I walked home on a Friday after a Kettlebell Kickboxing Class. I was humbled by what I saw in that class and how I felt on the walk home. I am around clients all the time, but this Friday felt different, maybe it was my mood. As I walked, I felt a lump rise in my throat thinking about the clients I had trained. Their mindset is even trained on a Friday night. I reminded them, was not average. The average population either goes out on a Friday night to drink or sits at home on the couch trying to rest because they are tired from their lives. I am not being mean, I wish I was wrong, but the truth is our world is unhealthy and our mindset is off track. I used to try so hard to convince anyone and everyone that they can train. It sometimes felt like I was hitting my head against a brick wall. People are great at finding excuses why they can’t, and I was such a good cheerleader reminding them they could.
Do not get me wrong, I will be your biggest cheerleader, but I need you to show up first. Your success depends on showing up, not on my cheerleading, but ultimately your willingness to show up for you. Your mindset is key to your evolution. Very simply, if you showed up every day for yourself, you would evolve. It sounds like it should be simple, but the truth is simple things are hard until you train your mindset and create a non-negotiable mentality. We will discuss non-negational mentality later on, but first I want to interject here and discuss how my attitude within training others evolved. As I said before, I was the cheerleader who thought I could cheer anyone and everyone into a healthy lifestyle, but I was wrong. My attitude started to change when I met a client who could have had every excuse.
With physical training, not only will you build muscle, but something else is going to build, and that is your self-confidence.
She is a recovering alcoholic who survived domestic abuse and was also in a near-fatal train/vehicle accident that took the lives of her family members. I remember her telling me about how her femur was wrapped around her body. It was not until after training her for 6 weeks did she start to share more about her life story. She was the feisty client that showed up with a fire inside her, always smiling and not having a clue what a jumping jack, lunge, or burpee was, let alone a kettlebell swing. She always smiled, tried and came back every session. She consistently showed up! As I got to know her, I would always look to her when we train as she is normally to my left on the mats, I will explain an exercise and she always replies, “I will try”. Sitting here writing this I think how simple and how powerful those 3 words are… I will try. Can you imagine if we applied that to everything we do, how we would try more things and how we would discover what we can do? After I met and trained her, it clicked in my mind the power of mindset. Most of us give up before we even start because we have already decided to fail. I believe training the mind is as important, if not more important than the muscles in our bodies because without the power of our mind we will quit and give up over and over again.
When I realized how much mindset impacted clients’ outcomes, as a business owner and a fitness trainer, I started to approach things differently. I could likely convince people to start or take one class, but I cannot convince someone to show up for themselves. If they just show up because of a free class and have not trained in months, the likelihood of training just one will not keep them continually training. They need to build the mindset to show up of their own will, not mine. I can guide and help them but first, they must be ready to try, be ready to create their success. Success is an inside job and the only way to succeed is to be consistent. This past summer when I went to our Spartan events with our KBKB Crew, I listened to how some people spoke as they approached an obstacle. Often I heard “oh I can’t do that.” Rightfully so, if that is what you believe that is what your outcome will be.
Obviously, you have to train for events in your life but working towards your positive mindset is fundamental. To work on mindset, we must always work on one’s belief in ourselves. I like to think of this as the light switch that we need to turn on within people. It is when they finally believe in themselves that allows them to get stronger internally and externally. Physical training is the pathway to creating a mindset that will allow people to access how to build inner strength as they work on their outer strength. We talk about a positive mindset, but how do we actually work towards a positive mindset?
We need to have a pathway for our mindset training just as we do with our physical training. I believe we can weave these together. Look at the layout:
- Start physical Training – It allows you to build confidence.
- Be Consistent.
- Introduce Internal Dialogue.
- Meaningful Goals.
With physical training, not only will you build muscle, but something else is going to build, and that is your self-confidence. As self-confidence increases it allows you to work on your thought process regarding yourself. When we have success, we feel pride and a sense of accomplishment inside. This is the small seed that you plant when you begin training. When that starts to grow if you have the proper trainer they should start to encourage and speak to you on your internal dialogue.
I believe training the mind is as important, if not more important than the muscles in our bodies because without the power of our mind we will quit and give up over and over again.
It takes 21 days to create a healthy habit. With anything, if you want to create a habit, set your calendar and Be Consistent. So, with your training, I say take 30 days because you cannot train 21 days straight when just starting so plan for a month. Make a calendar and check mark each day. Make it nonnegotiable… which I will speak on below!
This is how you talk to yourself. It is that voice, commentary, and roommate you have in your mind. With your internal dialogue, before you can change it, you must become aware of. Once you recognize this, you must look at your saboteur and your sage. Saboteur is the internal dialogue – the negative force within and sage is the positive talk. We want to shift our focus here.
This is your promise to yourself. The most important person that you need to make and keep those promises to. This is where you build your credibility for you to you. When you make a goal for yourself, you complete it, check it off and say, “I was true to my word!” Here you pick things that are non-negotiable, that is training for me. I will train in something every day even if it is a simple movement such as a walk. Movement is my non-negotiable. It is my promise to myself because I value it deeply within myself. Not one person will ever change that for me. Once you ingrain that into your mind, you will keep that promise to yourself because it is non-negotiable.
Attach a feeling to your goals. One example is the ability to play with your kids or grandkids without being out of breath. I remember running down the street with my kids when they were little; we ran fast and I remember thinking how grateful I was that I could run, climb, and keep up with them. Sometimes we need to realize we are out of shape. You might think this is odd but if you are inactive, chances are you do not do much to explore that. Often the first drill I share with my clients is the “up-down drill”. It is simply standing tall, going down to the floor and lying on your stomach, getting back up any way you can, then going back down to the floor to your back and getting up any way once again. You repeat this over and over for 60 seconds (try it). I do this to make people aware of how they move through what should be a relatively simple task. Then remind them to have a mind-body connection, like “wow that was hard”, and “omg I am really sucking wind.” Again, we need to become aware often before we can make changes. Often our lives are so sedentary we do not even realize how inactive and unhealthy we have become.
One summer, I hiked with my mom in the mountains. We got to the top of this beautiful trail and I looked at her. She was fuming mad, but it was a beautiful day and hike. I did know that the hike was not easy, but I was confused about why so mad. She said, “I did not know I was that out of shape, I am so mad at myself for letting that get away from me.” Why we need that connection is because we need to be able to attach it to meaningful goals. If you have grandkids or even kids and you do the up-down drill and realize how hard it is, maybe your meaningful goal is to be able to play with them with ease. For my mom, she wants to be active with me so we can enjoy things together, such as joining me on my Fitness Retreat. When our goals mean something, we are able to find value in them and a reason why. Think of it like this, if there was a person you liked, or wanted to spend time with, you would do your best to make that work, because it holds meaning. If that person is someone you don’t care to be around, you won’t make it a priority. Your fitness and mindset goals must mean something to you, or you will never make them a priority.
Simplify your goal and hold yourself accountable. We often fall into the trap of excuses. By letting ourselves off the hook, we are only creating problems for ourselves and causing our goals and accomplishments to get derailed. Be real with yourself, and your goals and move forward with a plan of success. Allow training and mindset to weave themselves together to bring you clarity within your life and give you the best shot at success!