Warning – This post contains explicit content
I cannot stress enough that change is difficult. Fat loss, muscle gain, and improved performance take a great deal of both physical and mental effort. True transformation comes through acceptance of discomfort while continuing to proceed forward. It goes far beyond just desiring or wanting to change. The ideology that if you believe hard enough, the change you desire will occur, is a lie.
This same line of thinking has also manifested itself in the health and fitness world. Nowadays everyone is on social media posting motivational quotes that are meaningless. It’s mostly lip service or targeted marketing designed to “bait and switch” people into a sale (MLM reps I see you).
The result: the general public is led to believe that fat loss or change is simple to achieve due to a bunch of fitness people suggesting that all you must do is stay positive.
Hunger and uncomfortable training sessions? … just be positive
Tired, unmotivated and in a bad mood? …let happiness guide the way
As the bearer of bad news, I must inform you that approach doesn’t work because it’s bullshit, and it’s not how real-life works.
In his book Can’t Hurt Me, Navy Seal David Goggins––whom possesses an unparalleled ability to live outside of comfort and to push the envelope on what is humanly possible––holds nothing back on calling out false positivity and living with a victim mentality.
“If you look in the mirror and you see a fat person, don’t tell yourself that you need to lose a couple of pounds. Tell the truth. You’re fucking fat! It’s okay. Just say you’re fat if you’re fat. The dirty mirror that you see every day is going to tell the truth every time, so why are you still lying to yourself? So you can feel better for a few minutes and stay the fucking same? If you’re fat you need to change the fact that you’re fat because it’s very fucking unhealthy. I know because I’ve been there.”
Mr. Goggins is an advocate of going beyond what is accepted as humanly possible and expecting (even welcoming) the trials that arise. This way he is mentally prepared for the realities of life and hardened (he references a calloused mind) to weather any storm that comes his way.
Therefore, instead of daydreaming about success, you need to focus on what could go wrong. The difficult road that lies ahead and the unknown obstacles that may appear. Yes, I’m telling you to imagine failing. Once you’ve got this image in your head, make note of all the potential reasons this could have happened.
Once you’re aware of all the things that could go wrong you can set up fail-safes now, in advance, increasing your chances of success because you’ve proactively prepared for the unexpected (as much as can be).
As a coach it is my job to hold those whom I work with accountable. In fact, accountability is the key component of the coach / client relationship in determining overall success. Like other aspects of life, I feel the pendulum has swung too far towards the side of acceptance and lowered the bar of what is expected. I admit, I have fell victim to this shift in philosophy myself at times and have sugar coated just how much effort will be involved for an individual to achieve a defined goal. I feel it is time to shift things back a little and to have a higher expectation for those whom we work with and to have the courage to hold them accountable and have the difficult conversations. Case in point, we need to call ourselves and our clients out when necessary. If a goal is unrealistic, we need to point that out. Furthermore, the amount of work, dedication, and consistency to achieve the expected outcome needs to be very clearly defined and understood by the client.
Will you possibly lose some clients in the process, or not gain potential ones due to being brutally honest? Yes, but any other approach is not only misleading but irresponsible.
As individuals, we need to stop settling for less than what we are truly capable of achieving. A closing quote from Mr. Goggins in that regard:
“We settle as individuals, and we teach our children to settle for less than their best, and all of that ripples out, merges, and multiplies within our communities and society as a whole.”