"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't; you're right." - Henry Ford
Before you start reading I want you to think of what your health and fitness goals are. Do you train to get stronger? More fit? Attain 6-pack abs? Move better and feel amazing? Got it? Good.
Now I want you to visualize yourself hitting that goal. Can you see it? It's not easy to see yourself outside of your current state. Your conscious perception of yourself or "self-image" believe it or not is a habit and just like any other habit can be changed. It is not easy, but it can be done.
Too often I hear clients say they are doing 'everything right' and still not seeing significant results. The problem, however, may not be on what you are or aren't doing but rather not believing you can succeed in the first place.
The Problem: You Don't Believe In Yourself
Have you ever saw someone lift a weight that is heavier than you can lift and said to yourself, "I could never lift that." Or maybe you look at a magazine with a model with a flat stomach or 6-pack (albeit airbrushed) and said "I can never look like that!" You may even tell yourself you could never work out 3 times a week. It's impossible.
This is a HUGE problem and a surefire way to get frustrated, throw your hands up in the air and ultimately give up. The fact is that we are WAY too hard on ourselves, perhaps judging ourselves much harder than anyone else in our lives does. I'll tell you, if this is what goes on in your head, you have already paid for your one-way ticket to sucksville. And it sucks.
Stop Telling Yourself That You Suck
The first step towards getting your mind right is accepting where you are and understanding that there will be obstacles in
the way of you reaching your goals. Know that you will never be able to control outcomes (just like the bumper sticker: shit happens) but it is of utmost importance to understand that you can ALWAYS control your behaviors in the moment.
To an extent, you control what goes on in your head and much of that 'self talk' shapes who we are. What do you tell yourself? Who do you want to be? What do you want to do in your life? These are the questions we are constantly asking ourselves and answering. And how you answer truly matters.
We all too often compare ourselves to others and get stuck in the "I can never do that" or "I'm not good enough" or strong enough or fast enough mentality... you get the picture. Is this what you are telling yourself?
I could blab on about the psychology but I would rather tell you that you're right. The quote at the top of the page says it best, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't; you're right." So much wisdom. In your head, you're always right. But I know a little secret. You might not be able to lift a certain weight or drop a decent amount of body fat today, or even tomorrow. But in most cases you can, at some point.
Starting is Easy, Finishing is Hard as F***
Most people seem to be more excited by the idea of a new diet or exercise program than by actually putting one foot in front of the other and making the necessary changes, day after day, week after week, month after month. They like the idea of starting but once they don't receive instant gratification from getting results, shit begins to hit the fan. Thoughts of "I can't do it", start flooding the right side of the brain where we hold our beliefs as well as our subconscious mind.
The reality is that NO ONE has ever got great results by just walking through the door. I'm sorry but this isn't youth soccer where everyone gets a trophy for participating. Results come from constant and consistent effort over time. Usually a longer time than you have in mind. And if your goal is something like lifelong health and longevity, well, it is going to take a lifetime.
Now think back on all those things you told yourself you could never do. Is it that you will truly never be able to lift that weight or drop some belly fat or is it just that you can't do them now? Can if you work towards them? Chances are you can.
So pack your bags because it is going to be a journey...and my best advice is to make it a fun one!. Accept where you are and know where you are going, have a blast doing it, and most importantly love yourself!