Developing a positive mindset means you’re hopeful about the world and expect good things to happen. Conversely, a negative mindset indicates that you expect bad things (real or perceived) to happen to you and are less than optimistic about the world around you.
Another way of looking at it is to see the glass half full or half empty. Before coaching, I was a negative nelly and always saw the glass half empty. Slowly, I developed a positive mindset about future outcomes over time.
What does a positive mindset have to do with your health and fitness? I’m getting to that.
Health & Fitness Positive Mindset
Henry Ford’s quote comes to mind: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right,” When you go to the gym with a positive attitude, are you more likely to have a good or bad workout?
The answer is obvious.
But it is more than that. IMO, clients and gym goers I’ve been around are more likely to reach their goals if they think they can do it. When working at a commercial gym, a guy with one arm amputated above the elbow devised a way to work his upper body on the amputated side.
He got an ankle Velcro attachment, usually reserved for lower-body exercises, strapped to his upper arm and performed chest flyes and cable rows. To say I was amazed is an understatement, and I told him he was an inspiration.
This guy just oozed positivity despite his handicap.
Would he have been at the gym if he had a negative mindset? I imagine he didn’t always have this mindset, but he grew tired of feeling sorry for himself and made it happen. Here is the thing about developing a positive mindset with health and fitness. When facing an obstacle, are you more likely to come up with a solution with a positive or negative mindset?
Let Me Tell You About a Bad Day
This day was less-than-stellar, and I felt Ashton Kutcher would come out and say, at any time, you’re punked.
Anyhow, here is what happened in no particular order.
The power went out during a storm that morning. I have a generator but I lost water and power in my gym.
The high winds caused minor storm damage. The next-door neighbor’s tree got uprooted and damaged our chicken fence. Luckily, it fell on their side of the yard and was a simple fix, and I had to clean up tree branches in my yard in the heat and humidity.
I lost money because l couldn’t train clients in my garage gym due to the power loss.
I hurt my lower back while sitting on the couch, something I’ve done a million times before. Then, when the power returned, it threw the air conditioning for a loop, started blowing hot air, and had to be reset.
But Good Things Happened, Too
I appeared on a podcast with a fellow coach.
A lady, my wife, helped when their car broke down outside our house recently, bought her a gift, and brought it over to our home.
When the power returned, I had a hot shower and got food in my belly.
Sometimes bad and good things will happen on the same day, maybe even in the same hour. Because both bad and good things can exist simultaneously, seeing both sides helps you not go batshit crazy. Seeing both is a positive of developing a positive mindset.
See what I did there?
Developing a Positive Mindset
Stop and think: how many people hire a personal trainer with a negative mindset? When a client says I want to lose 20 pounds in three months or run their first marathon in six months if the trainer says no way, what will happen? Nothing will likely happen, and the trainer will struggle to get clients.
So, that being said, I had to work on my mindset, and luckily for me, I had some positive people around to help. If you have trouble being optimistic, these two things were passed on to me; I’ll pass them on to you.
At the end of every day, a former client encouraged me to text him three positive things that happened to me that day. Some days, it was a struggle, and some days, it wasn’t, but it made me sit and think of positive things. Doing so helped me develop a better mindset. The second thing is a gratitude journal a friend and a coach suggested I should do.
Every morning, before I put my head down and go to work, I sit and write three things I am grateful for. Doing this puts me on the front foot for the day and helps put me in a more positive frame of mind.
These things are now a habit, which I continue to do. It is a little thing, but it helps.
One Last Thing……
Are you a fan of people who are always smiley and happy no matter the circumstance, especially early in the morning without coffee? I’m no fan. Here’s my issue with people who always try to be positive, and the world is all sunshine and roses.
It’s the failure to acknowledge that negative things happen to the point of denial.
You and I know bad things happen whether you like it or not because we have no control over it, like my day described above. IMO, the trick is to acknowledge that negative things do happen and positive things also happen. Looking at and finding the positive despite the negative helps to develop a more positive mindset.
Because both always ( I don’t always say lightly) exist simultaneously. You have to find it, and when you do, transfer this attitude to your health and fitness and make it happen.
Being positive is something I have had to work on as a coach and as a parent when my kids are down in the dumps. If you are more negative than positive, use the two suggestions above to help develop a better mindset. You’ll be better for it, which will help lead to better flex times.
Come on, you know you want to