Getting Started – Finding motivation and banishing our limiting beliefs
Nike got it spot on in 1988 with the launch of their famous slogan “just do it”. Sadly, I often hear people say this when getting started with a new healthy regime. They talk the talk but when it comes to it, they fail to walk the walk.
One of the reasons we fail crops up time and time again in my role as a Fitness and Wellbeing Coach, that is the effect of our limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are decisions we make about ourselves and/or our world that limit the way we live. I hope that by recognising the beliefs that are holding you back, you will have the foresight, as Nike suggest, to “Just do It”.
Examples of limiting beliefs
I am writing this blog from personal experience. In my earlier years I would tell people what I needed to do because I wanted to show others I was aware of my weight gain and it was all in-hand when secretly this was my defence mechanism against the thought I was being judged for carrying extra weight. Internally I had limiting beliefs and would make statements such as, “I will start on Monday”.
Making this statement gave me permission to binge all weekend because, come Monday, I was sure that I would have got it out of my system and would be on it like a rocket. Only Monday would come, and because I had spent the weekend gorging myself, I had no motivation or energy to get started.
Another favourite of mine was, “I will do it this evening”. Evening would come, and I would be so tired from a day of work, looking after the kids, making dinner etc. that I would never get around to it. Does this sound familiar?
Another limiting belief I had to overcome was that, if I had eaten anything I deemed unhealthy, I couldn’t exercise that day because it would repeat on me (give me indigestion). When I finally got my trainers on to go for a jog, if it rained, was too windy or too warm, I just couldn’t do it. The wind would take my breath away, the rain would make my hair wet and if it was too warm, I would have heat exhaustion. What a load of rubbish! Believe me, if you need excuses to not do something you will find them.
Overcoming limiting beliefs
Addressing your limiting beliefs might feel uncomfortable at first, I still take one day at a time sometimes. I bought myself a running jacket that was water resistant and light-weight, so I could no longer use the bad weather as an excuse to not run.
I made the decision to work out as early as possible rather than procrastinating and letting the dread of impending exercise burden my whole day. I find that downloading audiobooks to listen to whilst running helps me to get into a rhythm and teaches me something new. It’s still a challenge to get out of the door, but I can now focus on how great I will feel when I get back.
What I have learned with age and experience is to take one day at a time. Start with 10 minutes speed walking, if it turns into a bit of a jog great! On days when I do get out and jog I make healthier food choices too.
My advice is, be realistic with what you can do, prioritise your fitness and nutrition and don’t tell people what you think they want to hear. “Just do It” and let the results speak for themselves.
Believe in yourself, be grateful for your amazing body and all that it can do and when you achieve something you set out to do, reward yourself with healthy, wholesome foods.