“I hate that exercise.” “This one is too hard.” “I don’t want to a go a third time through the circuit.” Wow, those are some very negative comments that trainers hear all too often. They do not have anything positive, uplifting, or motivating about them. They just suck the life out of you and your drive to excel, succeed, and become a stronger person. Unless you make some sort of comment after the ones similar to the ones previously mentioned. Something along the lines of, “But I’m going to do it and get better at it.”, or “You know what? I need to face my fears and take control.” But I very rarely hear them.
Let me ask you a question, why are you at the gym? Please ponder that a moment before you answer straight away. Why. Are. You. Here. Is it because you know you should? Is it because everyone else goes to the gym? Is it social hour for you? Is it because you want to be healthier? Is it because you want to ward off disease and illness? Do you want to fit into the dress you wore years earlier and you felt the most beautiful? Whatever your reasoning may be, make sure that it’s something you’re passionate about. Harness it, hold it close, and use it to drive yourself to new levels of fitness and health.
When we go into any situation with a negative mindset we immediately shut down to new opportunities and ideas. “I just don’t want to do it.” I have most certainly said that phrase way too much in my lifetime. Whether it be going out to a movie that’s too late for my liking, making dinner, or a specific exercise, I kept that bad attitude and was probably a brat to my friends, ate cereal instead of something healthy, and bypassed the exercise I didn’t like. It has been shown in studies that when you believe you can’t do something, or don’t want to do something, or your choice in the matter has been taken away, you are less likely to succeed at what you’re doing. It has been shown that your mindset about the situation is the limiting factor.
In a study at the University of California, students were set into two categories, a deliberative and an implemental group. Both groups were going to perform a scavenger hunt around the campus for basic things (a pinecone, safety pin, etc). The deliberative group was asked to list the pros and cons of the scavenger hunt, why they would want to do it and why they wouldn’t want to do it. The implemental group was asked to think about their participation in the scavenger hunt and what it would be like as they performed it.
It turned out that the deliberative group was much more negative in their thoughts about the scavenger hunt. Their pre-performance mindset was limited in that they rated themselves lower in terms of determination, commitment to the scavenger hunt, predicted performance, and higher in terms of task difficulty as compared to the implemental group. And it turned out the implemental group, who had a better mindset going into the game, found more items in the scavenger hunt and had a better attitude the whole time.
Moral of the story: your attitude matters. Believing that something is too hard, too stupid, too pointless, is a waste of your time and energy. And you are wasting my time and energy, as well. Trainers are not employed to just MAKE you motivated and excited to work out. We are here to provide you with tools, information, and safety that better your fitness, health, and overall life. I cannot force you to put a smile on your face and look to each exercise with a fearless drive that you will successfully try your very darn best at performing it. You have to want that. You can always just ‘do something’, but what’s even better is doing something the best you possibly can each and every time.
So what if you can’t get the hang of the Full Turkish Get-up? It’s hard and there are a lot of steps to remember! Focus on what you CAN do and perfect those steps. Soon enough you’ll be mastering the full.
By changing your attitude to a more positive outlook you are more than likely going to see greater results from your work and be happier about what you are accomplishing, rather than focusing on what you aren’t accomplishing. Enjoy your workouts; they are making you a stronger person, inside and out! J