If there is one thing that cripples bodybuilders, athletes and all health enthusiasts more than anything else, its their lack of respect for their own minds. We can all be guilty of losing focus or motivation from time to time. We all struggle with negative thoughts and images that tear us down or seek to rob us of our dreams and aspirations. The problem is that most of us accept and own those thoughts and so they become our reality. I will not in this short article get into all of the science behind conscious/subconscious mechanisms, instead simply try to open up your mind to the possibilities to what you can achieve if you take the time to shape your thoughts.
How many times have you embarked on a diet or workout plan only to find that you never reached the mark you set for yourself? You ate the chicken and broccoli for weeks and then all of sudden youre at the McDonalds and you hate yourself for it. You may have started out with all of the right intentions and still you embraced nothing but failure. You may have even begun with a strong sense of willpower. Nevertheless, in the end it really didnt matter because you never did what you said you would do. Well, heres why you may have failed? Success is not found in willpower.
If you believe that sheer willpower will carry through an ongoing diet filled with foods that have no taste, then I applaud you. If you believe that willpower can take you through grueling workout after grueling workout for months on end as you pursue 3-4% body fat for an upcoming bodybuilding contest, then you are the exception to the rule. Most will find that willpower alone is not enduring and is only short-term. Your willpower requires conscious focus and energy if it is going to lead your actions on a daily basis. Unfortunately, you will eventually become drained and lose the focal point of your willpower. This happens because extraneous things tug at your heart, mind and life causing your emotions to lead you back to wherever you found comfort in the past. The result: another diet or workout bites the dust.
If willpower is not the answer, then what is? The answer is this: you must take greater control over your mind and not allow it to take control over you. Im not talking about your conscious mind, but rather the subconscious. It has been said that the subconscious mind is like the quarterback of your life. Your conscious mind takes data and ideas and is the rational part of your thought process. It takes ideas and then it compares, determines and chooses what it believes is the best choice. However, the subconscious is the part of the mind that is responsible for storing data (loading memory), for habitual behavior (habits), and also for reflexive and autonomic functions such as breathing and circulation.
The subconscious does not have the ability to compare, reason or determine anything. It is solely deductive in nature and operates much like a computer. Moreover, just like your computer, it is there to serve you. What you put into it is what you will get out of it. But you must be active and aggressive with it. Hypnosis is one way of accessing the subconscious mind with positive affirmations and convictions. Another way to penetrate the subconscious is through repetition. Remember, everything that you see, hear, read or say repetitively is filtered through your subconscious which will then shape your habits. Now you can see why its so hard to stay on a diet as you sit in front of the TV being bombarded by fast-food commercials. Next thing that you know youre in your car on the way to Burger King.
The key to victory is to take control over your thoughts and in particular, your subconscious mind. How can you shape the subconscious? Three things can be done immediately.
1. You must speak positive words into your heart and mind repetitively.
In other words, you must tell yourself over and over again that you can do what you want and that you will. You must tell yourself that youre doing these things because you want to and not because you have to. It must be continuous and throughout the course of an entire day and night. You must hear your voice speaking the words. For instance, “I want to eat what is healthy (speak specific foods). I like those foods. They taste good and make me feel strong and lean. I’m lean and ripped. My muscles are full and striated.”
2. You must see what you want.
This is important and goes hand-in-hand with speaking the words into your heart and mind. You must see the body that you want. You must see yourself working out with power and strength. You must visualize yourself with the muscle you want. You must see the foods that will help you and see your desire to want to eat them. Once again, because you want to not because you have to.
I have practiced the two above principles with mind-motivational conditioning techniques on clients while in the midst of working out and the results have been astonishing. I have witnessed clients lift weights 40-50 lbs heavier than they were able to budge before the affirmations and meditations were practiced. This all took place in a matter of minutes. That shows you the power of the mind.
3. Change your surroundings and your habits will change.
One of the best ways to impact your subconscious is to surround yourself with things that will influence you towards your goals. Buy only the foods that support you. Watch and listen to things that are positive and empowering. Read, read, and read. Turn off the TV and read!
I can’t articulate with words how incredible it is to engage in mind-motivational conditioning. Imagine not having to diet because you don’t want to eat what doesn’t fit your regimen. It’s that easy if you’re willing to practice it.