There are a lot of people out there with goals, dreams and aspirations. There are a lot of people who want something better.
Each and every day I have the privilege of interacting with these types people. People that want to be healthier, people that want to feel better, people that want to be more fit, people that want to be stronger, have less pain, perform better at a sport, feel younger, be able to do more things with fewer restrictions and the list goes on and on.
Most people are amazed when they discover that it has been proven that no matter your age, current health status, your medical history or any other factor, you can make significant improvements in all these areas with enough time and effort put into the right plan.
There is however one thing that determines whether or not someone WILL get what they CAN get- that is the size of their “but.”
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone where you are relaying something that you know is true and that can help the other person and at the end they respond with a statement that begins with “but….”?
“But I’m too old…”
“But I’m too far gone…”
“But I don’t have the time…”
“But I don’t have the discipline…”
“But I don’t know what to do…”
“But I could never give that up…”
But, but, but…
“But” begins an excuse. “But” begins a justification for not trying. “But” makes people feel better for staying the same.
“But” begins a rut and “but” maintains the rut.
In fact, when I speak with some people who have a hard time believing for something better I may relay a story of one of my clients who accomplished something similar and rather than them saying “well if someone else can do it than I can do it,” they say “but…”
It’s quite sad really. Mainly because our “but” actually paints the perception of reality that we live 24 hours a day.
Here’s what I mean..
Have you ever heard of the term “self-fulfilling prophecy?”
Well it is actually a proven psychological phenomenon. Here’s how it works-
Let’s say that your “but” is “but I’m too old to achieve x.” “X” being your desired health goal. When you mentally make agreement that statement, everything in your life that happens will be filtered through that belief and your brain will do something called cognitive biasing to filter out anything that could possibly contradict that statement and choose to keep only the things that reinforce it.
That means that if 5 things happen to you that actually prove that you are not too old for “x”, you won’t even recognize them or possibly even remember them, you will only recognize and remember the things that support your bias.
This will then cause you to say to yourself “see, I knew I was too old and this proves it.”
This also holds true for personal identity labels. If someone thinks “I’m weak”, they will filter out the dozens of situations in life where they exhibit strength and instead focus only on the few where they exhibit weakness.
Similarly, if someone believes the opposite, then they will filter out the contrarian situations and keep the ones that reinforce the belief.
So my question to you is- what is your “but?”
If I told you that you could make a significant improvement to any health or fitness related situation if you implemented the right actions consistently enough and for long enough, what is the “but” that comes to your mind?
The first step to shrinking a big “but” is knowing you have a big “but.”
Toss that belief and all the biased evidence that your mind has chosen to hold onto out the window and declare to yourself “I can” and “I will.”
Before you know it your brain will begin to retain the experiences that reinforce this new belief and your “but” will flatten out.
I love the quote by the late Thomas Edison. Edison early in life had teachers tell him he was “too stupid to learn anything” and later was fired from two jobs for being “non-productive.”
He later attempted to invent the light bulb and is famous for having over 1000 failed attempts on his way to making his first working prototype. Despite all this “evidence” to support the belief that he truly was stupid and incapable of anything great, he kept persisting and the fact that you are reading this on a lit computer screen was made possible by his continual pursuit.
He said “our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
You have greatness in you too and despite all the biased evidence, you are capable of so much more. Go after it!
Founder: Non-Fiction Fitness