Today I took a fitness class that combined strength-building exercises with cardio-based intervals. In the past, I’ve usually stuck to the 5lb weights for any free-weight exercises, but something compelled me to select a set of 5lb dumbbells and a set of the 8lb ones. A mere 3lb difference, but to me that had been enough to prevent me from even trying before.
I told myself to start with the 8lb weights and if it was too difficult I could drop down to the 5lb ones. I gave myself a way out.
As the music started, I picked up the 8lb weights for the first exercise circuit and began the motions. Turns out I could physically do it. The more movements I did, the stronger I felt. I began to tell myself I could actually do it and hushed that voice in my head that had told me previously that I wasn’t strong enough.
I ended up using the 8lb weights throughout the entire class. I couldn’t believe it. My mind had convinced me I would drop down to the 5lb weights within the first circuit, but once I began to trust myself I didn’t need that safety net.
Mental roadblocks will always appear, whether they’re noticeable or not. Overcoming them is a whole lot easier said than done. Today that roadblock was an extra 3lbs, that somehow seemed impossible.
One way of getting through a mental roadblock is no longer telling yourself you “can’t” and instead pull a Nike and “just do it” and allow your thoughts to catch up with you later. By the time the voice in your head starts talking again, you’ve already been doing what you previously told yourself you couldn’t do, so that voice has no choice but to encourage you to keep at it.
How do you face mental roadblocks?