With the beginning of a New Year, many of us are planing new resolutions.  Along with starting new challenges, we will likely face a strong personal deterrent—lack of belief.  There’s rarely a time when an active thought comes to your mind, and it’s not followed by some dismissive idea of reality.  An example of this can be the decision to make gym a priority but, the thoughts of busy schedule, timing, other commitments, along with past experiences of not seeing desired results begin to surge through the cerebral cortex.  The idea of the gym is a good one, that when sustained will have a positive impact on your overall lifestyle.  However, before you can even begin this challenge, the mind tries to convince you otherwise.  So, how do we begin a shift in the desired direction without barrage of personal obstruction.

intensity work stress photo When it comes to health and fitness, we all wish many things from these menus.  However, many of us are not able to start the process, due to significant negative mental backlash.  Why do we become our own worst critic in the time where support and encouragement is needed most?

The quick answer—we don’t fully believe in ourselves and our abilities.  Deep down we don’t believe that we have the energy to build a strong physique we desire; or the willpower to control dieting urges.  But, did you know that belief is like any other ability, which requires practice and work.  Humans are preprogrammed by evolution to do least amount of work as possible.  We have evolved to spare personal energy reservoirs and avoid trouble in order to maximize survival rate. The good news, we no longer have to save energy to run away from the saber-toothed tiger, or stock up on calories for the dire winter season.  Today, this instinct to survive and spare personal energy reservoirs while avoiding trouble creates a different kind of negative impact—lack of personal growth and adaptability. 

Science behind Stress

Even though we’d rather avoid work and take an easier route through a decisive action, we have all the necessary tools to deal with pretty much anything that comes our way.  This is also part of our evolution, the yang to the yin so to speak.  Our physiology has developed a system which identifies stress related problem, engage it and overcome it.  This human ability was first studied by Dr. Hans Selye who wrote a paper on this topic in 1950 and named it General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS).  Since then GAS has been the model widely used in medicine and various treatments.  Dr. Selye further went on to advocate that stress is not always a bad thing, and just an inevitable part of life that can either lead to a positive or, a negative body state.

Another fact that has been extensively researched, experimented and applied is mind-to-muscle connection.  When you believe it can be done, the in-the moment confidence overpowers fear, further engaging body systems to greater extent.  Physiologically, scientific models explain the process of Central Nervous System (CNS) and how it affects the body in order to overcome obstacles physical or mental in nature.  Besides the standard process of muscular engagement and generation of force, the body is capable of superior performance during fight-or-flight circumstances.  Here, CNS is not only able to recruit and activate more muscle tissue towards any physical demand; but also releases a slew of hormones stored in various glands in order to increase and/or maintain body performance.  This incredible human ability has been extensively studied and documented by national coaches from the former Soviet Union.  They called it CFmax, which stands for competition force max.  Scientific data shows, people are able to produce personal best results during competitions—periods of highest physical and psychological stress.  The results differ individually; the stronger mind to muscle connection, the greater the achievement.

In conclusion, lack of belief disables our greatest abilities and potential.  By nature, we’re programmed to spare personal energy and thus avoid work.  However, science has repeatedly shown that when energy is spent and focused at task at hand, results are inevitable – generating a Stronger, Leaner, Faster You.

Challenge your Point of Viewstronger

Throughout history human species has numerously demonstrated periods of great excitement, resilience, determination and ingenuity.  The human body is the product of such evolution able to engage life, seek opportunities, and overcome odds.  You have the ability to grow in strength, and produce greatness during dire circumstances. 

Stress is not necessary bad for you, as it all depends on personal interpretation.  If unprepared, anything can become scary and difficult.  But stress can also be positive, filled with life lessons and opportunities for growth.  Unknown can become the spice of life, developing positive emotions of excitement and inspiration.  Your point of view (POV) will determine not only an emotional feeling but a physical action.  In the end, you are in control of that—your thoughts, your beliefs and your actions.  The way in which you engage stress is entirely up to you.  You can run away, try to avoid stress or, take it head on and come out stronger, leaner, faster. 

Practice Make Perfect

Anything that we want—strength, fitness, power— requires work and personal effort.  Expending energy and time does not guarantee results, which is the biggest dilemma for many.  But this life is about the process and the change that you are able to achieve.  This is where the mental game takes over, attempting to stop any action towards uncertainty.  An uncertain mind can be changed, by not only opposing negativity but also acting against it.  This control will not be easy but evolves with practice.

Something to keep in mind is that, change does not always has to be scary, risky and intimidating.  This is simply your mind’s point of view as a response to avoid expending energy.  Change is often the unknown; which can also be exciting, adventurous and fulfilling.  It is filled with possibilities for you to notice and take advantage of; and it all depends on how you look at it, your point of view.  By consistently acting on ideas and trying new things, you develop habits that continuously generate personal growth.  A growth of any kind is a growth nonetheless, and what you learn in one situation can be applied in another.  And that is experience worth having.

Final Thoughts

We all know and understand what is good for us, but avoid the process by talking ourselves out of action.  Often the common unanswered question is “how” to begin this journey, and in our case a quest to better personal fitness.  The answer is: one step at a time.

Life is a journey, and your experiences in it is the process.  You are stronger than you realize, and decisive action will forward results; some big, others small.  Regardless of the product, it’s the process that is of importance.  Unknowns of life are the sea of possibilities.  These opportunities generate movement leading to personal evolution, but this trait of action needs to be consistently practiced.  Failure, set backs and alike are natural part of life, and are simply colours within your life spectrum.  Without failure, you simply won’t be able to understand, experience and enjoy success.  It is the yin to yang completing overall experience.  Overcoming setbacks requires a platform of interpersonal beliefs, which also have to be practiced.

Believing in yourself and your abilities will forward the emotional charge necessary to perform at maximum potential.  As you grow so will your mind-to-muscle connection generating significant improvements.  Step by step, whether mental or physical, you’ll begin to move forward towards the goal of greater fitness.  Focusing on your own potential rather than outside environment improves self control, directing energy and effort on personal improvement.  This is the road to success.

Let’s start this new year becoming Stronger, Leaner, Faster You!  To make this journey easier, we’ve compiled a plan of action is way of Food—The No-Diet Book; and Fitness—Stronger Learner Faster Him and Stronger Leaner Faster Her.  If you are interested in a sample program to try be sure to download a free 5-week Training Program and Food Tips from our Home Page. 

Hope 2017, is your best year yet! Cheers.