Former professional basketball player turned successful businessman, Michael Jordan, once said that “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them” – very true. And in other quotes he tells of the very real and potentially soul destroying failures he experienced in his life and career.

Reading the quote got me thinking of the people I’ve known in my life, both clients and friends, what they’ve achieved and the obstacles they’ve had to overcome. So in Part 1 of this blog, I want to look at what stands in the way of our achievements. And, specifically, to ask why we sometimes find it hard to make changes in our lives which would improve our fitness and overall health? Could it be that………

  • We don’t know where to start, or what to do
  • The fear of failure means that we don’t even try
  • We think that the task is so big that it’s unsurmountable
  • We fear that the process will be so onerous that life will no longer be enjoyable
  • We fear that life will sabotage any progress we do make

Those are just a snap shot, but there’s a theme which is self-limiting, and even defeatist. They tap into our most primal fears, and keep us weak and helpless. And they also provide the perfect excuse for us to potentially see ourselves as the victims of our circumstances and, as a result, powerless to change.

So how do we think that Michael Jordan overcame his failures to become an elite sportsman? Or the wonderful female role models of Jessica Ennis, and Paula Radcliffe in their chosen disciplines? I chose the trademark pose of Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth, as my logo because of its inspirational and aspirational message. But do we think that these four men and women are somehow super-human and, as such, we can in no way emulate them?

To some degree they were genetically predisposed to be great at what they do, but that’s far from the only explanation for their achievements at the highest levels of sport.

We may not be able, or want to, compete in any sport. Our health and fitness needs will probably be a lot simpler, but the strategies we must employ to enable us to tackle the challenges we set ourselves are very much the same.

In Part 2 of this Blog, I’ll explore some strategies for success…….and they’re so much easier and more fun than you may think.

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