Zig Ziglar once stated: “You cannot consistently perform in a manner which is inconsistent with the way you see yourself.” This could not be truer or more applicable than when discussing the journey toward physical fitness. It all starts and ends with your own self-image. How you see yourself at a subconscious level ultimately drives your behavior.
This is why someone can know at a very conscious level that they should not eat at McDonald’s… but at the same time, find it next to impossible to resist the compulsion to do so. Is it a matter of sheer will power? Not necessarily. It is a glaring example of a person’s self image controlling behavior.
If you see yourself as a “fit” and “healthy” person, you are more likely to train consistently, eat healthy, opt to drink fresh, clean water and take your vitamins regularly. Why? Because this is the behavior in which “fit and “healthy” people engage. On the other hand, if you see yourself as “fat” then you are more likely to skip workouts and over-indulge in unhealthy foods. Why? Because that is the behavior “fat” people engage in.
If you find yourself struggling with behaving in a manner consistent with someone who recently adopted a fitness lifestyle, then it may be time to examine and redefine your self-image. To ultimately succeed, you must construct a clear, vivid, mental picture of what you want. Forget what you think is “possible” or “realistic.” Greatness never comes from mere possibility. What you WANT will provide the motivational fuel necessary to ACHIEVE. In the words of Michelangelo, “the greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss, but that it is too low and we reach it.” So, think about what you really want and make it tangible; write it down and keep it with you.
The next step is to burn that image into your subconscious mind much like computers burn information onto CDs. To do this, you must consistently and continuously recall that image. As human beings, our brain and central nervous system cannot distinguish between an event that actually occurred and an event vividly imagined. You must allow yourself to actually feel all of the emotions associated with having the body that you want.
What do you look like in the mirror? How do you feel when you see yourself? How do others around you act? What do they say? How does that make you feel? When you create that vivid mental image and actually feel it, your subconscious mind not only accepts that experience as “real,” it takes those suggestions as commands or instructions and immediately works to materialize it. Considering that your subconscious mind is over 30,000 times more powerful than your conscious mind, you should be ever mindful of the thoughts upon which you choose to dwell.
Creating that vivid mental picture and recalling it often is only the beginning. From there, you must take consistent action. With every single decision that you make, ask yourself this “would a person with the body that I want make this choice? “ then act as if you already have that body. Your behavior will follow.