Beware the Dream Pirates
by Miss Abs

DREAM PIRATES are those little inner voices we all have which speak only to us -- voices that no one else can hear, just like in the old movie, Topper.

They crop up constantly. Many are words of caution put there by our parents or teachers. Often they're beneficial because they keep us from doing things that would bring us harm, like looking both ways before we cross the street. But they can also be detrimental if the message they whisper is based on old wives tales or superstitions -- things like you'll have seven years of bad luck if you accidentally break a mirror.

The worst, however, are the Dream Pirates often instilled into your psyche by supposedly well-meaning friends, family members and co-workers that can undermine your self-confidence. Added to them are your own fears -- things that you've read or learned from a bad experience that reinforce these negative seeds at precisely the moment you should be thinking the exact opposite.

Some of the most insidious are "You'll always be fat!" "You can't build muscle!" "You will never be good at [you name the sport or activity]!" even though they were probably not said in those exact words. Even though we may not realize or verbalize these concepts consciously, they can lurk constantly in our minds and sabotage us.

Overcoming Dream Pirates

When you run across something you know you should and can do, but for some reason you hang back out of fear, learn to eliminate these thoughts from your mind and your own personal space. Learn positive self-talk. I can hear you thinking to yourself that this is easier said than done and granted, it can take a bit of practice since most of us are used to putting ourselves down.

So how do you get these thoughts out of your mind? Whenever a Dream Pirate enters my mind I just close my eyes and say "STOP"
while I picture the big red octoganal sign in my mind's eye. This prevents the thought from securing any position or placement into my permanent thought process. It also usually brings a smile to my face because I realize how ridiculous I'm acting. Finding the humor in the situation helps me relax and get real.

Once you realize the BS, the next step is to reinforce your goal in your mind.

Try This:

The next time you hear that little bird whisper, "You can't lose fat. You will never be attractive," visualize the STOP sign and say in your mind, or out loud for that matter: "I am losing fat and I'm on target with my goal. Then enjoy a good laugh at yourself.

When a Dream Pirate tries to sabotage your efforts, telling you that one bite of cake won't hurt you or that you're not pushing hard enough in the gym, STOP. Say to yourself, "I will save the cake for for my anything-goes meal," or "I can't bench that yet but I added two pounds to the bar yesterday; I'm doing it right so I don't get injured."

By taking baby steps toward your goal you will eventually reach it. If you stay the course, you will achieve success. You will learn patience, perseverance and determination along the way. These attributes not only work when it comes to losing fat or building muscle: they work in all other aspects of life as well.

So remember to fight those Dream Pirates off. Keep your STOP sign handy.