Maximum Effort! The Art of Conquering Negativity

In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices
— Epictetus
Jacksonville Personal Trainer.  Jacksonville Small Group Training.  Jacksonville Fitness

You are unhappy.  You are unhappy with your body.  You are unhappy with the amount of work you have to put in to create small positive changes in your body.  You are unhappy with how difficult it is to eat the right foods to lose weight.  

These are thoughts and frustrations that have entered the mind of every single person attempting to change their body.  It is hard work.  It is patient work.  It requires dedication and sweat.

You cannot change how quickly your body will lose weight, you cannot change how quickly your body will gain muscle.  Both of these processes require constant effort over a long timeline.  They can be exhausting.  The only two factors you can control are your thoughts and your efforts.

There are going to be times when your frustration bubbles to the surface.  You feel fat.  You look fat.  You’ve done 1,000 curls but your arms still look like toothpicks.  You feel like you've been working your ass off and are seeing no results. 

You need to remember that these are only thoughts.  They are not facts.  Thoughts, unlike facts, can be changed.  Your thoughts can be changed through action.  Your thoughts are not reality.  They can be as positive or as negative as you want them to be.

Negative thoughts are bad because they will prevent you from taking the necessary action needed to reach your goal.  Have you ever felt so frustrated about your body that you skipped the gym entirely? Or have you ever felt so bad about the meals you ate yesterday that you sat on the couch and ate the same crap today?  

How did you feel the next day? You did not feel better.  You felt the same.  You felt worse.  Nothing changed because you didn’t take action.  You let your negativity win.

Allowing these thoughts to enter your mind is only natural, and no one will fault you for being your own worst critic.  We all feel bad about ourselves at times.  Anyone who doesn't is either  delusional or a Kardashian.

Allowing these thoughts to take over your mind and dictate your course of action is unacceptable. A negative thought that is fleeting is harmless, a negative thought that you allow to fester and take over your day is unacceptable. 

The steps to conquering your negative emotions are quite simple, but require training and vigilance. 

The first step is to simply feel the negative emotion.  If you need to cry, cry.  If you need to hit something, hit something. Remember how you feel at that very moment.  Realize that by doing nothing you are only prolonging this state of negativity.  Unless you do something you are going to feel this way tomorrow, and the day after. Rousing yourself to take action will be hard.  It will be the last thing you want to do, but it is your only option. 

The second step is to take swift action.  Do not waste time debating the pros and cons.  Make a decisive, positive step forward.  You need to say "screw it" and act.  Maybe you decide to throw away the sweets you’ve been hiding under the sink.  Maybe you decide to sprint as fast as you can around your neighborhood.  It does not matter.  Both are actionable decisions.  The worst thing you can do is nothing. 

You must remember that there is no disconnection between your body and your mind.  You are in control of both.  Your thoughts will dictate your action. Allowing yourself to wallow in self-pity or self-hatred might seem like the natural thing to do at times, but it is never justified and will only serve to make your goal harder to reach.

We all face frustrations on our road to self-improvement.  Each obstacle we face can be a chance to wilt and quit or it can be an opportunity to steel ourselves and test our mettle.  By quitting we are only ensuring that we will meet the same obstacle again. 

Now, stop thinking. 

Get to work.