By Kristin McCaig
A close friend of mine recently told me that she is waiting until she retires to begin exercising. Retirement is about 3 years away. Let’s call her Cynthia.
“Kristin, I just do not have the time right now.”
She is about 60 lbs. overweight and is currently struggling with high blood pressure, depression and frequent viruses. She takes medications for all of it and her weight is seriously affecting not only her physical health, but her happiness as well.
Another friend recently told me that she would love to participate in group sports eventually. You should feel the excitement that emanates from her voice when she talks about it. Let’s call her Sarah.
Sarah is about 90 lbs. overweight and after a recent separation, is searching for new connections, weight loss and companionship.
When I asked Sarah why she is waiting to join a team of some kind she said “Oh, I just…I just can’t right now. My body is not where I want it to be.”
So I clarified if she meant that she was worried about her knees giving out or sustaining some other type of injury due to her extra weight.
"Oh, no…not at all…I just can’t imagine walking into the gym looking like this.”
My heart sinks every time I hear answers like this.
Picture yourself up in a plane, flying way above the ground and looking down on Cynthia and Sarah’s lives.
Look down and see Cynthia sitting there in front of the TV, depressed and exhausted, missing out on her grandkids' lives because she is too tired at the end of every week to set up adventures that they could do together.
Notice how many hours of television she manages to watch meanwhile, she doesn’t have the time to get out even take a simple walk every day.
So let’s fly that plane over Cynthia’s ideal life. See her walking out in nature, breathing in the fresh air. Her weight is down and her energy is up…and here come her grandkids, running down the path, giggling as they race to see who can catch up to grandma first.
Why is she putting this off for 3 more years? What are the costs of waiting? Is she really so limited by time that she cannot put the remote down tonight and go for a walk around the block…just to get started?
Now fly above Sarah’s ideal life. Let’s imagine her walking out to the field on a Wednesday night, ready to play her weekly ultimate Frisbee game.
Can you see the excitement on her face as she walks through the doors? Can you feel the happiness that she is feeling as she waves to her friends? Can you see the satisfaction that is written all over her face because she is having so much fun doing what she wants to be doing and getting into better shape?
Why is she waiting until she loses the weight to get started on the one thing she knows is going to help lose the weight and make her happy at the same time?
Is she really so limited by her unhappiness with her current body that she cannot start doing what she loves now?
Both of these women have a limiting belief that is massively holding them back from doing what is important to them.
A limiting belief is a belief that holds you back from doing something.
It is a belief that you base your “I cannot’s” on. But it is a misinterpretation of reality.
When you challenge a limiting belief by asking yourself if the belief is really 100% true, then you consider alternative truths, your limiting beliefs will crumble away.
Cynthia believes that she needs more time to fit in exercise, which she will only have once she retires.
Is that 100% true Cynthia? I want to you to really think about this. What are some alternative truths?
1. I have plenty of time, I just need to rearrange how I spend it.
2. I am pretty busy, but I could probably rearrange my schedule to fit in exercise.
3. If I do not make the time, I am going to just get more sick.
And for Sarah, the obvious alternative to her limiting belief is I can join a sports team right now. Nothing is stopping me. But if she is not ready for that right now, she can start going for walks every day. She does not have to put off exercise entirely just because she does not feel ready for sports.
Do not get me wrong. There are times in life when we are limited by real limitations.
If you have a broken ankle, you will not be able to join an ultimate Frisbee team right now. That is a real limitation.
But what else can you do?
If you are on very expensive medication that is saving your life and your extended health care benefits pay for that medication, changing jobs is not an option for you right now.
But what can you do now to get started on moving toward doing something that you truly love?
Now, while we are flying way up here in the sky, why don’t we stay on that plane and fly over your life?
What are you putting off that you could actually start doing right now?
What is your reason for putting it off? Is it based on real limitations or limiting beliefs?
What are the costs to you and your happiness of being limited by your beliefs?
Want to identify which limiting beliefs are holding you back from getting the body and the health that you want and start taking action now? Get started with our Strategy Session.
Please Like Us on Facebook if you found this blog helpful!