Being a personal trainer, a lot of people come to me wanting to look and feel better about themselves. And many of those people only focus on the physicality of getting fit, forgetting that mental toughness, your mindset, or the mind-body connection, is necessary.

What do you think of when I tell you to visualize a strong confident person? Do you see someone with their chin up, chest out, with a confident and strong voice? What about a shy person? Do you see the closed posture? The small, timid steps this person takes with their gaze always looking down? The mind body connection can’t be neglected. We assess and measure body language subconsciously.

Having the right mindset in order to get a healthier, fitter body is necessary. I always tell people to expect hardship because if it were easy, everyone would have the perfect body by now. Be optimistic, yet expect the rough waters as you tread of out your comfort zone. Joining the gym seems daunting at first with all these people knowing what they’re doing while you enter all clueless as to what to do. I understand that; everyone’s been through that feeling. Even personal trainers at one point in their lives. But eventually, your comfort zone expands into the gym and you get more comfortable. However, I encounter too many people who are scared to join the gym just because of that reason. They are scared to expand. They’ve sabotaged themselves before even getting started. This happens way too much in my industry. I get this excuse quite a lot: “I wish I could join but I am so afraid of looking stupid or looking like I don’t know what to do in front of all the regulars!”

You have to be more optimistic. Optimism is not just about positive thinking, ignoring the negatives and just hoping for the best. Optimism is a habitual way of constructively explaining setbacks to yourself, as long as you learn from your experiences. You get to the pinnacle of your goals by tracking through the ruins of your failures. I wouldn’t want to call failures as failures (the way society describes it) but as undesired events. We can use failures as the foundation of our success as long as we choose to learn from those undesired events.

There can’t be peaks without the valleys, no good without the bad, no pleasure without pain, and no light without darkness. What I’m trying to say here is that anything worth accomplishing is never easy. It’s easy to eat a cake. Anyone can do that. It’s difficult to get in shape and stay in shape especially when you reach a plateau. You should know plateaus are normal. And when you expect the ups and downs of the journey, you can expect to just ride the waves and take the ups with the downs. 

Too many clients I work with give up when they stop seeing / feeling results because they don’t set the right mindset. Setting expectations is key. Life is a roller coaster ride. It’s exciting and scary. If it weren’t full of dips, rises, and dives, just all straight lines without any sudden accelerations followed by slow decelerations, can you imagine how boring that ride could be?

Besides, whenever you conquer and get beyond a fear, you come out of the other side a stronger person who is full of energy and accomplishment. I truly find my life to be boring when I don’t step out of my comfort zone. Be it pushing new weights, trying out new group classes like boot camps, spinning, or joining a healthy cooking meet up group and feeling like the newbie all alone and unfamiliar.

One thing I’ve learned is you only fail when you stop trying. After every failure, you collect data from the “failed” event. I like to call it learning experiences. You use that data and tweak it until it works because when you quit, you lose all that momentum and you have to start all over again.

So if you fail to see results right now, look back into your routine and determine: where or when did you fall of the wagon? Is it because you don’t plan your workouts? Is it because you don’t put enough emphasis in meal prepping? Is it because you always doubt and self-talk yourself out of joining the new class, joining the gym, joining a healthy cooking workshop all because it is new, unfamiliar, and scary?

Did you notice that most of what I talked about has nothing to do with the body but it was all about the mind and your mindset? As a trainer, most people really just think too much. And that’s what I say. Don’t care about what other people think about you because to be honest, they are too busy thinking about themselves. Pretty much every client I’ve worked with told me the same frustrations. They rarely talk about the newbie in the gym so please stop preventing yourself from achieving your goals. Don’t be a prisoner to other people’s thoughts…that is if they’re not focused in their own thoughts. People usually think about the next exercise, what’s for dinner, what pending work they have to finish the next day, etc etc etc. They really aren’t judging you at all! They’re too busy in their own heads. So get out there and start achieving those goals!

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