The Success Mindset

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I remember when I used to do 1-on-1 personal training. I periodically did weigh ins with my weight loss clients. But before we ever did a weigh in, I always had to ask one simple question...

"Did you lose weight?"

I can tell you that, without exaggeration, 100% of the time their answer told me what we were going to see on that scale. The most common response among new clients was always the same - "I hope so." As soon as I heard that they "hoped" they lost weight, I knew that the scale wouldn't budge.

They already knew themselves that they didn't take care of business. They either didn't eat as well as they said they did in their journals or skipped a workout or two. Either way, they had to hope that they were going to see something good because they certainly knew they didn't do all they could.

After a while with the vast majority of clients, their answers changed. "Yes, I lost weight."

I even had a couple clients tell me it was time for the weigh in, clients who formerly shuddered when they thought about stepping on the scale.

What changed?

Their mindset had evolved from one of skepticism and defeatism to one of confidence. Once they knew what had to be done to lose weight, it took them a while to actually do it. They bought in and developed confidence in their efforts. They knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they had earned their results.

It's that mindset - the difference between being defeated and being confident - that makes all the difference. Many people head into gyms with a history of failing in their weight loss efforts. They are skeptical about anything and everything related to fitness. And that skepticism prevents them from throwing all of their beings behind their efforts. They don't work out as hard or as often as they should. They let themselves maintain the same crappy diet. They hope that something is different this time around, but they're missing the point.

There's a Henry Ford quote that sums it up nicely. It goes, more or less, "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." If you think you can't lose weight - that it's not for you because you've failed before - it's going to show in your efforts. It's going to keep you from giving it your all because you're scared to try as hard as you can and fail.

Success in fitness can be attributed to so many factors - exercise, diet, genetics, just to name a few. But the overriding factor that contributes to everything else is your mindset.

So do you think you can, or do you think you can't?

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