The Psychology Of Fitness

Mindsets, Body Types and Everything In Between
Tuesday Psych Post ~ The Second Most Important Belief

Tuesday Psych Post ~ The Second Most Important Belief

One of my first posts talked about what I believe to be the most important belief – That you can fail, grow and succeed.  In order to get the full message, please read this post as it deals with Carol Dweck’s concept of Growth vs Fixed Mindset.

Today’s post is really what I consider to be the second most important belief that you, or really anyone, can have.  Not having this belief holds us back from striving from what we truly desire more often than not.  Not having this belief will keep you from moving past your comfort zone.

If you don’t have this belief, then everything you attempt will be done in a state of fear.  That is if the fear itself isn’t holding you back from taking the actions you want to take.

For a second, imagine something you truly want to do, but that you’re not doing.

This can be quitting a job because you’re not sure that you will have enough money to support yourself.  This can be ending a relationship, because you’re not sure what will lie ahead or you fear that you won’t be able to find “better.”  This can be simply getting your finances in order while not going out with your friends.  Take anything that you truly want to do, but pretty much are scared to tackle head on.

Do you know the common theme that’s running through all of these examples – besides the fact that you’re not taking action?

There is one belief common to all of these examples, which if you had, would allow you to make the choices quickly and with confidence.

So what is this belief?

You can handle whatever life were to throw at you.

I remember reading this concept a couple of years ago in Susan Jeffers, Feel the Fear…and Do It Anyway.

If you really think about it, if you’ve gotten to this point in life, no matter your current circumstances, you have been able to handle whatever life has thrown at you.  You may have not always handled the circumstances with grace and poise, but somehow, you’re still here.  Somehow, you’ve been able to “manage.”

I’ve talked a lot about beliefs throughout the past year on this blog.  I’ve listed some common beliefs people have concerning exercise.  I’ve talked about the best way to change your beliefs.  I’ve talked about the most important belief that you should control.

What’s different with the belief, “You can handle whatever life were to throw at you,” is that it has duel properties.

For example, the biggest problem with most people isn’t necessarily changing their beliefs – it’s identifying the beliefs that are holding them back.  Not only will this belief hold you back or set you free from doing the things you want to do, but it’s also one of the three ways in which you can identify your self-limiting beliefs.

Just as there are different types of beliefs, from Universal to specific, this belief will always be in response to a particular setting or situation.  In almost all situations, you would want to change a Universal belief (growth vs fixed mindset) before a specific belief (such as this one).

This belief is the exception to that rule as going through all the steps in changing a this belief, will help you to identify other self-limiting beliefs.

For example, if you want to end a relationship, what is holding you back?

Typically, you’ll have “normal” reasons (beliefs), that will keep you in a relationship, such as:
1 – I’ve put so much time into the relationship.
2 – He/She is a really good person and hasn’t done anything wrong to me.  I don’t want to hurt him/her.
3 – I haven’t been single in so long.  It would be so weird to date.

These all sound like logical beliefs.  Now ask yourself, would you be able to handle the relationship ending?

Could you handle what life were to throw at you, if you ended the relationship?

What are the images, thoughts that are going through your head when you ask that question?

The answer to that question will help you to identify your self-limiting beliefs.

More than likely, you will have two responses.

The first answer is, of course, I could “handle” the relationship ending.  The second response is, “Probably.”

When you start to go through the “probably” reasons that pop up in your head, you start to find deeper, more “Universal” beliefs that are either standing in your way or basically define who you are.

These beliefs are important keys to understanding what’s holding you back and where you need to start if you were to make this change that you’ve been too scared to make.

In this post, I’ve talked about how to change your beliefs.  I do believe, that these steps can be important in being able to shift a belief.

But I also know that the other way to change a belief is to take action – massive action with a single-purpose in mind.

With exercise, with dieting or body transformation, what are the things holding you back from putting in the time and effort to achieve your goals?

Do you think you can’t handle being an “outcast” from your friends when you hang out and go out to dinner?

Do you think you can’t handle telling your loved ones that you don’t want to drink/eat certain foods because you’re on a diet?

Do you think you can’t handle working out hard and feeling like an outsider at your gym, because you don’t know anyone?

Do you think you can’t handle the possibility of telling your friends and family that you’re dieting and exercising and then failing?

Do you think you can’t handle figuring out a workout routine and schedule that will work for you?

What is it, that’s holding you back from taking the actions that you want to take?  Obtain that self-knowledge, because the more you have, the stronger a foundation you’re giving yourself.

More than anything, the one step, the one key to ALL successful individuals, is they know themselves.  They know what they are good at, what they suck at and what they won’t compromise on.

Are you playing a secondary position in your own life and if so, do you think you can handle putting yourself first?

If not, why?

If so, what are you going to do about it?

If you have any questions about this post or about starting an exercise program with a personal trainer in Hoboken, please email me at

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