Creating the perfect workout plans and dietary regimens is one of the most important parts of creating consistency so that you can have a better chance of reaching your overall fitness goals.
But, these are actually not the hardest part of the process.
Creating mental strategies and priorities, as well as keeping a healthy mindset, are required to overcome the inevitable self-doubt and lack of confidence might be the most difficult type of workout of all.
So What Makes Jumping Mental Hurdles So Hard?
Well, there are a lot of factors that come into play here.
For example, your upbringing has a big impact on your self-perception, self-worth, and overall vision of what you think it’s possible for yourself.
Once you’re grown up, your current environment has a similar impact, But it just looks a bit different from your childhood. That doesn’t mean it’s easier to overcome, it’s just a different type of challenge.
Also, overcoming the urge to keep up with the Joneses, to do what everybody else is doing, and to be equals with others can create a mental and emotional burden that becomes too heavy to continue to bear, resulting oftentimes in abandoning the process.
Math Is Easy, The Brain Ain’t
When you’re lifting weights, all it requires is some simple mathematics and strength in order to move the heavy objects as you desire.
When it comes to following a diet plan, some willpower and planning is all you need to succeed.
Those things are very tangible to us as we begin and go through our process. As long as we stay in action and keep moving, we can accomplish what we want to accomplish.
Our brain, on the other hand, is not nearly as easy to define and corral as those other pieces.
With the thousands of thoughts racing through our heads at any given time on any given day, it’s easy to become sidetracked by negativity and insecurity. And like most negativity, a little bit can easily snowball into a lot, eventually pressuring you out of your process, which ultimately pushes you away from your goals.
So What Are We To Do?
How do we handle these moments when our physical body is ready, but our mental part is in need of help?
Remember Why You Started This Journey
First, create easy ways to remind yourself constantly of why you are doing what you are doing. Whatever your purpose is for undertaking such difficult tasks, find ways to position those reasons in front of your eyes daily.
Whether that’s through affirmations, personal notes, reminders, or whatever it is, don’t allow yourself a day without reminding your brain of why you’re starting this in the first place.
Set Your Feelings Aside
A good self-practice to also pursue is that of putting aside how you feel in lieu of what you have committed yourself to.
There are going to be times when you feel like you are failing and just not cut out for this whole fitness thing. In those moments you need to rely on your commitment to the process and remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing, to begin with.
Don’t let your feelings interfere with what you know you are supposed to do.
What do feelings have to do with anything anyways?
Remember That Good Things Take Time
Keep reminding yourself that your goals are going to take time.
There are going to be long periods where it seems like no progress is going to be made, and that’s fine.
There are going to be moments when your weight goes in the wrong direction for a few days, which can be quite startling but is part of the process.
That’s also fine.
Set proper expectations for yourself that allow you to accept the fact that this is going to take not just weeks, but months, if not longer. This isn’t a one-stop shop, a get-in and get-out type of situation. You’re in this for the long haul, for the process.
Allow it time to work, take baby steps, and don’t become overwhelmed and overcome by a perceived lack of results.
Don’t allow your motivation is to be tempted and swayed by these types of moments.
Final Thoughts On Overcoming Mental Hurdles
Being challenged physically by exercise and working out is only part of the battle. The mental warzone that accompanies your new pathway is just as important to be mindful of just as much as it is to have a plan to deal with when the time comes.
Just like your body sometimes will fail you, so will your mind.
Loving yourself and being confident is not easy in these moments. Just remember that it’s not permanent and that everything can be corrected so that you can get back on track and head full speed ahead toward your overall fitness goals.
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape to better himself and those around him, focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.