There is a saying in the fitness industry – “The body achieves what the mind believes.” This is very true.
At high-level competitions such as the Olympics, athletes face immense mental stress. Winning a prize will require them to believe in themselves and conquer their fears. It’s as much a mental game as a physical one.
The same can be said for the average person too. If you’re trying to lose weight, it will be a mental game. If you’re already lean but want to build a muscular body, it will be a mental game too.
In order to transform your body, you’ll need to transform your mind first. The first step is to believe that you can do it. So many false beliefs exist among different people.
Some believe that they’re destined to be fat. Others believe that they can never be muscular because they’re “hard gainers’ with poor genetics. While these reasons may be true to some extent, you still need to believe that you can get past these limitations and reach your goals.
If you allow yourself to never get started because these “natural setbacks” are insurmountable, you’ll never put in the effort required to break past these barriers. You are definitely capable of reaching your goals, but you must give yourself a chance.
Keep a journal and write down what you think is holding you back. Being frank with yourself and penning down your innermost thoughts will help you understand why your thoughts are self-defeating in nature. Once you get a sense of self, you’ll know what you need to do to move forward.
Another obstacle to overcome will be fear. Your mind fears pain and discomfort. It will conjure up a thousand reasons and excuses to spare you from any discomfort. This is the body’s self-preservation mechanism… and it’s very strong.
If you want to go on a new diet, your mind will keep tempting you to cheat on the diet. Cleaning up your diet requires effort and a period of discomfort to adjust to the new, healthier food.
Your mind doesn’t want you to go through this “pain” and tries to bring you relief by making you choose the foods that are detrimental, yet pleasurable. By transforming your mind, you’ll recognize how it is trying to take you away from what you truly want… and you’ll be more vigilant and truer to your goals.
The same applies to exercise/working out. Sweating it out at the gym is not a pleasurable task. Your mind doesn’t want you to go through that torture. Even people who train daily will face times when they’re just not in the mood.
Pushing past this inertia and going anyway is what is going to take you to the next level. You must accept that it’s not a pleasurable task. Even if it’s an activity you love, such as swimming or kickboxing, etc. there is effort involved and your body just wants to rest and be indolent.
By transforming your mind, you’ll understand that you need to do what you need to do, regardless of whether you’re in the mood for it or not. Once you can manage that, you will transform your body and reach your goals in any endeavor you put your mind to.
“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” – Steve Maraboli