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Are you putting up barriers to protect yourself

Everyone has barriers they put up to protect themselves.  But are your barriers preventing you from achieving your goals?    

Barriers or shields are put up because we don’t want to get hurt or be left vulnerable.  But they also stop the good stuff from coming in.   Unless you can recognise the barriers you put up, you will hinder your results in your training and achieving your goals.  Barriers are a way of reinforcing with yourself that you are not worthy.   Can you achieve your goals and get everything want at the same time by standing behind a wall the entire time??  No.  

These are the most common barriers I’ve seen over my years in the fitness industry.

The waiting game….

I see this all the time.  Waiting to feel better about yourself.  Holding yourself back from being happy and enjoying your life because you are convinced that you can only feel good about yourself IF you can mark off all the boxes.  

Telling yourself “I will be happy when…….I will feel good when…….after this happens, I’ll be…….”

It’s basically holding yourself in a negative jail.  Ok, you may not be entirely happy with the way you look or feel , but placing your entire realm of happiness on only being allowed at a certain point is totally setting yourself up for failure every time.  

Reward yourself for being on the journey, just as much as reaching the goal.  Enjoy the process, embrace the mini achievements that happen along the way, and use them to keep you positive and energised and focused.  

Change the waiting game to a NOW game –  “I am happy that I doing this………I feel good because I am doing this……as this happens I’ll be……”

Numbing yourself..

I see this a lot in people who overtrain.  Overtraining can be a huge warning sign that you are trying to block something out.   Instead of training to achieve your goals training becomes a way of numbing all the other stuff that is going on.  

If you find that you are not allowing yourself to do things you enjoy, and every time you do you start thinking “I really should be doing xyz instead”, generally the xyz is stuff you don’t enjoy and is often for other people because you don’t feel worthy of giving that time to yourself.  

So then you train and train and train because that seems to have purpose and you can fool yourself into thinking that you are doing something for you, when really you are just creating another obstacle in doing what you actually want.

These people generally don’t feel worthy of doing the things they want to do and enjoy doing.  So they throw themselves headlong into anything that will take up as much time as possible.  

Classically, these clients never focus on themselves during a training session either.  They are terrified of what is going on internally so they busy themselves with helping others out, pushing and motivating everyone else around them, instead of doing that for themselves.  

Training then is no longer about achieving a goal, it’s about escaping.  

The Fear Factor…..

This is the ultimate in negative self talk barrier.  It’s the internal conversation that always says “no I can’t…but what if this happens….I’ve never done that”.  

So rather than step outside your comfort zone, you choose self preservation.  You get so caught up in what could go wrong that you default to safe mode.  Then that becomes your precedence for your training.  When something is asked of you the response is “no I can’t do that because of xyz”……instead of “I’m going to give it a go and if it doesn’t work out, let’s try something else.”

No goal has ever been achieved by staying in your comfort zone.  

As a Coach I will never give you an exercise that isn’t somehow helping reach your goal or improve your sport.   So when you change your mindset to knowing everything you do has a purpose, suddenly the self talk goes from “there’s got to be an alternative”…..to “I’m doing this because I need to”.

The Obsession with perfection…….

Striving for perfection can be one of the worst impediments when it comes to achieving your goals.  An obsession with perfection can have a 2 pronged effect.  You hold yourself back from doing things because you are scared of being judged and being seen as anything less than perfect.  So then you compare yourself to others and set a benchmark of perfection based on what they look like, have achieved etc.  The trouble with an obsession with perfection is no matter what you do, you are always going to be judged.  Everyone’s perception of perfection is completely different.  In this world these days too, perfection is controlled dangerously by the media.  You bring in a picture of a ripped, fit chick out of a magazine or off a website and say “I want to look like this”……..my response to this is always going to be “the woman in the magazine doesn’t even look like the woman in the magazine”.  

So instead of searching for perfection, strive for progress.  Strive to be better than you were the day before, the week before, the month before.  Push a little harder, go a little longer, lift a little more.  Striving for perfection instead of progress is like searching for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  You’ll never find it.  Its an illusion you’ve created in your head of what you think you SHOULD be.  Not necessarily what you actually want.  

 

Once you can recognise these barriers that you put up, you can begin to work on your mindset and breaking those barriers back down.  Not only in your training, but in your whole life.  Your journey to your goal isn’t just about eating right and doing the exercise.  It’s pushing through all those walls that held you back from achieving your goals in the first place.  

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