Most people who want to get healthy and lose weight are enthusiastic about their goals. They'll create social media accounts, start a mood board, and do everything right when it comes to inspiration and motivation. Here’s why they don't succeed: Logically, they can see how it’s possible to reach their goals, and they can even visualize it happening. But deep down on the inside, they don’t believe that it can actually happen. It's helpful to have a positive mindset, but that won't create substantial change alone—it’s about clearing the thoughts that are holding you back.
How are you supposed to make your subconscious mind get on board with your conscious goals? You can tell yourself over and over and over that you can meet your goals, but how do you get rid of any doubt, fears, or overwhelm?
It all comes down to these two key mindset shifts, which I needed in order to lose weight and keep it off:
- Clearing doubt. For example, you doubt that your body can change because old diets and regimens didn't work.
- Clearing fears. Is the weight protecting you from something? Will you feel "exposed" if you start getting attention about your body?
Let’s go into detail on both of these. If you want to clear away any doubts about your ability to make your goals happen, then you need to do three things:
1. Identify the doubt.
This might sound obvious, but a lot of people feel doubtful without asking themselves why they feel that way or where the source of doubt is coming from. You need to get clear on the specific doubtful things you tell yourself. Common ones are "I’ve tried everything; why would this work?" or, "My body is just different from everyone else’s. I have to work harder." Listen to your thoughts; they'll tell you everything you need to know.
2. Question the doubt.
"Why do you think that?" "Is this true?" Now, we have to figure out where the doubt came from in the first place. Have you really tried everything to your best ability? Despite seeing countless before-and-after weight-loss photos, do you believe in your heart of hearts that your body is different and can’t possibly change?
3. Provide evidence to disprove the doubt.
Now that you understand what the source of the doubt is, and where it’s coming from, you have an opportunity to change that doubt into a different, positive belief. For example, if you think you’ve tried everything, maybe you realized that you actually only started health programs during the week and never got through a weekend on the plan. Or, maybe you recognize that you’ve had great achievements in other areas of your life, so surely you can figure this out, too.
Why does this work?
If you can disprove every doubt that comes to your mind, then before you know it, your subconscious is going to believe that you really can meet your goals. You've convinced yourself of your own capability and potential by working on self-love. This is the start of a successful journey.
Let’s talk about fears. Most people don’t think they have anything to fear about their dreams because in their dreams they are completely happy.
But the thing is, when your body changes, so does your identity. It feels very strange to think of yourself as overweight but then see a slim figure of yourself reflected in the mirror. One reason people self-sabotage is because they can’t connect themselves to their new identity. Reconstructing your identity and getting comfortable with how people will respond to you is one of the keys to lasting weight loss and avoiding self-sabotage.
How does your new identity conflict with your preconceived notions of that identity?
Just like with the steps for overcoming doubt, you want to start by identifying what fears you have. The easiest way to do this is to start asking yourself what negative thoughts you have about the type of people who have the body you dream of.
It’s comparable to a commonly held belief around wealth. People really want to have more money. But at the same time, they think that rich people are snobs. Well, if you think that rich people are snobs, then it’s likely that you don’t want to become a rich person because you don’t want other people thinking of you as a snob, so you avoid making money.
The same concept applies to health. If you see gorgeous women with slim bodies all over Instagram and dream of having that body and fashion styles, that’s great. But maybe you also have negative thoughts about these women. Maybe you think they aren’t as intelligent and you fear that looking good would mean people would treat you superficially. Maybe you think that if you slim down, you'll get too much unwanted attention. Maybe you think that beautiful women don’t have to lift a finger to get what they want, and you don’t want people to think that you aren’t someone who works hard.
These are just some examples, but it’s really important to check in with yourself. If you have any negative thoughts about healthy, beautiful women whom you admire, ask yourself how you can change the story of negativity into one of admiration. This is the way to step into your new identity with a smooth transition.
If you’ve started and stopped diets countless times and you’ve been losing faith in yourself, now’s the time to sit yourself down and ask: What are your doubts? What do you fear? It's not an easy exercise, but you’ll find invigorating confidence and clear determination to move forward with your goals.