“It's too hard, only if you think that it is...”
Our behaviour depends on our attitude. It’s as simple as that! There are loads of books and articles out there on success and positive thinking. I don’t care. It’s my turn!
I’m going to go a bit beyond the whole “when you smile the whole world smiles at you” thing here. I’m going to push some buttons and tell you to get out of your own way, exit the pity party in which you convince yourself how rough things are, and change your attitude – your success depends on it (and this applies to all facets of life – not just results in the gym)!
They breathe the same air as we do. They hurt like we do (probably even more). They bleed the same colour blood as we do. They have feelings like we do, and laugh and cry and get disappointed like we do. I’m sure they even think about quitting. But somewhere they’ve learned to push all of these things aside and focus on what they really want. Whether through relentless training of their bodies and minds, or through the trials that they have had to overcome in their lives, they have developed the ability to focus, and think about nothing but success.
And yeah, I know some of you are sitting there thinking “Come on, these are Olympians! How can you even use them as an example?” But right there, in that simple thought process, you’ve given yourself an excuse to give up. You have processed what you read and come out thinking “I can’t”, and that is the biggest roadblock to achieving what you are truly capable of. “I can’t” is, at best, an assumption which limits the actions that we are willing to take and can easily translate into “I don’t want this bad enough”.
So yeah, you know what? You do have to change your mindset and force yourself to adopt a more positive attitude.
This is something that my father used to say to me when I was growing up, when I was acting a bit too big for my britches and it was time to be brought back to reality. Well I’m gonna use it here to tell you to eliminate that negative thinking.
If you're like most people, you've endured some tough things in your life. Jobs, moves, relationships, births, deaths – all of these fit the description. In reality, you ARE able to deal with hard things. So instead defaulting to “this is too hard” or “I can’t do this!”, or, seeing slow progress and speedbumps as signs that you aren’t succeeding or can’t do something, remind yourself, "Of course it's going to be hard, but I've done other challenging things in my life (insert specific event here), and this isn't any different.” Whenever you start thinking “it's too hard" - to stick to my plan, to finish this last set of my workout, to turn away from that plate of desert, think about some of challenges you've faced in the past – yeah, those ones... the ones that have got you to where you are today.
“Fake it ’til you make it”
If ya can’t rationalize and convince yourself that YOU REALLY CAN DO THIS – hell, then trick it!
- Laugh! That’s right, find some humour in what you’re about to endure. “1 more set (insert uproarious laughter here)... all right... here we go!”
- Enjoy it despite how tough it may seem. Enjoy the feeling of hard work. Know that the reward at the end, the satisfaction that you will feel is worth every bit of hardship that you’re about to endure. Feel the reward already building.
- Develop a positive mantra or positive thought pattern that overrides the negative. I’ve vowed that if I ever run another marathon, I’m going to write in black Sharpie down my arm “Oprah did it”. It might not be the most positive line, but I guarantee it’ll keep me going.
- Exude positivity! This differs from cockiness. Stand tall, smile proudly. This will tell your brain that YOU ARE IN CHARGE! Flopping to the ground, gasping and groaning like you’re about to die communicates to your brain that you are done – good luck recovering from that.
- Go Zen! Don’t fight whatever it is you’re finding tough, flow with it. Find grace in it. Become one with it. (okay, maybe a little too much at the end there).
“Embrace the suck”.
This is military jargon translated into “the situation is bad... you might not like it... but deal with it”. Why? Because right now, in this situation, quitting is not an option! “I WILL NOT QUIT!” Do you really think that the last set of burpees is going to kill you? It might feel like it, but likely it won’t.
“Success is always sweetest when effort is the hardest.” Most things are deemed valuable when we have to pay a lot for them... the same goes for hard work.
“Pain is temporary; quitting is forever”... or at least until next time.
Quitting is setting up that room for future excuses. Do it once and it becomes so easy to do it again. Somewhere your brain has to say... “I’m not giving up”. I am dedicated to this cause – whether it be a workout, a weight loss endeavour, business or a relationship. It’ll push you beyond what you thought possible and reset that standard for the next time you feel like quitting.
“See it to believe it”
I’m a big fan of “the mental video tape” aka visualization. Play a quick movie in your head of you doing the task at hand. See It. Feel It. And then achieve it.
#1 Act as if you are fit (I’ve changed this from “Act as if you are a fit female”)
#11 Think about your thoughts!
#12 Attitude is everything!
#16 Stop rationalizing and making excuses!
What do you want? The change is really up to YOU.