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When to listen (or not) to your inner voice

Thursday, October 2016

Q&A with PT Kerrie Olson about how self talk can make or break your training.

If anyone knows about the power of an inner voice it’s Kerrie Olson, Step into Life personal trainer from Mitchell Park, South Australia.

Known as SLOTS (spiritual leader of the south), Kerrie joined Step into Life in 2009 and has not only undergone her own transformation, but has built a community of members who care for each other’s goals and support each other without reservation.

“I’m of the opinion that if you foster an environment of acceptance and positivity, then inspiration and motivation will come from within that space. And then, it becomes a continual dynamic force,” she says.

And so, we caught up with Kerrie about the power of your inner voice to propel you to greatness, but also what to do if it starts to sabotage all your exercise efforts.

Q. What is a person's inner monologue?

A. A person’s inner voice contains the semi or subconscious thoughts of an individual and reflects their values and life experiences, but it is also influenced by the perceptions and actions of those around them.

Q. How can it effect the way we do (or don’t) exercise?

A. The interesting thing is, a person’s choice to exercise can be influenced by both negative and positive self talk depending on the motivating factors surrounding the reasons for moving more. For example, some people will exercise on the basis of inactivity and an inner voice saying: “you’ve been slack” or “you’re overeating”. But the same activity result can be achieved with an inner voice commentary of: “exercise makes me feel great” or “I love how I now look and feel”. There’s no denying an inner voice that is loaded with self doubt and criticism can sabotage all efforts to exercise.

Q. What are some ways to train or control your inner voice during training?

A. From personal experience I’ve found it really important to realise and remember what I want the most and what my purpose was for starting my fitness journey. Every time I feel dissuaded about my progress, I remember how my life was as an overweight, unfit and unhealthy person and that is plenty of motivation to keep me moving forward. I also think about the people who have found inspiration in my story and how many lives have been influenced and changed by it. We’ve all heard that what you feed grows and what you starve dies and this is exactly the case for our inner voice. Try to feed and nurture self acceptance and celebrate every small achievement along the way. Reach out if you cannot control the negativity that your inner voice is sprouting and ask people to reinforce (over and over again if necessary) what makes you great, special and worth the effort.

Q. What are your top tips for staying motivated to achieve a long-term fitness goal?


  1. People! Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your goals. Talk to them constantly about your progress and be accountable.
  2. Install safety nets with recognisable signs for when your inner voice wanders off track.
  3. Keep a record of your goals, celebrate victories and always be on the lookout for how you can help others achieve their goals
  4. Stay positive and present.


P.S. For more on how to get – and stay – motivated read these tips from Michael Case, master franchisee of Step into Life South Australia, on How the Pros Get in the Zone .





By Harriet Edmund


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When to listen (or not) to your inner voice