A fear of failing to achieve one’s objectives often underlies a lack of training motivation. Here, we may believe that a task is so monumentally insurmountable that, deep down, we doubt whether we can make any inroads into achieving it.6, For example, we may believe that the amount of work needed to lose 30lbs of bodyfat is simply not within our reach, or that getting strong enough to bench 250lbs for reps is impossible for one with such meagre strength. Because, like all humans, we are pleasure-oriented, we’ll usually do all we can to avoid the psychological pain of failure. The best way to avoid such pain is to simply not begin in the first place. Welcome to the world of the procrastinator. Clearly such a mindset will go a long way to keeping us mired to the couch and out of the gym. That fact is, though, for almost all people each of these objectives (and a great many more) can be achieved with the right mindset. The act of getting started and generating momentum (to be discussed soon) is what’s necessary to ultimately tick them off our list of accomplishments.2 For certain people, such fear can also be associated with success. Here, goal achievement may lead to an all-encompassing sense of responsibility and obligation to maintain a certain degree of success. For example, having lost that 30lbs we now have the added pressure of keeping it off. Or we may lose a little momentum (which happens to us all) and use this as an excuse to hop aboard the slippery slope to mediocrity (putting us back to where we were before and ‘convincing’ us that we did not deserve such success in the first place). Once again, a fear of failure often underpins such thinking and keeps us from continuing on a successful trajectory.
Do This Instead:
Don’t overthink the situation. Instead, take small steps toward ultimate goal achievement. Rather than overanalyzing the whole picture, break your training into smaller goals and seek to accomplish them, one day at a time. Though having a strong vision of what we desire is imperative, it’s best to focus more on what we can do now, and celebrate any small victories achieved along the way. Before we know it, we’ll have overcome those seemingly insurmountable objectives and have moved another step closer to achieving the body of our dreams.