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Do You Believe in Yourself?

The Winner Pro/1/2photo © 2007 Tim | more info (via: Wylio)Hey, hey I’m a believer! Either you think the of The Monkees or religion… but I doubt you are thinking in terms of your weight loss goals. However, believing means having faith. And faith is an essential ingredient to success with your fitness and weight loss goals.

Think about how athlete’s train. They set goals for themselves, work towards them, and achieve them. Nobody just says “I’m going to run a marathon tomorrow,” and goes out the next day and does. So why can’t you apply that mentality to weight loss and fitness goals? Athletes focus on winning. Herb Greenberg is a fitness consultant that assesses the winning mentality. In an article he wrote for USA Today, The Psychology of the Winner, he assesses three qualities to determine how successful a prospect will be in the pros: self-discipline, competitiveness, and positive self-esteem.

So, based on the above criteria, how can you strengthen those characteristics to overcome your self-doubt? While many think of self-discipline as punishment, rather, self-discipline is about positive reinforcement.  Winning is not about what you will not do, it’s about improving daily to reach an expected end.  Setting a goal to work out five days a week is a great start to self-discipline.

Think about this: a famous Nike commercial features Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player of all time, pointing out: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot… and missed.  I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”  Think about that. So you have failed at losing weight or working out, over and over. After failing multiple times, you may get used to the idea that you can’t lose the weight or don’t have it in you to work out.  But it’s human nature to avoid losing. The best way to stay motivated and build your competitive spirit is to put yourself in a position to win on a regular basis. Come to boot camp and small group sessions! Don’t sign up and not do it!   Winning is contagious and habit-forming.  By consistently doing your best to win, you will believe that you deserve the success you will achieve.

Self-esteem is the great equalizer.  Self-discipline and competitiveness hinge on having a positive view of your self.  When you don’t feel good about your self, it’s hard to believe you can accomplish anything.  What’s more, low self-esteem strips away your ability to enjoy your accomplishments.  An easy test of self-esteem is your ability to accept compliments.  If you make fun of yourself when others compliment you, then learn how to accept a compliment. Another good way to build self-esteem is through visualization.  Many of us have photos that define a happier time in our lives.  Post that photo in your car, on your refrigerator, and in your bathroom.  Go even further by adding a self-affirming quote to it.  By saying to yourself positive, loving words, you are practicing keeping your mind healthy, which, coupled with a healthy body, makes a happier you.

Sources: Carolyn Richardson; http://www.caloriecount.about.com

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