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Are We Our Own Worst Enemy?

So Saturday I hosted two workshops at the Limitless Women’s Conference.

The slogan for the conference was “I can. I will. I AM.”

I can. I will. I am.

And the goal of the conference was to inspire people to have more faith in themselves…To make people believe in themselves!

Because let’s face it…most people never make changes or better their lives not because they don’t have the ability or resources, not because someone else holds them back, not even because someone else tells them that they can’t…

But because they tell themselves, “I can’t. I won’t. I’m not.”

Most people are their own worst enemies.

We shoot ourselves down before we even give ourselves a shot. We look at our long-term goal and see just how far off we are from it, and maybe even think about the times before when we’ve failed, and give up either before we even gotten started or at the slightest sign of struggle.

We have it in our mind that success is a straight line and we get so focused on the end result that we can’t see all the small successes we achieve every day.

I mean think about it…How many times have you gotten down on yourself because you aren’t there YET instead of thinking about all the great things you’ve done today and the last few days, weeks and months to get yourself increasingly closer to your goal?

LIke all the time right!?!

STOP!

Stop being your worst enemy and start believing in yourself!

And building that confidence doesn’t happen overnight. It also doesn’t happen just because you hit your big goal.

You actually build confidence through small victories.You need to celebrate even the tiniest of successes because even small successes build momentum and get you closer to your goal.

The small successes add up both in terms of actual results and MINDSET – actually most importantly in terms of MINDSET.

When you start to BELIEVE you CAN, you WILL.

When you set even the easiest, most simple goal and accomplish it, you will believe more in yourself.

It sounds stupid. But trust me it really really works.

When I have days where I’m stressed and I don’t even want to get started on work, I write down on my list some really stupid and simple tasks just so I can cross them off pretty early in the day and already feel like I’ve gotten a ton of stuff down.

For example, I check my email every morning when I wake up, but sometimes when I feel overloaded, I will actually write down on my daily task list, “check email” just so I can basically get up and cross something off my list. Seeing one thing done always motivates me to get started. And even then, I don’t necessarily do the things that NEED to be done first, I do the things that have the lowest barrier to entry first.

Why?

Because those small successes and accomplishments get the momentum going on days when I don’t even want to get started!

So start today. Make a list of easy and small things you can start doing that will at least prepare you to move forward on your goal.

Once you get the momentum going, the bigger changes won’t seem as daunting.

So stop telling yourself “NO..I can’t. I won’t. I’m not.”

Find even the smallest piece that you CAN DO today and start with that. Let everything else fall in to place as you progress.

One step at a time!!!

Calming the Nerves

So this Saturday is my first kettlebell competition. I’ve been excited about the challenge and I like training for something.

I also thought I wouldn’t be too nervous.

But I am.

And honestly, I’m surprised. I never really had anxiety while playing tennis in college. I mean maybe a few pre-match jitters if I really wanted to beat the team or new they were really good. But I never really suffered from “nerves.”

I had some for the powerlifting competition, but I don’t remember them being this bad. ¬†Although maybe that had something to do with the fact that I had to drastically cut weight the week before and had never done that so was more focused on not eating and sweating out as much as I could than on the actually competition. (I was also very focused on making sure I had the proper equipment to compete so I guess I really didn’t have time even to truly think about being nervous.)

Anyway, I think I was mostly just taken off guard by the anxiety.

I have a solid goal for myself for the competition – I want to hit 88 reps in the 10 minutes. It isn’t an outrageous goal, I’ve hit it in practice a couple of times.

But for some reason knowing that I CAN do it and HAVE done it, doesn’t relieve my anxiety.

And on top of that, I don’t even have to lose much weight to make weight!

So really, there is nothing to be nervous about!!!

Right?

I mean logically I know there is no point to wasting any energy being nervous. I know I’ve trained as hard as I can and eaten well and done everything I can to be ready.

But still…

Nerves aren’t logical!

And facing a new and slightly unknown challenge is always scary.

But just like the powerlifting competition, I always feel so much stronger when I’ve managed to push myself to do something outside of my comfort zone – when I’ve managed to push through the nerves.

I mean…Isn’t that how we really grow?

P.S. Here is a great article that one of the owners posted to our team page today. It really motivated me and made me calm down a bit!

Mind Tricks

So when you tell most people to do some sort of visualization they roll their eyes and think it is kind of stupid and hokey.

It seems like a stupid mind trick…And most people think it won’t work on them.

I, myself, am not the hugest fan of the close my eyes and picture myself doing something type of visualization even though I do realize it can make a difference.

Visualization CAN and has been proven to help improve performance and adherence to goals.

But most people refuse to use it because they think that visualization only means closing their eyes and picturing themselves performing well or doing the workouts or even simply eating well. It doesn’t have to be picturing yourself once you’ve lost the weight or are able to deadlift 300lbs. ūüôā

Visualization can be done in SO many ways.

All you need to do is create a VISUAL of your success or even simply of your adherence to your program.

For me it is posting the numbers I want to hit at the kettlebell competition somewhere where I can see them every day.

Numbers that mark success, even if it is just the success of hitting a short-term goal, can be great motivation.

For some people a great visual is hanging up the skinny jeans they are trying to fit into again in a place where they can see them all the time.

For others it is putting stones or coins in a jar marking how many pounds they want to lose. Each time they lose a pound, they remove a stone or coin from the jar. Seeing that jar become more and more empty is a motivating visual!

I honestly love visuals. I write out diets on calendars that I hang up. That way I know exactly what I should be eating that day. And every day I stick to it perfectly, it is so satisfying to go cross it off!

It is just so motivating when you feel even the slightest bit down or off to be able to SEE something that reminds you of where you want to be and all of the hard work you’ve been putting in to get there.

When you can see the goal, can see your success, you are going to be way less likely to give up or not work as hard as you can to keep the progress going.

Visualization is simply creating a visual of something that keeps you dedicated. Something that helps you SEE SUCCESS.

It may be a mind trick, but trust me…it can really work.

I mean think about it…Wouldn’t seeing your progress and your goal every day make you want to work just a little harder?

Slowly Circling

So over the last couple of weeks I’ve spoken A LOT about mindset.

I’ve been slowly circling the topic talking about being “All Talk” or saying “No” all too often. I’ve talked about how you make the workouts hard based on your mental toughness and how you determine whether or not a change will stick by knowing WHY you are doing it.

And while all of these talk about different aspects of mindset the biggest point to take away from all of these posts is that MINDSET IS KEY.

If you don’t have your mind under control, how do you expect to be able to stick to a diet or exercise program? How do you expect to maintain self-control if you aren’t confident and don’t believe in yourself?

Thoughts beget actions.

So negative thoughts mean diet and exercise failures while positive thoughts mean looking and feeling great!

So here are 10 tips to help you turn a positive mindset into results!

  1. Figure out your WHY – Why do you really want to change your diet and/or exercise more? If you know the real reason, not your “just to be healthier reason” you are way more likely to stick to your plan. If your WHY is powerful enough, you will MAKE things work!
  2. Use the positive momentum –¬†There is something that got you motivated to start the diet or exercise program in the first place. What you need to do is capitalize on it. Don’t say, “Yes I’m going to do it…I’ll start tomorrow!” START NOW! Don’t wait! Do everything you can to keep the momentum going. Start eating healthy the moment you want to start a diet. Even if you ate badly earlier in the day, you can still turn things around! Use your momentum. Map out a plan. Do small things to start. Place your motivation up on the fridge and keep it going!
  3. Make goals big events – When are you most likely to really stay committed to your diet or exercise program? WHEN YOU ARE WORKING TOWARD A BIG EVENT! Think about it….when you are losing weight for a wedding or getting ready for a competition you are going to work your hardest to look, feel and perform great on that big day. No big event in your future? Create your own event! You can create an event by planning an outing when you achieve your goal. You can make your diet and exercise program a competition with friends with “testing dates” which would be events to prepare for. Whatever it is, the more of a “BIG EVENT” you make it, the more likely you are to stay committed!
  4. Surround yourself with believers –¬†Surround yourself with friends who SUPPORT what you are doing. Surround yourself with people who will push you and encourage you not with people who complain and skip workouts. Getting the people around you in favor of what you are doing will ¬†make it so much easier! That doesn’t mean your spouse has to do your diet, it just means he/she has to support you! Support means you won’t give in to temptation. When you feel down, you will have someone to pep you up!
  5. No more “Nos” –¬†Start paying attention to how many times a day you say no to yourself. Then start stopping yourself when you are about to tell yourself “no.” When you realize you are about to say “no,” stop your thought and say “yes.” Yes you can. Yes you will. Yes you have the strength/self-control/WHATEVER. You CAN do it!
  6. Be the tortoise¬†– Don’t expect perfection. You don’t have to go cold turkey and zoom ahead like the hare. Slow steady changes will make the difference in the long run! If you want to create a lifestyle that you will stick to in the long run, you need to take your time. Small swaps, little changes will turn your new diet and exercise program into a habit! If you create a plan, plan in times to indulge and enjoy. Don’t seek PERFECTION!
  7. Visualize! –¬†So I’m not telling you to close your eyes and visualize your body looking splendid and you jumping and running through the fields happily. Visualization can be a lot of different things. For me visualization means looking at my lifting numbers and trying to match my best or beat it. For me visualization means posting pictures of myself where I look my best and trying to make sure I stay there. For me visualization isn’t imagination – it is putting something solid in front of you that you WILL attain. It is putting a picture in front of you of a woman who is the weight you want to be. It is putting the lifting numbers of a woman you want to beat in front of you. You aren’t picking out outrageous things, but things that tangibly represent your goals! It is showing yourself your goal in solid terms!
  8. Post, share and make your goal be known –¬†Post your goals on the fridge, on your computer, by your bed, wherever you can see them each and every day! Share your goals with friends and family. Create a blog. Make a Facebook page. Do whatever, but make your goals be known! You are way more likely to retain self-control and stay positive when you know that you won’t only be letting yourself down but the others who know about your goal if you quit!
  9. Breath and refocus – That downward spiral of negativity can ruin a day. It can ruin a week…Heck it can ruin years! So what do you do? You have a negative thought. You cheat on your diet. You skip your workout. Stop, breath and refocus! Sometimes when I get into a downward spiral I mentally tell myself to “STOP”…or “shut up” depending on my thoughts. One slip up doesn’t ruin anything. It doesn’t excuse the slip up but it doesn’t ruin anything. What RUINS your diet or exercise routine is if you let that one incident spiral out of control. Remember, if you have a negative thought or a slip up, just stop breath and refocus! The key is to implement something that stops the negativity in its tracks!
  10. Start acting the part – Thoughts create actions, but actions can also create thoughts. If you start acting the way you want to be, you will start thinking of yourself in that way, which in turn will mean you act the part. Sometimes the best way to become what you want to be is to play a part. Make a list of 10 things a person like the person you want to be would do and then do those 10 things…Not once, but every day!

No

How many times a day do you say the word “no?”

More importantly, how many times a day do you tell yourself the word “no?”

I bet it’s a lot…and I mean A LOT.

No I can’t run faster. No I can’t lift more. No I can’t…..No I won’t….No I’m too tired…too stressed…too…

STOP WITH THE SELF DOUBT AND EXCUSES!

“No” can be one of the most destructive words.

When you tell yourself “no,” you are basically telling yourself that you don’t believe in yourself.

You are telling yourself that you can’t do something before you’ve even tried.

You aren’t even giving yourself a chance!!! You don’t KNOW if you can do it because instead of trying you say, “NO…I can’t.”

I see it every day.

And you know what my response almost 100% of the time is? “Well try and we will see!”

And guess what?

Most of the time when people actually give themselves a chance, they prove they CAN in fact do it!

So then if most of the time we actually CAN do something, why are we constantly putting ourselves down by saying “no?”

Are we afraid to fail? Do we not want to work hard? Are we worried more about how others view us than how we view ourselves?

WHAT IS IT!?!

Honestly, it’s probably a big combination of the things above as well as the fact that many of us DON’T have confidence in our own abilities.

We are usually our own hardest critic.

And our stupid self-doubt usually keeps us from accomplishing half of what we can actually do.

And if you don’t believe in you, why should anyone else?

So starting this weekend, stop holding yourself back with the word “no” when you workout…or in life for that matter.

Try pushing yourself even if it means failure. Give yourself a chance!!!

I mean…what’s worse…Trying and failing or never trying at all?

I’d rather try and fail and get back up then wish I’d tried at all!

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