How you think has a greater effect on how you live your life than you realize. Unfortunately, that also means we tend to fall into some very negative thinking patterns that ruin progress before we even notice a change.
"I deserve [BLANK] for doing [BLANK]."
The simple truth is you don't. None of us do. We are merely lucky enough to have been born in a time of plenty. If you workout, you do not deserve to break your diet. The only reward you deserve is the pride you feel for having accomplished a difficult task.
Language is powerful. How you talk affects how you act. "Can't" removes any responsibility from you to take action. You aren't helpless and very few things in this world that are impossible. However, you have to be honest with yourself and quit using "can't" as a way to shirk responsibility. Instead of claiming you "can't" give up your morning donuts, tell people you don't want to. Own your decisions.
"Fit people don't understand."
Don't you think it's a bit limiting to believe an entire swathe of the population doesn't feel anything more than joy when working out or eating right? Fit people desire unhealthy things. They wake up wanting nothing more than to call the day a wash and sleep. They feel insecure. They feel scared. They feel like failures. However, they understand these feelings are no excuse to throw in the towel.
"This is only temporary."
The problem with a lot of workout and diet problems is that they are sold on the premise that you only need x number of days of total dedication to achieve a model's body. This has trained us to wrongly believe that getting fit is about working out and eating right in spurts.
Fitness isn't a trial period. Fitness isn't a flash in the pan. It's a lifestyle. And it's okay to not pursue it to an extreme, but you should pursue as a way to take care of your body so you can make the absolute most of the years you have left.
"I need [BLANK] to get started."
We are taught from a young age that things equate to success and happiness. We delude ourselves into believe that unless we have the best, we shouldn't even try.
The real professionals, no matter the art or sport, know this to be bullshit. Professionals succeed because they are willing to work with whatever is available to them in order to achieve their dreams. You don't need a weight set to start training. There are a wide number of free bodyweight routines online. You don't need a specialized diet plan. There are a wide number of free nutrition tips online. You are the only thing stopping yourself from growing.
All of these little thoughts are traceable back to one emotion -- Fear.
We fear trying out new things. We fear the potential of failure. We fear hurting ourselves. We fear hurting others. We fear facing our own weaknesses.
But fear is merely an evolutionary adaptation that has kept our lineage alive for billions of years. Luckily, in our current state, our brains now have the power to override this fear through meditation.
Meditation is the practice of controlling your own thoughts.
People like to talk it up as some mystical way to connect with the world or a larger god power but it's not. It's an incredibly simple 10-minute activity that bolsters your ability to control your own negative thought patterns.
To begin, find a comfortable seated position in a room where you won't be disturbed. When ready, focus on something. You can stare at a speck on the wall. You can close your eyes and envision a number. You can listen to your breathing. Now, for 10 minutes, you have to stay focused on this thing, thinking about nothing else. If your mind starts to wander, bring your thoughts back to your focal point. You might feel bored. You might feel tired. You might feel angry. Doesn't matter. Just stay focused for 10 minutes.
The purpose of this is two-fold:
Kind of like building muscle, the more practiced you are, the more control you will have over your own thoughts.
Co-host of HeroesForge, founder of Battle to Be Better, gamer, singer and all around happy person.