Silence your doubts and reap the rewards!

Hi, Joe here. I wanted to write something to tackle an issue I’m hearing about more and more often, and it’s one with which I have a real problem.

My hope is that this post helps you get leaner, stronger and – crucially – happier, by seizing control of your health and fitness – and without lifting a single finger. How? By explaining how you can ignore negative comments that make you question your capacity to change your life for the better.

You see, many of us struggle to get back into shape not because we are incapable of change, but because of the impact of words and thoughts from people around us. Negativity is a poison to motivation and confidence and it will kill yours dead before they have chance to take root, let alone grow and thrive.

I’ve been in this game for a long time now and in my experience there are three types of people who happily go out of their way to stop you taking control of your health and fitness.

The good news is that I’ve learnt how to silence these voices. Do the same and there’s no stopping you from living the leaner and happier life you deserve. Here’s the three “problem personalities” to look out for, why they criticise you and, more importantly, how you can shut them up for good.

Negative Norman 
The first thing you need to know about Norman is that his negativity says nothing about you and everything about him. You see, Norman is fuelled by fear so he tells you things like “you’re too fat to get fit” and “only w*nkers lift weights”. Why? Because he’s out of shape and down in the dumps and wants to make you sad so he can feel better about his unwillingness to take accountability for his own life. By dragging you down and destroying your confidence, he’s hoping you’ll keep sharing with him packets of biscuits and trips to the pub. Because if you don’t change, he doesn’t have to either.

Shut him up!
Any negative reaction you receive is nothing more than that person revealing their innermost fears, worries and insecurities. Realise that and you’ll stop feeling bad about yourself and instead feel sad for Norman, and how miserable he must be to try to bring you down to his level. For now you can ignore Norman. But maybe give him a shout in a week or two to tell him how great you feel and how easy it was to start living a healthier and happier life. Let him in on your fat-burning philosophy and yours isn’t the only life you change for the better.

Comedy Colin 
Colin is different to Norman – and in many ways worse – because he doesn’t care about you or your goals, nor his own ever-expanding waistline. Colin is found in offices across the land and he’s the classic bore who thinks he’s the life and soul of the party, despite all of his soirees being solo affairs with only four bottles of continental lager and a microwave ready-meal for company. But that doesn’t deter Colin from constantly trying to wind you up to get a laugh. He shouts things like “life’s too short to eat rabbit food!” when you’re enjoying a salad, or pats your belly and shouts “you’ve invested too much time and money to get rid of this now – let’s go for a few pints!”, when you’re intending to go to the gym. In short, Colin’s a motivation-vampire who won’t stop until you’re buying the first round.

Shut him up!
If you’re English, like me, you may be more comfortable doing what you always do when someone tells an unfunny joke: avoid eye contact and laugh politely for just long enough until you can change the subject. If you’re from anywhere else then tackle Colin directly with a pithy putdown or clever comeback so he’ll think twice next time, and remember that everyone likes you a whole lot more than they do him. The final thing you need to know about Colin is that in a few weeks’ time he’s going to be the first person subtly sliding up to your desk to ask for your “top tips” on how he can shift his spare tyre.

Bully Brian 
Of our three critical characters Brian is the worst. He’s a bully but the real problem with Brian is that he doesn’t actually exist and no one but you can hear him. He’s your inner voice that only ever tells you what you can’t do. He’s much louder than Motivational Mike, who can’t get a supportive word in edgeways. Brian is fixated with failure, and strives to keep you safely within your comfort zone so nothing bad ever happens. He claims you’ll get mocked at the gym for being too unfit, or too weak, or too red and sweaty, and that it’s better to stay home in front of the telly with your feet up. Brian’s bullying BS is the main reason you never take that crucial first step towards your goal despite desperately wanting to achieve it.

Shut him up!
Brian’s logic is fundamentally flawed because no-one in the gym is looking at you. I don’t mean to sound, well mean, but almost everyone else feels like you do. There’s no way they’re judging you because they’re so worried about being judged themselves! And as for those big, ripped guys? I guarantee their sole focus is on their reflection. The only way they’d notice you is if you stood in between them and the mirror. You’ve as much of a right to be there as anyone else, and if you’ve got a session plan all you need to do is get to work. If you’d feel far more comfortable exercising at home you can still follow a plan to ensure your workouts are effective and efficient.

It’s up to you!
The reality is that there’s only one person who has any say as to whether you achieve your goals – and that’s you! While external and internal criticism can be distracting and detrimental, you can’t let it be the reason you stop – or fail to start – your journey towards the life you want to live. So the sooner you can silence your critics the sooner your dream will become a reality. If you want a tried-and-tested workout programme to help you get there then take the New Body Quiz which will reveal your perfect plan.

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