Why you keep holding yourself back (and what to do about it)
By Coach Fahad Maniar
Someone once told me, your attitude determines your altitude in life and there’s a very good reason why mindset matters the most
One of my core beliefs when it comes to helping people achieve their fitness goals, my own fitness goals and indeed any goals in life in general is that you need to have a positive mindset at the foundation of your goals and the weekend gone, I got to spend 4 days with the master coach when it comes to mindset, human behaviour and motivation.
I’m talking about Tony Robbins as I had the privilege of attending his 4 day event, Unleash the Power Within.
During the 4 days, we learned a lot about why people do what they do, why they struggle to move forward towards their goals, what holds them back and how they can overcome those obstacles inside their own mind in order to succeed.
In today’s blog post, I want to highlight a few of these in hope that it helps you get over any obstacle you may face in your goal to get fit.
Why do you do what you do?
We all have habits and patterns. In fact, If I observed you for a few moments, I could quite quickly predict your habits and patterns where health and nutrition are concerned.
Habits and patterns are designed to keep us safe. You see, we have 3 parts to our brain. We have the computer part of our brain that runs programs. These programs are automatic so we don’t have to worry about doing them on a conscious level such as the program “Heart Beat” and the program “Breath” (Seriously, when was the last time you had to consciously remind your heart to beat?)
We have a logical, human part to our brain too which sees goals and ambition and has drive to succeed. It has a drive to do the right thing. Things we know that are good for us such as exercising, eating clean, giving to others, helping and being compassionate.
The trouble is, in between these two is what’s known as your reptilian brain or, as Dr Steve Peters, author of the seminal book “The chimp paradox” calls it, the chimp brain. The chimp is designed to do one thing. Keep you safe. It likes habit and routine because familiarity and certainty means safety. To step out of what you know is to step out in the unknown and the chimp perceives that dangerous and suggests it is very painful.
Since you can’t out wrestle a chimp, this brings us onto the even more important question of why you do anything in life and according to Tony Robbins, you do things for one of two reasons. To avoid pain or to gain pleasure. Now, guess which one of these is the more powerful motivator? You’d be let off if you said pleasure but our need to avoid pain is a far greater motivator than our desire for pleasure.
So, when it comes to working out and changing our eating habits, our minds tend to lead us to believe that we will feel incredible pain if we change our eating habits and start working out. First of all, the pain of exercise, the emotional stress of depriving yourself of certain foods, the social pain of what will your friends and peers say and the fact that you’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone.
That pain certainly feels worse than the pleasure of having washboard abs in a years time!
But if we all feel that way, why is it some people can make a change and some people are held back? Well that boils down to what Tony Robbins calls, your blueprint. Your blueprint is another word for your beliefs.
And your beliefs will be centered around fulfilling 6 of your human needs.
Your 6 human needs are the bedrock of everything you do. Everything you do must meet one of your 6 human needs.
Let’s take making money for an example. You don’t want money… it’s just paper (or in today’s day and age, some digital currency)… What you really want is the way that money will make you feel or, fulfill one of the following 6 needs
These 6 needs are
– Certainty (e.g. money will give you security, stability etc)
– Uncertainty (e.g. money will give you choice, allow you to do things like travel to new places and try new things)
– Significance (e.g. money will get you status, respect etc)
– Love and connection (Perhaps the one thing money can’t buy!)
Before we carry on, let’s take your beliefs on health and fitness for a moment. If you’re struggling to get in shape. What are your beliefs about going to the gym, eating clean or hiring a coach to help you when it comes to these 6 needs? Can you identify at least 3? For example, one thing holding you back is you’re scared of the uncertainty of achieving your goals (that stems from the belief that “what if it doesn’t work”)
Once you identify your belief systems, you can change them to serve you!
I’ll let you in on a little secret.
One of the biggest limiting beliefs I had about myself for the longest time is that I am not good enough. This held me back financially, in business, as a coach, as a parent and as a husband… not a very nice thing but the belief kept giving me certainty that things were not going my way for a reason.
I used this belief in a very powerful exercise we did at UPW called The Dickens Process.
The Dickens process is an NLP intervention that is used by Tony Robbins to smash through negative beliefs and to create a powerful one in its place.
Before we go into the process, it’s important to know that you need 3 things to change a negative belief.
Firstly, you need Leverage. In other words, you need to associate as much pain with the current belief as you can and potentially as much pleasure with how things would be without this belief.
Secondly, you need interrupt your current patterns. Whenever you start thinking about your negative beliefs, notice how you feel, notice your physiology, your posture, your breathing patterns, your tone of voice etc… these are patterns that are neurologically wired to the beliefs you currently hold. In order to break the current patterns and beliefs, you must rewire your neurological patterns too.
Finally, You must create a new more powerful and empowering pattern to reinforce it as a habit, something like a movement that makes you feel good or just shouting, “YES!”
Now, back to the Dickens process.
Ever seen the Movie scrooge? (I remember seeing it as The Disney Christmas Carrol back as a child) Or even read the book by Charles Dickens?
If you remember the story, it’s about a man named Ebenezer Scrooge who is a rich miserly old man. He has a lot of money but in reality, he’s not very happy at all. He’s also the hardest working person in his business (which is contrary to why most people start their own businesses in the first place).
But what happens to Scrooge in the movie? He is the meanest, grumpiest and most miserly man you could imagine but at the end of the film, he’s friendly, charitable and jolly. What happened?
If you remember, he got visited by 3 spirits. One who takes him to his past, one who takes him to his present and one who shows him his future. In each instance, he shows scrooge visions of immense pain. The pain is so unbearable to Scrooge by the end of the night that he vows to make a change, sets up a new belief and interrupts his patterns and creates new ones by dancing around and giving gifts to everyone he sees.
Tony Robbins Dickens Process saw us visualising immense pain in our lives, especially in our futures, if we clung on to the negative beliefs. We then interrupted the pattern through making fun of our current beliefs and finally, we used our whole body to create more empowering beliefs and patterns.
My new belief now is that I am not just good, I am outstanding and the universe serves me! Every problem or challenge I have ever faced in the past was the universe’s way of making me the best version of the person I am today and any future challenges or problems are there to serve me to make me even better than I am today all so I can serve others with all of my passion!
I hope this blog post has given you some indication and some hope that whatever is holding you back, you can overcome it.
Our goal as fitness coaches is not just to help you get a healthy, fit physique but to also get you a strong and solid mind. If you would like to talk to us about helping you reach the next chapter of your life, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org