Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Mental Principle #3: If they can do it, so can I
Let people inspire you and show you the way. You don't have to do it alone or even figure it out on your own. In most cases you can get 90% of the way by following the lead of those inspirational people who came before you. A great way to get started as well as keep going is find a person or group that inspires you and shows you how it is done.
Fear can either me used as a survival tool for knowing when you need to be cautious and find out more information or it can be a paralyzing emotion that keeps you from ever going down an unknown path. In regards to fitness here are a few strategies for dealing with fear. First, acknowledge your fear, and then find an appropriate action to mitigate it. Second, look outside yourself for examples of others that have come before you, and millions have, to deal with what you are dealing with and accomplish great feats. Your mantra: If they can do it, so can I. I used this countless times in my life as I strove for things that scared me or things that I had no confidence in or know how. Of course you cannot be totally comfortable since you haven't done it yet, but that is normal, not something that should dissuade you. Inspiration is not a comforting feeling, if it were comfortable it wouldn't move us to do something greater.
Inspiration is very personal and contagious so it is impossible to suggest anything in particular. Rather you must get tuned into the people and places that inspire you and spend as much time with them as you can. Inspiration comes up from within based on positive personal stories, whereas motivation connotes "to move", implying an external force which once removed will cease. Let other people's successes open the possibility that you can achieve some of their success. If they can do it, so can I. Furthermore, you'll want to learn as much as you can from them so you can understand and model their beliefs, behaviors and methods that lead to their success. This is why people are attracted to athletes/trainers/coaches that have sustained a high level of fitness and nutrition. These sources of inspiration are also fantastic tools to help renew your energy when you are feeling down on inspiration and/or discipline.
Think of it as having a master and apprentice relationship, which has always been the best learning environment, even if you are not with each other daily. Modeling the beliefs and behaviors of others can be a very powerful process if you continually ask yourself what they would do or how they would see it until you have completely adopted the new way of being. For example, if you are inconsistent with your training because of work and maybe down deep don't believe you should have to exercise so much to loose fat, ask yourself "they somehow find the time to exercise 4 times per week even though they have a time consuming job and look what it has done for them." Another example, if you are very undisciplined about eating and don't really understand what 90/10 compliance eating is all about ask yourself, "they wouldn't just order take out because they don't feel like preparing a meal because they know 10% non-compliance is only 2 meals per week."
I have several people who inspire me, some of them famous people like Roger Federer who's cool, Buddha like demeanor on the court has made him the most winning tennis player ever. But some of them are mentor's in business like Keith Ferrazzi author of Who's Got your Back that I get to talk to only occasionally and some of them are clients who I see everyday and inspire me with their deep commitment to fitness. There is value in having inspiring people both far off and close enough to interact with so stay aware of who inspires you and why.
Remember: If they can do it, so can I