I watched my favorite sermon on TV this morning, and was struck by this simple message. Sure, we hear it all the time in many inspirational posts seen on FB, Twitter and elsewhere, but seldom do we give it much thought. Sometimes it may even come off as irritating, annoyingly positive; fit people who just stepped off the treadmill and the endorphins received may feel like all their problems are gone and they can take on the world. Well, isn’t that exactly the purpose of working out and being fit?
What does the above statement really mean? Putting limits on your imagination will only limit what you are able to achieve in life. Many times, what you can imagine is much smaller than what you are actually capable of! The problem? We don’t dare to dream and imagine big things for ourselves!
What is the difference between successful people and people who don’t reach their goals? We all put in work and try to do our best in life. But the people who succeed have that one additional advantage: they believe in themselves. They dare to dream large. They don’t doubt for a second that they can achieve whatever they put their mind to and more, despite many disadvantages they may have. “If he / she can do it, so can I”, is so true, but instead of only imagining doing the same as your next door neighbor, dare to think you can do even better. Push yourself, stop making excuses and stop trying to find all the (bogus) reasons as to why you are not able to. Instead of using energy to come up with all the things that you don’t have, all the situations that are difficult in your life – focus on all the elements that are in place that you do have, think of everything you have been blessed with and go from there.
If you start a sentence with “I can’t imagine having that body”, “I can’t imagine spending that much time in the gym” or “I can’t even begin to imagine having that much money”, your statement will come true. Because you have already given up by uttering those words and what you think will become reality. That lady next to you in the weight room with the banging body, doesn’t have more hours in the day than you. She was also rewarded 24 hours, but she may choose to use them differently than you, and she may utilize the other 23 hours in her day in other ways than you. Instead of reaching for that bag of potato chips and sitting down by the TV at night after a long day, she goes for a walk or chooses to clean the house or select to eat a cup of yogurt because that will feed her muscles and help her reach her goal. She may not have the perfect “genetics” either (an excuse you hear a lot of from unfit people looking for reasons as to why they “can’t” or are not working towards their dream physique). Her torso may be too long/ too short, she may have trouble with holding too much weight in her lower body as well, but that doesn’t stop her. She knows she will get there one day, as long as she puts her work in, day in and day out.
I certainly didn’t think I was going to be standing on a stage in a bikini and high heels in front of a large crowd at nearly 40 years of age. But I had a vision, and I kept working towards it. The result? A body better than what I had in my 20s, and a six pack I didn’t even think I could achieve a decade ago, but all of a sudden when I started on my fitness journey and decided I was going to go all out, I changed my mind to “I can’t” to “I can”. My situation wasn’t different than any others, I had just changed my thinking, switched the “possibility” button to on instead of off. Despite many people’s initial skeptic reactions and negative comments, I finally realized that I was worth it, that I was just as good as anybody around me and deserved to do this for me.
This translated not only into my fitness life, but into my career and personal life as well. I saw changes in how I handled my personal relationships, I became more secure in who I was as a person (fitness changes you not only on the outside but on the inside as well!) and consequently I achieved more peace in my life. At work, I went for opportunities I previously had not dared go for, because I had convinced myself that everybody else was more qualified or talented than I was. This trait I have to admit, is more of a female than a male trait. I read somewhere that when women apply for a job, they feel they must meet 100% of the requirements in the job ad in order to go for it, while men don’t hesitate to send in their resume even if they only meet 50%. Something to think about. Dare to believe you are more than qualified.
IMAGINE where you are headed – place a picture of yourself of when you felt like you were healthier or of how you want to be, on the fridge . Keep a pair of jeans the size you want to be in the closet so you can look at it every day. Believe that you will get there one day… and you will not only be there, you will go further than you had ever imagined!
Don’t ever think a dream is too big – you were put on this earth to do great things, and to surpass what you thought was possible. Convince yourself that you are more than capable of achieving your big dreams, and when you reach your goal, set higher ones the next time. You will be AMAZED at yourself, believe me! Keep the faith and keep working hard – fight to be fit in all areas of your life!