We’ve all heard the saying “keep your head in the game”, because the second you psyc yourself out or doubt yourself, it can seem as everything spirals out of control.
Look at professional athletes, I think the best example right now would be Tiger Woods. Even if you’re not a golf fan and think watching paint dry is more fun, you know about the “Tiger Woods Issue”. His mind isn’t in the game any longer, he’s lost is confidence and in the past 2 years we’ve seen the best player in the world lose all his rankings, his reputation and his composure.
You may not have experienced the “psych-out” to these extremes but when it comes to losing weight or getting in better shape, you’ve experienced mental blocks in one way or another.
In fact, women are notorious for self-doubt. Doubting your abilities to lose weight, run a 5K that your friend wants to do with you, try out a new fitness class, etc.
5 Reasons Your Mentally Holding Yourself Back
1. Low Self- esteem.
Maybe you just don’t think you can handle a workout. You feel as if you’ve been out of the gym for so long that the idea of doing lunges or anything other than walking is going to make you feel week, or even worst, make you look weak. Building up confidence is all about positive talk, instead of saying, “that workout looks too hard, I could never do it,” say something along the lines of “okay, it’s going to be a challenge, it might take some time and I might have to make a few modifications but I can do this workout.”
You’re going to surprise yourself and just what you can accomplish.
A friend of mine has taken up running, for a long time she wanted to do a road race but was afraid she would be able to do it. Finally, I reminded her it’s just 3 miles, if you have to walk, what’s the worst that can happen? Not only did she do it, she was able to run the entire race. It’s all mental!
We live in a society where we naturally compare ourselves to others. Just walking around town, it is hard not to compare ourselves to other women we pass: her legs are more toned, my shoes are hotter than hers, she shouldn’t be wearing that outfit…
We can’t seem to help it. And because of that we are afraid that others are looking and judging us.
Many women don’t want to start a workout program out of fear of not being able to keep up with the other women. In my boot camps, I see this happen all the time. People ask me before coming, “will I be able to keep up with the other women in the class.” My response is always, who cares, you only have to keep up with yourself.
You’re working out to prove to yourself that you can do it, not anyone else. Do it for you, and the sign of a good workout is when you’re able to tune out everyone else around you and focus on what is important: YOU!
3. Having the Mind of a Hare.
We want everything fast: fast food, fast internet, fast money, and fast weight loss results. When you don’t see results immediately you go stir crazy thinking that you’re doing the wrong program or that once again you’ve failed. And then you want to give up.
Instead of being a hare, be a tortoise. It can take up to 4-weeks to see results from new workouts and eating habits. If you’re doing what you should be doing then keep it going, do not give up on yourself right out of the starting gate.
Not to mention that studies show that losing weight with increased exercise and a healthy, balanced diet is more effective in the long run than crazy exercise and fad, low calorie diets. You’ll be more likely to make a healthy lifestyle change so that you don’t have to go through all this again.
Accept the fact that it took time to add on weight, and it’s going to take time to get it off.
Food for thought: Tortoises have been known to live to be over 100 years old. Hares: 10 years. Clearly the tortoises are doing something right!
Mentally, we need someone to check in with. Self accountability isn’t something people have, no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves we can do it.
When I get new clients, they’ll often ask my older clients why they come, why do they like boot camp so much. The ladies most common response is: “Because if I didn’t come to boot camp, there is no way I would work out this hard at home.” It’s too easy to give up short of finishing a workout, or tell yourself you are working out at your best effort even when you’re not.
Find either a trainer, a workout group, or an online fitness community to help keep your mind on the prize and hold you accountable for your actions.
5. Be a Cool Kid.
You want to be apart of the cool group. When you’re dieting and a friend ask to go out for cocktails you hate to have to say no because you’re trying to lose weight. It’s likely that your friend will say something along the lines of “ oh give me a break, one night won’t hurt.” Or something negative. Of course you don’t want to feel like the uncool girl in the group, so you give in to peer pressure. Peer pressure brings us down mentally and can take us away from our goals.
Stop worrying about those around you, if they are real friends they’ll support you and stand by you. You won’t be tossed out of your social group.
In fact, I am the weird-o in our circle. When we have cookouts with all our friends they’ve learned to just expect that I’ll bring my own vegan foods. And you know what, they never bully me or make me feel stupid for turning down their food.
You might just end up the even cooler kid for everything you can accomplish and the positive roll model of the group!
- What holds you back?
- Do you ever feel embarrassed when working out?
My answers: I am a very VERY competitive person, so the thought of not being the best of something has been my downfall. This is a girl that almost really messed up her knee because she refused to have a friend beat her during a race… yea, I am that competitive.
Being that I film a lot at the gym, this was something I used to be self conscious about. I didn’t want people to hear or see me and we would get to the gym at around 3:00 am so I could film. Now, I’ve gotten past it and say screw it. I’ll film just about anywhere!