Are you someone that is motivated to exercise for a while and then stops? Do you join a gym, then quit after a month? To then join another gym and quit that one too? Do you make sweeping statements like, “I’m never eating chocolate again” or “I’m never drinking alcohol again”, to then be back on both 2 days later? Do you lose some weight, then put it back on? Do you tell yourself “i’m just not a motivated person” Or do you make no attempt to try because you feel like you’ll end up failing like you did before?
Do you get confused as to why you are like this? “Why can’t I stick to this? Why am I incapable? Why am I a failure? Why can’t I just stop eating all this chocolate.”
This goes through a lot of people’s heads. More than you could begin to imagine. You think it’s just you, but it isn’t.
It’s our mindset.
Here is a definition of mindset taken from a really interesting article – see the link at the bottom if you want to read it.
“A mindset refers to whether you believe qualities such as intelligence and talent are fixed or changeable traits.
There are two different types of mindset:
People with a fixed mindset believe that these qualities are inborn, fixed, and unchangeable.
Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that these abilities can be developed and strengthened by way of commitment and hard work.”
Your mindset is rooted in your experiences, education, and culture from which you form thoughts which establish beliefs and attitudes. Those thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes lead to certain actions and with those actions you have experiences. Those experiences give your mind new information to process.
Our mindset is the way we view ourselves in the world. It’s the foundation of our beliefs about ourselves. And they are developed at childhood.
E.g. Someone who was told as a young child that they are not the favourite sibling in the family will have the belief/mindset that they are not loveable or not worthy. They may feel the need to prove themselves or may find it hard to get into relationships because they feel like they it’s impossible for them to be loved.
A child who is made to feel incapable when they are young or has all responsibility taken away from them, might grow up with the belief/mindset that they are not capable as an adult.
A child who is told continuously that they are overweight or are around someone that tells themselves continually that they are overweight within earshot of the child, may gain the belief/mindset that their weight is very important and that to be beautiful, they have to be thin.
I have had very messed up mindsets about my weight, my appearance and even money. I was bought up where money was hard to come by and this was the household mindset. So even now as an adult where I am earning money, I still harbour an old belief that cash is scarce, so I was reluctant to spend it and would hoard it away. (I have been working on this mindset for 6 months now and it has benefited me endlessly.)
You learn beliefs and mindsets from your parents, your siblings, your grandparents, your teachers. They can be born from anyone you spend a lot of time with as a child. These people unwillingly and unknowingly put their beliefs on to you. If you are scared of spiders, chances are your mum or dad has a fear of them. Or your grandma or Aunt who looked after you regularly.
My mum wasn’t very organised when I grew up. We moved a lot and things got lost, appointments would get missed, and we were late for things. An event that required some level of organisation – my mum would struggle and generally rely on someone else to sort it. As I grew up, I had taken that belief from my mum in full force. I constantly told myself I was unorganised and that it was hard for me to do anything that required this skill. And because I kept telling myself that. I believed it. And I perpetuated that belief.
Your mindset is a very powerful thing. What you say to yourself every day creates who you are and will grow and grow into a set of beliefs that shape your experiences in life.
The reason I talk so much about this is…If you have set yourself a fitness, weight or wellbeing goal…maybe you want to lose 5 stone. Run a marathon or have less anxiety. If you attempt these goals but every day you are looking in the mirror saying to yourself “you’ll always be overweight”, “you can’t run that far” or “you’re such an anxious person, how could you even dream of having less anxiety”…. What do you think is going to happen if you keep repeating these thoughts and making the belief stronger? It becomes our reality.
These mindsets will eventually grind you down and stop you from even attempting your goal. Because you have the belief that you are overweight, and this is who you are. Or that you cannot run. Or that you will continue to be anxious…your new actions (your new workout plan or diet for example) aren’t in line with your beliefs. Thus, you may find that you stop putting in the effort because they’re not consistent with each other.
And this is why I think a lot of people aren’t consistent with achieving their fitness, weight or wellbeing goal.
A smoker tries to quit smoking. They say “I have to quit smoking because my lungs are so bad…. I’m going to try, but it’s going to be hard because, well…I’m a smoker.”
Right there, is the belief and the mindset block. By them saying, “I’m a smoker” – how can they change the thought patterns and beliefs that come with being a non-smoker? If this is what their internal dialogue is and this is what they are telling themselves they are, then that will be the behaviours they will have. And they will likely be smoking again within a few days.
With regards to my own mental and physical health transformation, and with the many clients I have worked with over the years, there is only so much progress you can make if you do not work on your mindset. You can only get so far until your old negative beliefs bring you down and take you back to where you used to be.
Here are some of my previous internal beliefs:
- I told myself I was disgusting. I wouldn’t be naked in front of anyone.
- I thought that anxiety and depression would rule my whole life and that this would never change.
- I didn’t think I deserved to be happy in life.
- I kept comparing myself to other people and couldn’t find happiness in myself.
- I would expect bad things to happen to me because that is who I am and that is how it is.
These are like old, faded memories to me now, but years ago, they dominated me.
I had accepted these beliefs as my life. Unchangeable. And these are only some of them. I also used to tell myself I would never be good at exercise! That was a genuine belief for me. Now I’m a personal trainer.
The mind is a powerful tool. And there are ways in which you can change the way you think and feel about yourself. You just need to know how. And adopt a positive attitude towards change.
I have a series of self-love affirmations, habits & routines that I have created over the last few years that have changed the way I see myself. Without these mindset hacking routines, I’m not sure I would be where I am now.
Once you start changing these beliefs, other amazing things start happening. Doors open. Relationships start. Career changes happen. Fitness or weight goals are finally met. You start living a fuller happier life. You begin to see the positive side to everything. You get grateful. You appreciate life. You begin to love yourself.
If you think your mindset has been holding you back from achieving your fitness, weight or wellbeing goal, register for my free training HERE. I will break down the tools, techniques and frameworks that I use every day and show you how you can do it too. I have shown so many people like you how to break out of the confines of self-hate and to progress on to feelings of self-love and happiness within. You can have this! And you can achieve your fitness, weight or wellbeing goal. Even in Lockdown!
It’s not “I’ll believe it when I see it.’
It’s “believe it, and you will see it”.