As you guys may have noticed, on the Passion Design Project, I love bringing you big ideas and bold strategies for creating the life you want.
Today’s topic might not be your absolute favorite, but listen, achieving big results isn’t always gonna be a walk in the park, SO, if you aren’t waking up absolutely amped about the day ahead, stick with me because this is important stuff!
We’re talking fitness. Moving that bod. Gettin off your booty and maybe just maybe working up a sweat!
Maybe this is your thing, or maybe you’re totally cringing like I occasionally do when it comes to workouts. I love playing sports, but when it comes to working out just for the heck of it, gosh, it just doesn’t appeal to me! How does it appeal to anybody? You guys, why is it fun to sweat and hurt?!
Okay okay, all the benefits, I get it. And soooo, that’s what we’re going to talk about today! But not in just the generic “exercise to get in shape” context. I want to dig in a little further.
Because that’s what I needed to get me to workout. I know that it can give me abs, I know that I can knock off a few pounds, I know that it can create a good instagram selfie. But I needed something more. Maybe you do too?
That’s why I’m digging into the good stuff – I’m not training for a marathon and not thinking about losing weight, so besides the good endorphins, love those, why should I exercise?
Well, well, well, glad you asked!
Recently I was questioning the end results of my productivity. I was noticing that I’d take a lot of action and start a lot of new things, but once I got to the hard part or the edge of the cliff it felt like, I would sit down instead of taking the massive leap of action that could actually produce the results I want.
Now, the view from the edge of the cliff is really good, I can see possibilities for miles. However, if you’ve ever stood on the edge of something before jumping, you know that if you stand for more than 5 seconds, you start to think of a million reasons why you can’t jump or shouldn’t jump. You slowly back away and decide it’s easier to go work on something else and you’ll come back and jump later.
I call this the “feel good” strategy. You get far enough that you feel good about what you accomplished, but don’t go so far that it would hurt. Cuz that’s uncomfortable!
As I was sitting around wondering why some things I was doing weren’t taking off, I thought about this. This thought just so happened to be right before I was going to either go for a run or do a workout circuit.
Like I mentioned previously, I don’t exactly look forward to workouts. I actually occasionally, probably more often than I should, think of an excuse in my head why I need to condense it or cut it short that day. I’m talking embarrassing excuses like, my joints were cracking and I want to let them rest, or you know the one: you don’t want to go so hard that you have to wash your hair.
Okay so during this moment, a little lightbulb of correlation went off in my head. I stop on my workouts when the going gets too tough, and I stop taking action in my biz when things get tough or uncomfortable. Maybe this connection is really obvious to you, but it took until that moment for me to really get it. I didn’t have the toned body I wanted and I didn’t have the killer biz I wanted, but I felt so close in both.
What I realized I needed to improve on was my simple mentality behind doing both of these things. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the skills or knowledge, I was just mentally weak.
An article I read on this subject on elitefts.com mentioned that “The problem is there isn’t any easy way or shortcut to teaching toughness. Mental toughness is not for sale. The only way to get mentally tougher is by earning it.”
I like that because as often as we talk about thinking the right thoughts and saying affirmations and such, repeating that you’re going to run up a hill 5 times and then actually having the mental strength to do it are two different things. Just like saying you will get 5 new clients is different than actually taking the action to contact and find 5 new clients.
In the article, he goes on to mention that developing that mental strength means you must often do what’s uncomfortable for you and that you are your own worst enemy; both of these, usually hand-in-hand, are what I see holding people back the most. They let this fear of putting themselves and their talents out there, and look for any ways to stay more comfortable if there’s a chance of failure.
I’m captivated by methods that help build confidence, and on this note, he goes on to talk about fear.
“Fear is a needed quality to develop mental strength. By facing fear, you learn courage. Being fearless is a misconceived trait. As admirable as being fearless can be, it isn’t realistic nor does it provide any benefit to being a mentally tough beast…Confronting fear with brave actions is how you get tough. Fear is an emotional response. At times, fear is irrational and blown out of perspective. It is not easy getting over any shattering experiences, but with guts and determination, you can get over any painful ordeal. Life is full of disappointments and letdowns. When we don’t get what we want, the consolation is that we gain experience. This doesn’t seem like a worthwhile prize, but see how the adversity can enlighten you. If may not be obvious, but look hard at any opportunity for personal growth. Take in the life lesson and move on.”
Now, I won’t say that facing my fears and developing my mental strength is my favorite thing ever, or easy by any means, but I will say that it is extremely rewarding and helps me achieve more at a crazy rapid rate.
So if you are like me, and need an extra push to go for that harder workout, I hope this gives you enough motivation to try something more intense and bust through any limiting beliefs you have about yourself. Like most things, it’s a simple matter of changing your thought habits, like Aristotle says:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”
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Have the best day of your life today!!!
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Outro Music by Tobu
Article mentioned: https://www.elitefts.com/education/training/the-psychology-of-strength-incorporating-mental-toughness-training/