Over the years we have had hundreds of clients and a lot of them have failed in their fitness/body composition goals, even the ones with the best intentions at the get go.
It plays out like a predictable story line – client comes in pumped and eager to get stuck in. And they do. They come to the gym, start eating better and initially get high off the endorphins but this soon peters out and they realise that getting results requires hard work and change OVER TIME. And most people can’t go the distance. They get bored, they get side tracked, they get lazy, they get tired and they find all the excuses in the world to give up – no time, family commitments, work deadlines, injury. Blah blah blah.
The difference between someone who succeeds and someone who doesn’t, has nothing to do with genetics or strength or fitness or talent. What it really comes down to is whether they have “GRIT” or not.
Grit can be described as persistence, drive, will, determination, resolve and motivation to achieve a long term goal.
In a world of instant gratification, I believe grit is not a quality that has been engrained in our psyche as everything comes too easily these days. Thirsty? Turn the tap. Hungry? You don’t even have to get out your car, just drive through MacDonald’s. Feeling low? Turn to social media for validation by posting a selfie. It’s all instant and requires hardly any effort.
But there is no magic pill, piece of equipment, secret exercise to change your body shape. It requires work. And screw this whole 6 week body transformation hype. That is bullshit.
To really change your body (so that you don’t rebound) requires balls. It requires a tough frame of mind. One that gets up when you get knocked down. One that keeps motivated and pressing on and changing things up to stay focused. It requires Grit.
And the great thing is Grit is not something that you are either born with or without. It is something you can learn. Because it is created through the lens through which you see yourself. It is an attitude, a mindset. As renowned psychologist Angela Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania found, acquiring and building grit requires shifting from a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset. Let me explain…
If you have a Fixed Mindset you believe that your talents and abilities are unchangeable. That you’re either good at something or not. That you can either do something or you can’t. So when faced with failure, you believe that you are facing something that you are simply not any good at and give up. Conversely, if you have a Growth Mindset, you believe the ability to learn is not fixed but can change with your effort. You don’t see failure as a permanent condition but rather as a challenge to learn and grow. People with a Growth Mindset are therefore driven to face failure time and time again until they succeed – they have grit.
We’re all guilty of falling into the Fixed Mindset and losing our grit. The trick is to not get stuck there. To help you with this, our next blog post will look at simple yet effective strategies and techniques to building grit and follow through DESPITE failure.
But until then, if you find yourself saying “I can’t”, man up, dig deep and say “I can… and I did!”