I Want to Believe
Overcoming Doubt on Your Path to Weight Loss
When you hear believer, you may think of religion, but whether or not you believe in God, faith is important to have to reach your goals. While your goal may be weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, having an athlete’s mindset of winning may be the main ingredient to overcome obstacles and stay on track.
Winning is essential in professional sports. So much so, there are consultants who get paid to assess prospective professional basketball players to ensure they have the mind of a winner. Herb Greenberg is one of those consultants. In an article he wrote for USA Today, The Psychology of the Winner, he assesses three qualities to determine how successful a prospect will be in the pros: self-discipline, competitiveness, and positive self-esteem. If you use these criteria to determine how fit you are to succeed, you can overcome your doubts and become a winner.
Webster’s Dictionary defines self-discipline as, “Correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement.” While many think of self-discipline as punishment, rather, self-discipline is about positive reinforcement. Winning is not about what you will not do, it’s about improving daily to reach an expected end. Setting a goal to work out five days a week is a great start to self-discipline. From workout clothes on the bathroom counter to the Calorie Count Toolbar in your browser, if you go to extremes to do what you say you will, failure will occur less often. A famous Nike commercial features Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player of all time, pointing out: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot… and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
After failing multiple times, you may get used to the idea that you can’t lose the weight. But it’s human nature to avoid losing. The best way to stay motivated and build your competitive spirit is to put yourself in a position to win on a regular basis. Suggestions to find a workout partner, sign up for a half-marathon or join a group aerobics class are all about motivating yourself to win. Winning is contagious and habit-forming. By consistently doing your best to win, you will believe that you deserve the success you will achieve.
Self-esteem is the great equalizer. Self-discipline and competitiveness hinge on having a positive view of your self. When you don’t feel good about your self, it’s hard to believe you can accomplish anything. What’s more, low self-esteem strips away your ability to enjoy your accomplishments. An easy test of self-esteem is your ability to accept compliments. If you make fun of yourself when others compliment you, then learn how to accept a compliment. Another good way to build self-esteem is through visualization. Many of us have photos that define a happier time in our lives. Post that photo in your car, on your refrigerator, and in your bathroom. Go even further by adding a self-affirming quote to it. By saying to yourself positive, loving words, you are practicing keeping your mind healthy, which, coupled with a healthy body, makes a happier you.
Do you believe in yourself?