Being in the fitness industry and being fascinated by mental and emotional health really has made me see how similar the struggle is of the mind and of the body. I’ve always been active and fit. I have to work hard, but there is a big component of it that comes natural and easy to me. It’s my gift.
It’s easy for people to assume that, because the body looks fit and good on the outside, life is fit and good on the inside. However, I struggled the majority of my life with low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence. I have always battled internally with the dark side and have to work hard to keep my thoughts positive. I have trained my mind to believe in myself and see all the good that is available in me and in others. I tap into the good I know is there.
When we listen to the negative lies, they become a part of us, painting the world against us or living a life based on the lies we tell ourselves. But when we listen to what we can bring to the table and what gifts we can tap into, our outlook will shift to show us what we are capable of.
You can’t get fit and lose weight overnight when you have been overweight and unhealthy the majority of your life. It takes time to change habits and for your mind and body to adjust to a new way of living. It’s the same thing when we want to change our thinking patterns and outlook. Reading a motivational quote that says, “Think positive vibes,” is not going to change your life and make you see everything in a positive light from here on out. You have to work that mind muscle every day to reprogram it and change. Life changes require commitment to working the weak muscle. That weak muscle could be your triceps or a lie you’ve told yourself for years. Working that muscle in the body or the mind gets you stronger every day.
What intrigues me as a trainer is daily seeing men and women with the same struggles, yet, some are battling with the mind and some are battling with the physical part. Yet, somehow we believe that someone else has it better than us and, if only we had their strength, we could be happy, too. We compare and believe the lie that no one understands our struggle or that our roadblocks in life are unique. Well, guess what? Here is some hard truth. Your struggle is not that special and your roadblocks in life are not that unique. That’s why I don’t believe in always pretending everything is okay.
Yes, there are times where we have to get it together for the sake of taking care of ourselves, our families, and our work life. But there’s something special about sharing with a trusted friend that we are struggling today. It makes us see that we are all human and no one is perfect.
We all have to work hard when seeking the goal of wanting to be better people, whether it’s physically or mentally. It may come easy to me to get grueling workouts done and not to make excuses because I enjoy that! And it may be a breeze and second nature to you to go to a networking event because socializing comes natural to you and you love it! I would have to work extra hard to get my butt to a networking event because I am not as comfortable socializing. You would have to work a little harder to get your butt to the gym because physical movement has never come easy to you. The point is, we are all good at something and we are all overcoming something. Let’s be real about that so we can help each other overcome our obstacles by sharing tips that come naturally. You may not think your natural way of doing something is knowledge because you never thought of it that way. But that’s where the magic lies. Tapping into something that comes natural to you and turning that into a business or a trait that helps others is magical.
For me, the grueling part isn’t the exercise; it’s overcoming the negative in my head. So when I am exercising, I am also strengthening my head, my heart, and my core being. I keep getting stronger and stronger… both mind and body. You may be battling mind and body, as well, so remember that, every time you overcome that negative voice saying you can never be fit and you’ll be overweight forever, you get a little stronger. It becomes easier, but it takes time.
I still fall, I have moments of wanting to quit and give up, but I have to slap myself and ask if quitting is what I want. Sound familiar? When a woman walks in and says she can’t do a pushup, I can relate. Because I once thought I could never speak up, have a voice, be myself, and be confident. But over time, that woman who couldn’t do a pushup starts with one pushup and builds on it. She is then one day pumping out pushups like it’s no one’s business! (And loving every minute of it!) That is how I feel, too, and how I relate to my clients.
It’s about overcoming obstacles. It’s strengthening your weaknesses but also concentrating on what you are good at and what comes natural to you. I probably have to exercise my brain and self-talk harder than you do, perhaps because confidence comes natural to you and not to me. And you probably have to work a little harder to lose that last five pounds than I do. But this is why we (especially women) should be talking to one another and building each other up. Because I bet I can help you just as much as you can help me! Success comes when we are building each other up and encouraging the good!