It’s not lack of knowledge, money or willpower. It’s not injury. It’s not even laziness.
The biggest obstacle standing between a person and his or her dream body is limiting beliefs.
A limiting belief is an idea that we assume to be true, usually without our even realizing it. It affects our behavior, and it sabotages our progress. Limiting beliefs in general are not all bad. For example, "I cannot fly" is a limiting belief that (thankfully) keeps us from jumping off cliffs.
But when it comes to making changes to your lifestyle and fitness level, a limiting belief can be a prison you’ve built with your own mind.
Today’s article is the first of a series in which I’ll deconstruct the most common fitness limiting beliefs I’ve encountered with my clients. Check them out and be brutally honest with yourself: do these sound familiar? If so, I’ll do my best to help you reprogram your outlook and give you a fresh start with your health and fitness goals.
Limiting Belief #1: “Nothing works for me.”
This is the most common, most damaging, and most ridiculous limiting belief in the world of fitness.
If you’ve tried lots of approaches -- or even “tried everything” -- it can be very difficult not to witness the results you want. So you conclude that you drew the short straw in life, and that you’ll simply never, ever be in shape.
Look, everyone faces unique challenges -- an injury or genetic disadvantage, for example -- but your body and current fitness level were not handed down to you like a life sentence. They are almost entirely the products of your lifestyle and choices, and they are always within your control.
In short, it’s not you that’s the problem. You are not broken. You are not the exception. You are not destined to fail.
The real problem, I would argue, is the very fact that you've "tried everything,” because you've probably done so with very little consistency. Most people who claim that “nothing works” haven’t tried one approach or methodology for longer than a few weeks. And this is the real source of their repeated failures.
You are not broken. You are not the exception. You are not destined to fail.
In fitness, variety of effort is meaningless. Intensity of effort is way overemphasized. But consistency of effort wins the day. Every time.
To help you conquer this limiting belief, you must adjust your focus from finding the magic bullet to finding an approach you can sustain with consistency.
Give yourself 12 weeks of honest effort, then re-assess. You may find that you're making progress, and so you should stay the course. You may find that your results fall short of your expectations, and that's fine, too, so long as you use that data to adjust your approach and not give up.
Big changes aren't easy. They require a series of small changes and the patience and discipline to let them add up. [Click to tweet]
But you (yes you -- flaws and all) absolutely can do it.
Have you ever felt like you've tried everything? Are you working to overcome the limiting belief that nothing works for you? Get in touch with a comment or email and let me know how I can help. Or, if you've overcome this limiting belief, let us know how you did it!
[Next week’s post: Limiting Belief #2: Being fit means a life of deprivation and suffering.]