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What I hear when you say I CAN’T

I don’t mind complaining. I don’t mind whining….As long as you try!

But I can’t stand when someone says I can’t.

Because when you say “I CAN’T” all I hear is – I DON’T WANT TO TRY.

Or even I DON’T REALLY CARE ABOUT MY GOALS.

Yup…”I can’t” really just means you don’t want to try.

And don’t start making excuses about how that isn’t the case…Because it is.

Most of the time we don’t say “I can’t” if we’ve worked really hard and given it all we’ve got and things just don’t work out. Then we say “I tried,” or “It doesn’t work.”

Not “I can’t.”

“I can’t” is just us giving up. It is us saying our goals really aren’t worth trying.

It is basically us making up an excuse to keep failing at reaching our goal.

It is you telling me that I am wasting my time helping you because you are never going to accomplish your goals because you don’t have the right mindset.

Harsh…Yea a little. But true.

You are also wasting your OWN time working toward something if every time you encounter a problem or hurdle you say “I can’t.”

So what advice can I give you? Decide if your goals are worth risking failure! Because results come when you put yourself in uncomfortable situations and do things you don’t normally do.

And honestly what is really the worst thing that can happen if you TRY? You fail? It doesn’t work and you’re still stuck at the same spot you’re in now?

Well, you definitely won’t move forward if you don’t give it a shot and instead just keep doing the same old things.

Because you can’t expect a different result doing the same old things.

So why not at least TRY!?!

Why say “I can’t” before you’ve even given it a shot? If you really want to reach your goals, you’ve got to be willing to TRY NEW THINGS THAT YOU AREN’T COMFORTABLE WITH!

So next time you think about saying “I can’t” consider what you really mean. Is it really that you “can’t” or is it more that you don’t want to or are scared to try and fail?

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Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Most of us do not like trying new things or changing up our routine.

We like things the way they are EVEN if we don’t truly like things the way they are because we are, to some extent, COMFORTABLE.

But if you want to reach your goals, you’ve got to do things you aren’t comfortable with. You’ve got to do things DIFFERENTLY!

You’ve got to be willing to TRULY try new things. You’ve got to stop making excuses as to why you can’t do something or why something doesn’t work when it is really just that you don’t want to change or do things differently.

You don’t want to sacrifice or be uncomfortable. But you’ve got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and putting yourself outside your comfort zone if you want success.

You’ve got to do things you don’t want to do.

And sometimes you have to make sacrifices. Because getting a different result than you’ve been getting means you have to do things differently – it means CHANGE.

So how do you change when we are so resistant to change? How do you get comfortable being uncomfortable?

You have to take a step in a different direction.

It may be a big step or a small step, but you’ve got to do something you know is good even if you don’t want to.

Sometimes it means jumping in head first and just sucking it up. Other times it means making the smallest, least scary, change first.

In situations where you have lots of support and accountability, it may be easier to jump in head first. If you are going it alone, you may find that any drastic changes create backlash so taking a small step and adjusting to that first works better.

Either way though, you must first recognize that part of the reason it is hard to move forward is because it is uncomfortable.

Once you accept that you will need to be uncomfortable, you can general force yourself to do new things – whether it is a big step or small step forward, it is still a step forward.

And the best part is, when you get over that initial fear and JUST DO IT, new things become way less scary and uncomfortable.

So get comfortable being uncomfortable and take that step forward toward your goals!

Throw Back Thursday – What dreams have you forgotten?

Every so often, I like to look back over what I’ve accomplished.

It reminds me of how far I’ve come and inspires me to keep going.

And every so often when I look back, I remember goals and dreams that I may have had to let go by the wayside.

Goals and dreams that I actually still want to accomplish, but have for some reason had to put on hold.

Goals and dreams that if I ever want to accomplish I, at some point, need to buckle down and just do them because they aren’t going to accomplish themselves!

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You think you’re a man

So this isn’t a story about weight lifting and being masculine.

It is a story about drive.

A few weeks ago at the Kettlebell Competition, I met a client of another trainer at the gym.

When I introduced myself, he said, “Oh so you’re the Cori that did the VersaClimber stuff!”

I probably blushed a little and said, “Yup.”

He then said to me, “Yea we hear all about you all the time at the 5 a.m. hour! You were so driven…It’s like you thought you were a man you pushed so hard!”

I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped open, although I didn’t have a mirror to confirm this.

Because I really really wanted to accomplish my goal and pushed hard, I must have thought I was a man!?!

UHMM…

I laughed awkwardly and walked away quickly. I had no idea how to respond. I was completely floored.

Yes…I am super driven. I won’t let anything get in the way of me accomplishing my goals.

Yes…I am super competitive. I don’t like losing even if it is just to myself.

But how does being those two things mean I acted like a MAN!?!

Why is being driven and competitive supposedly masculine?!?

I must say, I’m pretty sure it’s not since I’ve been this way for like….EVER.

And I’m also pretty sure I’m female…yep…I checked…I’m female.

Still thinking back on the incident, I’m completely at a loss for how to respond.

All I can do is think about all of the times I’ve then supposedly acted like a man.

Like when training for the VersaClimber challenges. Or the battling ropes. Or the powerlifting competition. Or college tennis. Or the kettlebell competition…

Or like during max out tests in college….

We did max out tests at certain points throughout the year to test our fitness progress.

Hang cleans were always super frustrating for me and I’d been really really working to get my max up so that I hit 100lbs.

I at least wanted to hit 95lbs and thought 100 wasn’t out of the question since I’d been able to fairly easily do 90.

But when I went up to that bar, I just couldn’t get 95lbs. My pull was good, but for some reason, I just wasn’t able to coordinate a good sink underneath it.

I was stuck at 90lbs, which was super easy and only made it more frustrating that those 5 pounds made the lift completely impossible.

And so what did I do because I couldn’t hit my goal?

I cried.

There are very few things that will make me cry in public.

Serious injury might do it.

Someone dying might do it.

But well…failing at hitting my goal will ALWAYS do it.

Why?

Because I’m driven and competitive.

Failing at hitting a personal goal even if no one around me cares about it will 100% of the time make me cry.

It did when I missed that hang clean.

It did when I missed my goal at the KB competition.

And what about that makes me a man? Is it the involuntary crying? Is it the fact that I care about my goals enough to put everything I’ve got into them? Is it the fact that I want to succeed?

I mean seriously…explain it to me…because I sure as heck don’t get it.

It’s funny…I was typing in stuff searching for a cartoon and this is what came up when I typed in manly woman. AHHH!

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. 🙂

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!

Strength grows from vulnerability

Sometimes it is hard for me to want to do things that I know I’m bad at.

I don’t like failing.

But if I don’t make myself vulnerable to failure, if I don’t attempt the things I’m bad at, I will never grow stronger.

It sucks, but it is the hard truth.

And I want to be strong. AND you are only as strong as your weakest point.

So I work on my weak points. Sometimes I want to cry or puke. Sometimes I just want to give up.

But every time I push through, I get stronger.

Not only do I get stronger physically, but I also get stronger mentally. I become more empowered every time I make myself vulnerable and overcome an obstacle.

I actually think sometimes we focus too much on the physical obstacle without realizing how much pushing ourselves to do something will make us grow and become empowered as a person.

And honestly, isn’t growing stronger as a person really the most important part? I mean who really cares if you lift 45lbs or 300lbs?

No one.

The point is to OVERCOME something CHALLENGING to you. The numbers don’t matter. The exercise doesn’t matter.

All the matters is that you take on the challenge and make yourself vulnerable.

That in and of itself is success.

And sometimes that success is very hard-won and comes about in a form in which you didn’t necessarily intend. But that success is strength.

You made yourself vulnerable.

You took the risk.

You got stronger.

Success comes in many forms

I didn’t sleep very well last night for numerous reasons. But one thought that kept circling around in my head was how success can come in many different forms and how sometimes we don’t even recognize it.

Like yesterday, I didn’t hit any personal records. And I was disappointed in my last deadlift. I felt slightly unsuccessful.

But despite the fact that my lifts weren’t my best, I was successful. I put myself out there. I took a risk!

After only two months of training (and only two weeks of really figuring out what was needed for the competition), I chose to participate in my first powerlifting competition. Unprepared, scared shitless (with just so many reasons as to why I shouldn’t do it), I signed up to compete.

Most of me screamed out not to do it. No one would know…Right?

But I would know I backed out. I would know.

So I took the risk and did it. AND that…well that is success right there.

The point of that little rambling story is that we can’t let anything overshadow the little successes that we have.

Like the success that my Man Bicep Sister Candy has had over these past few weeks. (And I’m just so proud of her!)

Candy tried out for the Roller Derby Dames league.

Only about a month before try-outs, Candy decided this was the year she was going to go for her dream of being a Roller Derby girl. She’d always loved the sport and wanted to do it. But the opportunity had just never arisen.

She didn’t have much time to train and absolutely no time to purchase equipment. But she gave it a shot even though she hadn’t skated since she was a child. Every weekend that she could, she went to the rink and practiced. She researched Roller Derby, watching videos, reading up on the league and learning everything she could.

And after only a few weeks of practice, she went to try-outs. She was nervous beyond belief and could have come up with a millions reasons not to go.

But she didn’t back out.

And in my eyes, the fact that she went to try-outs and took a huge risk to try a sport that she had dreamed of playing, she was a huge success!

And guess what!?! She made it past the first round of cuts! She was tenacious and outgoing and put herself out there. She showed the veteran skaters her potential.

Over the next few weeks, Candy battled through hard practices, in which there was never a second of rest and advanced maneuvers that she had never seen before. She battled through torn up feet and achy, sore and bruised muscles.

But she never gave up.

Sometimes she wanted to just quit. No one could blame her for wanting to quit right?

No…no one would blame her…no one besides herself.

So she didn’t give up. She took on everything the veterans threw at her.

And last night, Candy faced her second round of cuts. She was nervous because she wanted to continue on in the league so badly. She’d worked so hard and had begun to love the grueling practices.

But as I said before, success comes in many forms. While Candy didn’t make it past the second round of try-outs, she is a HUGE success.

She took a huge risk in trying out in the first place. And then on top of it, she was a huge success because she stuck with practice even though at the beginning it was so difficult that any lesser person would have quit!

Candy, you have so much to be proud of!

All of you who take a risk have so much to be proud of. Never lose sight of the fact that by taking a risk, you are a huge success.

Winning isn’t the only thing that makes you a success. If you take a risk and sticking with something even when the going gets rough or you feel unprepared, you are a HUGE SUCCESS in my book.

So don’t get too focused on the end result. Success comes in many different forms!

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