The power of belief is a gift that each of us have been blessed with. Whether we are aware of it or not, each individual possesses his or her own ability to decide which beliefs to entertain. Over time, these beliefs begin to shape our day to day experiences as well as our overall experience of life. What does that mean? It means we each have a creative power that exists within ourselves. How cool is that? A common belief amongst humanity is this idea of “Mind Over Matter.” This idea would imply that our bodies (matter) are constantly being affected by our beliefs (mind).
Our systems of beliefs are both unique and custom to ourselves. However, being unaware of our beliefs often results in difficult situations and stressful circumstances. As far as our fitness is concerned, this could mean low self-esteem, weight gain, plateaus in training, and other undesired experiences with our bodies. In most cases, it is our own unconscious belief about our own health and wellness that is causing us to feel buried and unsatisfied. In other words, we hold ourselves back with our limiting beliefs about ourselves. The good news is that our creative power gives us the ability to identify and deconstruct any limiting beliefs that are currently at work in our lives. Once that is done, we can move forward by letting go of the belief or by changing it to one that supports us in our forward progress towards health and wellness.
At the root of most undesired experiences and circumstances lies an unconscious, limiting belief. If we seek to deconstruct a belief that is negatively affecting our lives, we must first identify what exactly that limiting belief is. For example, let’s take the common case of not being able to lose body fat. It can become extremely frustrating when we put in the work and see no results. We get to the gym consistently, and we eat healthy, but for some reason our bodies do not respond. Throughout years of personal experience, this has been the observed story of so many individuals. As mentioned, the experience usually stems from a limiting belief. In this case, the experience of plateau could be the result of a limiting belief about one’s body or about the training-process itself.
Here are a few examples of limiting beliefs that could be holding us back from the experience we wish for in our health and fitness.
- 1) “I’m a fat person, and I can’t lose weight no matter what I try to do”
- 2) “My genetics won’t allow me to look the way I want to look”
- 3) “It’s too hard and will take too long. I’ll never get the results I want”
These beliefs lie dormant in our unconscious mind, waiting to be discovered and eradicated. However, often times one may need to do some deep inner-work in order to identify his or her limiting belief. The belief could be causing the plateau, and it may very well have been set in after a traumatic, vulnerable, or embarrassing experience in one’s past. In other words, an experience from as early on as childhood could have resulted in a belief that still operates in the creation of our lives today. That is how powerful belief is, and therefore, how powerful each one of us are. Let’s use Johnnie as an example. Johnnie’s belief “I’m just a fat person” could have been assumed after his self-esteem was damaged by a bully in school that gave him the nickname “Fat Johnnie.” Over time, being called fat by others resulted in Johnnie truly believing in his mind that Fat Johnnie is who he was. Years down the road, Johnnie may have grown older and totally forgotten about the bully, but the belief remained in his unconscious mind where it is still at work in his life today.
Although it may require the memory and re-playing of a painful time, identifying our limiting beliefs is what opens the door for positive change. Once we discover the unconscious belief that is holding us back, we may then exercise our graceful ability to replace it with a belief that serves us. Here are some new, self-serving beliefs that (with patience & persistence) can move us into a more peaceful state with our bodies.
Note how these beliefs feel in comparison to the limiting beliefs mentioned above.
- 1) “Where there is Will, there is a Way, and I WILL drop this fat”
- 2) “My desired body exists because I can see it in my mind. Nothing can stop me from attaining the vision of my body that I imagine in this moment”
- 3) “It may take some time, but one day at a time, I will reach my goal”
For those of us feeling resistance and experiencing frustration with our health and fitness, it may be time for some new beliefs in that area of our lives. This is not to say that the hard work is insignificant. We cannot downplay the importance of practical works such as eating healthy, exercising regularly, sleeping, and hydrating. However, if “Mind Over Matter” holds to be true, then it begins with our Beliefs. As mentioned, establishing a new belief in our mind will challenge us to stay patient and persistent. We must be patient as this is not a quick fix that will lead to an overnight change in wellness. For most of us, these limiting beliefs have been with us for quite a while, so it will take some time to adjust to a new way of thinking and being. We must be persistent because we will more often than not find ourselves in a situation where it is difficult to believe in ourselves. Life will always put our beliefs to the test, and for that reason, we must train ourselves to stay focused in order to strengthen our mindset. This is done through consistent action, meal after meal, workout after workout.
Let’s ask ourselves this question; “If we can create a belief that limits us, can we not create a belief that will serve us?” These new, self-serving beliefs are what hold the power to bring us to the next level of experience in our health and wellness. Steve Jobs once said “The ones, who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” That is the power of belief. Now, imagine that same mindset applied to our fitness goals, health and wellness, and how we see our bodies. When applied over-time with patience and persistence, there is no telling where our beliefs can take us. Our belief system influences our physical experiences, and we are all in this together.