Mind Power

How to Develop Mental Toughness

Check out this youtube video of a Navy Seal Commander giving great advice to graduates based on his experience as a Navy Seal. In your fitness journey you will come across many challenges, and this speech contains words of wisdom which will help you succeed. You may not aspire to become a Navy Seal, but your fitness journey will be one of the most important challenges in your life.

The secret to your success is your self-image

Your self-image resides in your subconscious mind. As a personal trainer in London, this is one of the most powerful lessons I can teach my clients.

What is your subconscious mind? It's the sum-total of all your experiences, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions in your life from birth to this present moment. It's your default setting, the real you. It's what has the single biggest influence on your life chances. It's the basis of you self-image. In his groundbreaking book, Psycho-Cybernetics, Dr Maxwell Maltz describes the self-image as follows:

"The most important psychological discovery is the discovery of the "self-image". Whether we realize it or not, each of us carries about with us a mental blueprint or picture of ourselves. This self image becomes a golden key to living a better life because of two important discoveries:
(1) All your actions, feelings, behaviour - even your abilities - are always consistent with this self-image
(2) Your self-image can be changed"

For example, if you train your subconscious mind to embrace hard work and not resist it, you will enjoy far more success in your weight loss (and muscle growth) and fitness efforts. And remember, you've got to work smart as well as hard.

Examples of how an inadequate self-image holds you back are everywhere: Do you find yourself struggling to lose weight, but can't seem to motivate yourself to eat healthily and exercise? Do you keep sabotaging your goals and then feel so down that you comfort eat? Or maybe you're a skinny guy who can't seem to bulk up, and has stopped believing you'll ever achieve muscle gains from your efforts in the gym. If any of this sounds like you, read on. Negative beliefs lodged deep within your subconscious are the most likely thing holding you back, sabotaging your ability to achieve your fitness goals.

When you start to reprogramme your subconscious mind in the right way, you can achieve pretty much any goal you set yourself. There are many aspects to mind-power, and it's worth devoting time and effort to them. I advise all my personal training clients to give priority to re-training their subconscious as well as their physical fitness.

A healthy self-image is vital for mental health, and will enhance every aspect of your life.

As you know, London can be a tough city to lead a healthy lifestyle, but if you put mind-power at the centre of your fitness plan, you'll find it's much easier to achieve your goals. That's why my London clients appreciate a personal trainer who focuses not only on your body but also your mind. Not just your conscious mind, but your subconscious mind too, which has a massive influence on your success. You can re-programme your subconscious mind to make you more effective at achieving your goals.

A key role of any personal trainer is motivation, and with that in mind I recommend you check out a website called SelfGrowth.com, the most complete guide to information about personal growth on the internet. Click the link to find out more: Personal Growth from SelfGrowth.com

Creative Visualisation (in a relaxed state)

A daily programme of visualisation conditions your mind to focus on what you desire in life (so that it becomes a priority to act on), and to believe it's possible (because you've seen yourself having achieved it in your mind's eye). This is a simple and effective strategy - try it and see for yourself. The hypnotist Paul McKenna is an expert at this technique, and his advice to make your visualisation vivid and detailed and colourful is worth heeding. It sets a target which your subconscious mind starts to work towards.

Effective Goal-Setting

See the page on goal-setting for a closer look at this crucial skill. If you don't have a goal, you're like a ship without a sail - you simply drift. Goal-setting stops drift and puts you in control. Do you have vague dreams of things you've desired for years, but never achieved? That's because you've not set goals effectively.

Enhancing your Self-Belief

Without self-belief, it's so much harder to achieve your goals. The act of goal-setting is a necessary step, but to follow through on your goals takes a degree of self-belief. If you don't believe you can achieve your goals, you've sabotaged yourself from the outset.

The most effective ways to build self-belief are to take action towards your goals. The more action you take, the more you believe you can take control and make things happen. But not all your actions have the desired effects, which is why you need regular visualisation (see above) to boost your subconscious belief that your goals can become reality.

Increase your Mental Energy

Unless you re-charge your mental batteries regularly, you'll burn out and never achieve your goals. The two most important energy boosters are good nutrition and good sleep. Neglect either of these at your peril. Another key element of re-charging your batteries is to build some planned relaxation time into every day.

Empowering Self-Talk

Often, the only thing stopping you achieving what you want is yourself. And the way your sabotage yourself is by negative and disempowering self-talk. The things you say to yourself are far more significant than anything anyone else will ever say to you. When it comes to getting fit, eating healthily, and achieving the body you want, there are dozens of ways people sabotage themselves.

Click here for examples of negative self-talk and Empowering Self-Talk, and see if you're falling into any of these mental traps.

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