Fitness Tip of the Day:
Do something (good for you) that scares you every single day!
Looking at yourself in the mirror and making a commitment to changing your life is a scary thing to do … regardless of what you want to accomplish. Whether you are looking to lose weight, gain muscle mass, get stronger or run a marathon for the first time, fear is a major obstacle that can get in between you and your goal.
Fear is a natural instinct that warns us of dangerous situations and circumstances that we believe have the potential to cause death, injury or illness (these fears can physical, mental or emotional). This instinct is meant to ensure our survival so that we can live a long and fulfilling life! Unfortunately, our “fear meter” has shifted away from physical danger and now focuses on mental and emotional fears … and AVOIDING them. These fears include:
- The fear of failure.
- The fear of being judged by others.
- The fear that your results will not be what you expect (or are hoping for).
- The fear of success.
Regardless of what your fears may be, it’s important to recognize them and to determine (objectively) as to whether they are valid or just excuses to give up and quit. Below are two examples to show how fear can be a positive motivator and a negative deterrent to your ultimate success.
How Fear Can Motivate Change – John Smith
John Smith was recently informed by his doctor that he is at risk of developing type II diabetes and coronary heart disease. At the age of 60 John’s father passed away from a heart attack. With two young sons of his own he didn’t want to have them go through what he went through when he lost his father when he was only in middle school.
He immediately found a fitness club conveniently located close to both his home and work, signed up for a tour of the facility and signed up on the spot. He took advantage of the free fitness consultation and complimentary personal training session. He didn’t enjoy the workouts (which were very tiring and made his muscles hurt after every session) but he would look at his kids every morning before he went to work and tucked them in every night … knowing that his hard work at the gym meant he would have more time to watch them grow up and be good husbands and fathers down the road. Six months later, at his follow up doctor’s appointment, he had lost 30 pounds, lowered his cholesterol and blood pressure, and walked out with a clean bill of health. John still goes to the gym 2 to 3 times per week and now plays soccer at the park with his boys every chance he gets.
How Fear Can Sabotage Change – Sally Jones
Before Sally got married to Jack (ten years ago), she was your typical “All-American girl”. Raised in the midwest she was on the cheer squad, dated the quarterback, was the most popular girl in school and was nominated as the Prom Queen. After giving birth to two beautiful children (and 30 pounds later) she has become a recluse and spends most of her time at home and in the confines of her house. She recently received an invitation to attend her ten year high school reunion (in six months).
She looked at herself in the mirror and realized she didn’t like what she saw (and that she would be ridiculed by her peers if they saw her this way). She immediately drove to the nearest 24 Hour Fitness and signed up. She started off going to the gym three times a week for the first month … and already started seeing results. It wasn’t until she ran into an old high school classmate at the gym that things changed. Jessica Jones ran into Sally at the gym and happen to mention how she looked “healthier” than she remembered. Sally was devastated. Because she didn’t want to run into Jessica at the gym ever again she stopped going to the gym and never ended up going to her high school reunion.
In both situations, John and Sally were motivated to make a change. The difference between the two is that John was willing to face his fears every day (i.e., failure, injury, the unknown, etc.) because the goal of being healthier and more fit was far more important than any negative thoughts in his head.
You can either be your best ally or your worst enemy. The choice is ultimately YOURS to make.