The Psychology Of Fitness

Mindsets, Body Types and Everything In Between

What Are Your Beliefs About Exercise?, pt 1

Last Thursday, I spoke about changing your beliefs towards exercise and how to best change them.  There was a couple of things that I forgot to add.  The first is that for every behavior that you’re trying to change (ie., to work out consistently) there can be anywhere from 3 – 20 beliefs associated with that behavior.  I’ll list 23 possible beliefs you may hold towards exercise, as many of these are direct quotes from people over the years.  Along with the examples of beliefs, there will also be questions to help you realize that they are beliefs, and that there are other ways of interpreting what you “believe” to be facts.  This is not to judge you or make you feel bad (inasmuch as it allows you to change your actions), but instead a way for you to start to take control over your beliefs.  Therefore, if you’re not working out, some beliefs may include:

1 – I don’t have enough time to work out ~ Is this a fact?  How many hours per week do  you spend on Facebook, watching TV, or other mindless activities that add very little value to your life?  Charles Poliquin has an interesting post that delineates will-power vs. love for yourself.  Read The Myth of Discipline.

2 – I “hate” working out – Do you hate walking?  Do you hate shopping?  Do you hate playing with your kids?  Do you hate playing sports?  Do you hate sex?  All of these raise your heart rate and how quickly you get winded from these activities shows your health.  If you like these activities, then you don’t “hate” working out.  You hate the workouts you believe that you should be doing.

3 – I hate sweating.  I talked about this in the original post.  Read it here.

4 – This is how I am and it’s too late for me to change.  Really?  The only time that it’s too late for people to change is when they’re in the grave – any other time, as long as you’re breathing and have a functional brain, you still have the power to change.

5 – I can’t do things half-assed – it’s either All or Nothing. Is starting an action being half assed?  I’m sorry, I think giving excuses is half-assed.  Here’s a post about this concept that you can read here.

6 – I’m too fat for exercise. Can you walk?  Then you’re not too “fat” for exercise.  Everyone has to start somewhere.

7 – I’ll look stupid working out. Do you think you’ll be the only one?  Trust me when I say, 90% of the people, including myself look stupid when working out.

Number 7’s belief is typically not only about looking stupid while working out.  It has other underlying beliefs such as:

8 – If I don’t know what I’m doing, I can’t ask for help because it’ll mean that I’m stupid. Have you ever seen a little child about 2 or 3 years old?  What’s their favorite question?  It’s, “Why?”  Why is that?  Is it because they’re “stupid” or is it because they’re smart enough to realize that in order to learn, you have to ask questions?  Be smart enough to realize that the smartest people ask the most questions.  Only people that want to remain willfully ignorant, don’t.

9 – Mistakes and Failure are Bad – Have you ever made a mistake, where it worked out in your favor?  Either way, sign-up for Recreate Your Life.  If you’re serious about changing your beliefs, this is the place to start.

10 – No one wants to talk to an overweight person -Or is it that no one wants to talk to someone who lacks confidence in themselves?  Either way, the best way to gain confidence is by taking action.

If you have any of these beliefs, go here to find ways to start to change those beliefs.

Tomorrow, I will be posting 13 more common beliefs about exercise.

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