together and upgrade your life.
WAIT... There is another part of your mind... The computer.
To understand how the mind operates we can split it down very simply.
The human, the chimp and the computer.
.The chimp is more powerful than the human and the computer is more powerful than the chimp.
The computer is not a conscious part of the brain, but is your unconscious mind, where all of your habits are stored.
The most important thing you need to know about the computer is that it learns from either the human or the chimp. Every new situation presents the opportunity to add a new 'programme' into the computer.
This is why it is always good to stop and think about the situations you are in, to give the human time to respond not the chimp.
What kind of programmes have been entered into your computer?
Remember the computer receives all information before the chimp and human, so if there is a programme in there to deal with a situation then it will run before either the human or the chimp can respond.
Has your chimp entered anything which is constantly sabotaging your efforts?
What habits have you established and what habits did the chimp establish?
You might have programmes such as every Friday and Saturday you go to the pub. Or when you are in a particularly stressful situation you eat something you know is not good for your health and fitness, your chimp will justify this of course, or your computer will just run the programme and your human will have no chance of getting around it!
Let me know your habits if you want to learn how to overcome them you might be interested in some coaching, its very difficult to overcome them on your own.
To read more about this I recommend reading 'The Chimp Paradox' by Dr Steve Peters.
For any questions please comment below or email me.