“If you fight for your limitations they will surly become yours.”
Those words were courtesy of my Taekwon-Do instructor Master Stephen Barrett.
At first, I thought he was crazy, Who would ever fight to hold themselves back?
But after over a decade trying to teach people how to get in shape I’m realizing just how right he was. So many people will have the opportunity to improve their state of health or fitness and then not only turn it down, but run from it!
Here are some examples:
There was the woman who was part of my Biggest Loser challenge group who purposely threw her first weigh in and was the first to be cut. When I asked her what happened she literately took every piece of advice I had given the contestants and did the exact opposite.
Then there was the guy who wanted to start building muscle and strength. I suggested getting a cheap pair of adjustable dumbbells but he said he didn’t have the money and didn’t know how to use them. Then I suggested a simple push up routine he could do each day and he said he just wouldn’t do it.
And then there are the many who come to me for weight loss advice and after hearing my ideas fight me on everything I’m saying as if they know better. “You don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m going to keep trying the way I’ve been on for 3 years.”
I can’t blame anyone for holding fast to their old ideas and beliefs. I do it all the time myself. The thing is, trying to change and then refusing any ideas to make that change happen is one of the most sure-fire ways to be miserable. There are people out there who have no desire to change their lifestyle habits, but that’s because getting stronger or leaner isn’t of interest to them. God Bless em. They are not fooling themselves.
But to those who want a result while holding onto past beliefs I say you’re screwing yourself over. You simply cannot achieve a higher state of health or quality of life believing what you believe or holding onto your current values. Something has got to go!
What really burns me is after they throw all of my ideas back in my face they then say “I just want something that’s going to work for me.”
No, you’re not looking for something that’s going to “work for you.” You’re looking for something that’s going to produce the results you want with the level of effort and commitment your willing to give. You’re looking for the right square peg to fit into that circle hole you’re refusing to reshape. In other words you want bigger results for the price you’ve already been paying up to this point.
But fitness doesn’t work that way. There is no haggling with Mother Nature. If you’re not getting the results you want you’re not paying the right price it’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re paying the right price. Mother nature doesn’t care if you believe what you’ve done is good enough. If you haven’t gotten the results you want you’re simply not doing what it takes. The price you’re paying now isn’t the price you have to pay. It’s the price you’re willing to pay. You’ll find what works for you once you realize your current beliefs and methods are no longer going to cut it.
But you will never find what works for you when you hold onto your limitations. The more you hold onto what you currently believe the more you are shackling yourself to the ball and chain that’s keeping you from doing what’s really necessary. Achieving more is about taking off the brakes and giving yourself permission to do what it takes. At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge that maybe the price simply isn’t one you’re willing to pay. Nothing wrong with that. There are all sorts of fitness goals I would love to have, but I also know I don’t want to pay the price to achieve those goals. This way I’m not feeling entitled, wronger or cheated in any way. I’m not nearly the bike racer or martial artist I could be, but I’m okay with that because I’m spending my lifestyle resources on other things.
If you’re on the road to better success, and making progress on a steady basis then keep going, you’re doing fine. However, if you are not getting closer to your goals week by week then it’s time to find your limitations and quit holding onto them for dear life.
Trust me, you won’t miss them when they’re gone. You’ll be too busy relishing your success.