When it comes time to get fit, many of us look at all the physical things we see in people. We look at their build. We look at what they eat. We look at some of their workout habits.
We look at all this other stuff, except maybe the one thing that matters, which is the invisible—their habits of thinking.
Today, I want to share some inner mindset stuff I’ve observed in my best students.
The 3 Inner Mindsets in Those Who Succeed
Mindset #1: “I can’t, therefore I must.”
This idea of I can’t, therefore I must in terms of working out is the following.
If I think I don’t have the time to work out, it’s even more important to find the time to work out.
I had a friend who once told me that he really wanted to get fit, and that he really needed to because he was seriously overweight.
Every time we would talk about trying to figure this out (where to put it in his schedule, how he could get himself to do that with everything else going on in his life, etc.), he would always say he didn’t have time.
Over a couple of weeks, I decided one day to actually see what he was doing after work. I found that he would go home from work at six, and I thought he was really busy with work stuff. He had all this stuff going on.
What I found out was he was watching Netflix from seven o’clock until almost midnight for five hours. I don’t have time was, obviously, code for something else.
And look – this isn’t to criticize him, change is hard, but I often find that “I don’t have time” is one of the least legitimate excuses.
Is the mom with a full-time job and three kids busy? You better believe it. But if she had an event come up for one of her kids, could she find the time? Definitely.
Is the person doing graduate school while working himself through school busy? 100%. But if he meets a woman he think he might marry, do you think he’d just say, “I’m too busy” ? I doubt it.
More often than not, it’s a key indicator that this is something especially worth focusing on.
Feeling like your mind is going crazy but don’t have time to meditate? Huge indicator you need to find the time.
Feeling like you’re working a ton but don’t have time for a relationship (or improving your current one?). Big red flag.
The paradox is that if you think you cannot do something or don’t have time, then it’s really important that you prove to yourself you can make the time.
Mindset #2: Just 1% More
If you don’t set aside for your goals and dreams, no one else will.
The second inner mindset of fit people is “just 1% more.”
Anytime you’re going after something, try thinking “just one more.” It was one of the big things I did when I first got into weightlifting. I wasn’t happy with the results I was getting, so I told myself just one more rep in the weight room.
If you do 10 bicep curls, try doing 11. If you do 20 leg presses, try doing 21, or 22, or 23. If you’re plateauing and you’re not getting the results you want, the first thing would be just try a little bit more.
Know you should stop drinking so much coffee? Today try having only two coffees instead of three.
Tomorrow, try just one.
Push it just a little bit further. What’s amazing is that you can apply these to anything in life. (Can’t write your book? Just write one more page, paragraph, sentence or word.)
Trying to improve your relationship or have more friends? Maybe you just push it a little bit and say one more “thank you” or one more “please”, or do one more nice thing for the person you’re seeing.
Are you trying to be calmer, more spiritually evolved and cultivated? Then may be that means just one more minute of meditation. Maybe you did twenty minutes and that seemed like a long time, but today just do twenty-one because it’s going to be a little bit harder.
You know what’s strange about that extra 1%?
That’s where all of the growth is. That’s the paradox. You can do all of this, but this is where the growth happens whether it’s lifting weights, writing a book, running a marathon, or improving your relationship.
Mindset #3: Who I Think I Am, Dictates How I Act (Self-Identity)
The third mindset shift in fit people is the idea of I am.
I’ve told you a little bit about Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a surgeon who realized that no matter how much he altered certain men and women’s physical looks, some of them never became more confident.
He couldn’t figure out why these people never felt better about themselves when he fixed the ugly nose that the woman thought she had, or removed the disfigured scar on the guy’s face from his car accident.
Why were they not getting better?
It was because their self-identity, the inner belief about how they saw themselves, was stronger than the physical proof of how they looked.
With fit people and successful people, you often see a very strong change in identity.
For example, I made a shift about ten years ago: I am not a person that drinks soda anymore. And that has become my identity. I can go to a full party with hundreds of people, with everyone offering soda to each other and I will never have it – not even once.
There’s a strong identity change in smokers, or women who don’t date a certain kind of man anymore, or people who have given up on being self-critical.
The third habit shift is seeing yourself as you want to be.
What does the fit version of myself think? How do they act? What habits do they do?
I’ve found that rather than trying to “affirm” my way to the top, what works best is to reverse engineer the habits of my better self, and then begin doing those on a daily basis.
Your “Master the Day” Daily Habit For Today
One thing I’ve observed in some of the best is that they focus on an inside-out approach to achieving goals – whether it is getting fit, or living better.
The more there’s an emphasis on changing the inner narrative, emphasizing good habits, and creating a new self-identity, success follows.
Is the inner game holding you back? Comment below on how it’s sabotaged you before.