Everyone has the potential to be successful at anything they put their mind to achieving. But that being said, you're not the only one who's struggled with mental hurdles.
The most important thing to understand is what your mindset is doing to dictate your outcome. A "fixed mindset" is very black and white/ all or nothing. This way of thinking is hyper-focused on insecurities and perfectionism. When locked into thinking about and anticipating failure, inevitably something will happen that creates it. Maybe you don't nail your macros one week and you carry that guilt with you to the gym where you don't get in a great workout. Then by the end of the week, you feel so guilty you just want to give up. But it's more than feeling down, you start to think you really can't do this. Possibly you feel the only way you can ever reach your goal is to be extreme, because maybe that's what worked for you in the past. You NEED food restriction. Your body is different, you believe you HAVE to do 90 minutes of cardio a day or else you'll just BLOW UP.
What about food obsession, though? Could you have a fixed mindset around food? You "could never" eat at a restaurant that doesn't serve dry grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies.... or you have massive anxiety about eating at your mother in law's because her southern cooking is too rich, there's no way you can accurately track those calories?! So you just bring your own food. Even when you're not in show prep?
These are not healthy mindsets.
Having a fixed mindset leaves you stressed, limited, and unhappy if you're not doing your plan "perfectly". Perhaps you will be able to release lingering anxiety around food and your body by changing the way you allow yourself to think about your situation.
The solution? Learn to adopt a healthier, "growth" mindset.
One that says, "I've been working really hard and perfect macro/calorie tracking isn't real. I'm fine if I'm a little off on this meal. 5 or 10 grams isn't going to break my progress. Adjustments can always be made. It's more important that I enjoy my time with my family."'
Growth mindset says, "Trying to be perfect is actually exhausting! I'm not happy trying to do everything perfectly all the time! It's okay to mess up. It's okay to fail. I can always learn from the mistakes. I can always improve. Balance is the ideal. Not perfectionism. Healthy mindsets and feeling good in your own skin is as important if not more than whether you're 100% perfect in everything you do.
And maybe you're not a fixed mindset type of person, but you're a self-saboteur.
Ever get super close to reaching your goal only to completely blow it with your diet or suddenly stop going to the gym all together? Maybe you've bounced from coach to coach to coach thinking you've never found a plan that actually worked for your body.... but at the end of the day, when you're honest with yourself, you never 100% followed their plans anyway?
Don't worry, we won't tell on you.
When outcomes or change makes you uncertain or too anxious to move forward, you can easily gain control by sabotaging yourself. Mostly it's dictated on a subconscious level, and that's why it's so frustrating. On the surface level, it's easy to think, "That's dumb, why would I pay so much money for a trainer or coach, trying to loose these 50lbs only to ruin my shot at success?!" The answer is different for everyone who has been there or in a similar situation.
Sometimes, even situations we don't like are more comfortable than trying something new and trusting someone else to get us to our ultimate goal. Even being 50lbs over-weight can become a comfort zone. You might not like what you see in the mirror, but trying something new in the gym or learning a new way of eating seems way worse. And that's the honest truth for some people. Some people sabotage their job opportunities, some people sabotage their relationships, and for others, it's fitness.
Self-sabotage gives you the control. Especially when you're afraid of giving it your all and still failing. Yet for some people, they might feel like they deserve to fail. So the create chances to fail and dress it up as "oh, you know I just over-did it on the intake one night and never got back on the wagon again."
It takes honesty and courage to defeat your self-sabotage. But here are some helpful tips:
- Take a look at your past moments of sabotage and failures. Do you have a pattern here? What's the pattern and what are the thoughts going through your mind or feelings you have during these times?
- Instead of the behavior that you chose, what could you have done instead? Are you being honest with your coach about your mistakes or when you start to feel overwhelmed? Do you trust them to help you get through those moments?
- If you think deeper about it, how much time or money have you cost yourself with your sabotage. Instead of feeling defeated, choose to learn from this! Recognize that you'd be so much happier if you changed your old habits!
Remember: "Sabotaging yourself keeps you safe and in control, at the expense of making any real progress in life" - Jane Marie Mueller
Post by Amber Fokken | IG @mishkadawn