On a solo walk recently right around dusk, a man came from the other direction walking a dog. Immediately I felt a slight tension in my gut. It was an instinctual reaction, but it didn’t help that the path was secluded at that particular point and that subconsciously, I only saw the man’s odd-looking hat and his dog walking on a rope, not a leash. (I have NO idea why that put me on alert!)
Again, almost instinctually, I pulled my shoulders back, raised my head up, and began moving my body in a stronger, more confident manner. I suddenly envisioned myself thrusting my full water bottle into his middle (if needed) and was slightly surprised by this.
As the man passed, cheerily saying hello and smiling cordially, I felt a smidge guilty for suspecting him, yet proud that my gut reaction had been so self-assured.
Your first thought might be, “Well, she reacted that way because she’s a badass – she lifts weights,” and you’d be right about that. Any woman who lifts weights gains inner strength as well as outer strength – it’s a supa-cool benefit of pumping iron.
But what it really brought home was the idea of belief. In my case, I believed I could ward off an attacker, which made me adopt a stronger exterior. Appearing like a badass chick made it less likely I’d be messed with. I really believed I was a badass.
Belief is the one of the most powerful predictors of success. You’re much more likely to change your behavior and succeed if you believe in yourself.
Do you want to get back into a weight lifting routine or try it for the first time? If you believe you can and will do it, you’re more likely to succeed. Self-doubt is the enemy.
If you believe you’re going to reshape your body, increase your metabolism, gain lean muscle mass, and become the hawt woman/man you’ve always wanted to be, you are much more likely to follow through.
Another thing I believe in is agelessness. I just don’t subscribe to “age.” I believe I’m going to be lifting heavy weights for a long time, despite myths that older people cannot or should not. I believe I’m going to be in the best shape of my life now, whenever that is – not in the past (“Oh, I was in such good shape back then.”).
If some day I don’t feel well, I’ll be shocked. I believe in my body to deliver. I believe it will feel good day after day. The reason I believe that is because it does deliver. I do certain things day in and day out that promote my optimal health. These things include nutrition and exercise.
You get the point. What you believe will come true. If you need help believing in yourself, try visualization (what I did on my walk). Visualization is simply mentally practicing what it is you want to accomplish. You see yourself, in your mind’s eye, taking the steps needed to accomplish your goal. Just make sure you are very clear what those steps are, or you can lead your mind in the wrong direction.
When it comes to making profound changes in your body (and life) through weight lifting, belief – along with a serious friendship with the iron – is all you need.