Brian White | Fitness
“Limiting beliefs” can seriously hold us back in life, but most of the time these beliefs go unnoticed. Unfortunately, they play a huge role in reducing our results, or sometimes even eliminating any results whatsoever.
These types of beliefs are beliefs you hold to be true. They make up the fabric of what you will achieve in any given area of life. What most people don’t realize is that the vast majority of our beliefs are not really true: they are only true because we have decided so.
Perhaps in no other area of life can limiting beliefs be more devastating than when it comes to starting an exercise program or changing our nutrition habits. We form these beliefs through repeated thoughts and from past events. Some common limiting beliefs I see “agreed to” all the time are:
•I don’t have time to fit exercise into my day, I am already over scheduled.
•I can’t lose weight because I am too old.
•I have too much stress to be able to lose significant weight.
•It is so hard to give up eating unhealthy foods because it helps me relax.
•I can’t exercise hard enough to make any difference anyway.
•Weekends are shot, so I will really focus on my weight loss on Monday through Friday.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. There are really two things you need to do in order to overcome a limiting belief so you can start an exercise and eating program on the right foot.
First, you need to recognize the belief and then you need to challenge it. Sounds simple, right? Let’s dive into it a little deeper.
The first step in overcoming a limiting belief is to recognize it. Become aware of your thoughts. Until you are aware, you have no chance of being able to change anything.
One of the first things I do with a new client is have them journal three days of eating before we start. There are a couple of reasons I do this: one is because it helps me figure out their habits and help design a nutritional guideline for them, but it is also so the client can take some ownership.
Journaling their food forces them to become aware of – or recognize – what they are eating, and that is the first step to significant change. Naturally, this is the easier of the two steps.
The second step to overcoming a limiting belief is to challenge it. This second step is what makes changing beliefs so difficult, but there is no reason you can’t do it. You just need to commit to working on it consciously.
To challenge a limiting belief, ask yourself: When is this belief not true? How many people can I find that have achieved this goal? What would happen if I do it anyway?
Depending on how deep your limiting belief is, you may need to invest serious time and effort into getting rid of it. You will need to persistently overturn this belief for as long as it takes, until it goes away. Forever.
The last question – What would happen if I do it anyway? – is a visualization exercise. If you recognize a limiting belief and you use this technique, my suggestion is to visualize the answer to this question every morning upon waking. Think about it in as much detail as possible, down to exactly how you feel inside.
Limiting our limiting beliefs is not easy, but it is so worth it. In 15 years of personal training I have seen hundreds of clients, and the most successful ones are the ones that work hard on their mindset.
Strength, fitness and healthy habits are not built in the gym and they are not built in the kitchen. They are built between your two ears. If you can master your mind, you can achieve any health goal you embark upon.
—Brian White owns BWF, San Diego’s Premier Training Service located in Hillcrest. He runs boot camps in Balboa Park and trains clients in Diverge Gym. Go to youshouldbedoingit.com to read his blog, or take his seven-day video challenge to get back into healthy habits. Contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org or on his website.