I was on the Peloton the other day and I couldn’t help but notice the Leader Board on the right hand side of the screen. It was filled will all sorts of creative names people have chosen to identify themselves. Rarely do you see just “Bob,” it’s more likely to be, “BikesForBrownies” or something silly like that. In that vane, I chose, “Lizardbreath,” which is a take off of Elizabeth, just to be funny and make my kids laugh. But of course, this got me thinking.
As I watched these names on the leaderboard continuously scroll by, I noticed how many were self-disparaging. Using self-disparaging language is all about bad-mouthing or belittling oneself. If you are on a bike, or anywhere else for that matter, trying to improve yourself in body and mind, why would you choose a name that puts you down and causes others to think so as well? And you think it’s just a one-off on the Pelotonleaderboard? Nope. Have you ever said, “I’m such an idiot,” or “How could I be so stupid,” or “I hate myself,” or “I’m so ugly.”
Be very careful with what you call yourself, even if you’re trying to be humble or funny, because it matters—a lot! Research shows that when people belittle themselves, the brain takes those words and thoughts as fact, which manifests as a real characteristic of the individual. Sacrificing our self-worth for the enjoyment of others is not ok. We need to choose language that builds us up. There are already enough things that knock us down on a daily basis, we don’t have to add ourselves to that list. So today I’ll be changing my name on Peloton to something like BringItBeth. That seems a lot more empowering than Lizardbreath, don’t you think?
P.S. My favorite name that I saw on the leaderboard was ChasingMatt Wilpers! That was brilliant!