Every one of us has experienced a time when we didn’t know what the next step should be, how we could achieve our goal, and why it is always us who cannot figure it out while all the people around us seem to be on top of the game. You look in the mirror and wonder why you feel stuck and what you can do about it. Are you too old? Are you genetically inferior to the rest of the world? Are you mentally too weak to take on significant challenges?
Be assured that none of these questions have a piece of truth. You are just as well positioned as anyone else to change your situation. We are talking about a mental and a physical condition you must overcome. No matter your current body shape, the fact that you feel deep inside yourself, and I don’t mean you think the ice cream you just had, that you have self-worthiness, is a clear sign of your ability to make change possible. If you can handle it, you won’t change it. But because you look in the mirror and see someone whose body is not reflecting your expectations of yourself, you can be assured that all you need to make that change is already inside you.
I recently came across a story of a boy, who loved to play football and grew up in Berlin-Wedding, the same area I used to live in as a student. It’s a very rough area, with many drug hotspots and drips of blood on the floor of subway stations, with fake police officers and young men coming straight out of prison and pumping weights at the nearby gym. This boy was lost in this blue-collar district and was in free fall when he broke his ankle while taking the slide on the playground as an adolescent out of boredom. One day his sports teacher offered him to join the training flag football team, after school. Flag football is a version of American football, without the physically destructive component. He soon fell in love with the game and only eight years later became a professional American football player in the NFL, something only a hand full of Germans has ever achieved. This was only possible because he had a big vision to allow him to play with a broken ankle, two torn shoulders, brain trauma, and two painful knees that swelled after every training. He pushed through every imaginable adversary, until he made it.
The first important thing you need to have, is: a vision of yourself
Many ingenious people believe in the power of reverse-tracing their goals. By imagining the result they aim to achieve regularly, they unconsciously find ways to challenges they run into. This kid came from a working family who didn’t possess enough money to sign up for a college in the US, where he would play college football to be found by a scout and eventually signed by a football club for several million US dollars. He had to find a way to earn a scholarship, allowing him to set foot on a plane for the first time in his life, taking him to the US to play college football.
A lack of clear vision is between you and yourself right now. Imagine what you want to look like twelve months from now. What clothes are you going to wear then? How will you feel going to the beach and wearing your favorite swimming clothes? What will you think when you look into the mirror? What are you willing to do to achieve this vision of yourself? Imagine that you are already there; pretend that you have already accomplished what you set out for.
Secondly you need to come up with a plan
The vision helps you articulate the goals you want to achieve on the journey toward your dream. What is it like to have lost 15cm waist circumference? I don’t know, but it feels great to wear pants two sizes smaller than now! What is it like to weigh 16 kg less than now? I don’t know, but if you want to swim at the beach, I’m sure it feels fantastic to be in great shape without feeling like hiding your belly!
What you need now is a plan. I’m talking about a program that not only helps you reduce five kg, and that’s it; no, I’m talking about a method that allows you to go the whole way, from start to finish. It would be best if you had a sustainable solution that fits your lifestyle. It would be best if you had a game changer that leads you to continue toward your goal. If you know or are willing to spend hundreds of hours to acquire it, go for it. If you believe that a third party can more objectively support you and provide you with a solution based on the experience of hundreds or thousands of other people, then go with that person. The human body is a very clever organism and reacts best to methods that fit its metabolism, age, and several other factors. But the body changes during the process, and thus every solution needs adjustments once in a while.
Be patient, and don’t throw in the towel
When this boy had all the important ligaments of his shoulders torn by an opponent, he couldn’t lift his arms anymore. Did he stop playing in this game of the Playoffs? No! He threw in painkillers and kept pushing for himself through the last minutes of the game to achieve his vision. I don’t suggest pushing through with painkillers, but I want to make clear that many of us give up far too early.
When the price is high enough, the pain that you need to endure to get the price will fade, at least temporarily. I have seen some of my clients coming highly stressed and with very little pain tolerance. They increased their ability to endure pain by several magnitudes! It made them better people, not only at the gym but also in daily life. They became more muscular, more robust. Life didn’t stop punching them in the face, but they could take more brutal hits without being thrown off as quickly! The journey is essential; without it, you won’t be able to keep the gains. A lottery winner loses all her money because she never worked for it. Someone who sweats off 20kg at the gym by eating healthy and committing for a long time won’t quickly regain this weight. Be patient when you work towards your goal. There will be setbacks, but don’t allow them to be so big as to take you off the path toward your vision.
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