A common thread in success stories from those who have transformed their body, changed their life, and gotten strong (etc.) is that they all report experiencing something to the effect of more self-confidence, self-esteem or mental toughness and/or clarity.
When they’re asked about how they’ve changed now that they’ve finally succeeded or how their life is different after their transformation, they often say things like:
- I’m more confident than ever.
- I feel like I can accomplish anything.
- My self-esteem has improved.
They may go on to say that they feel like they’re a new man or woman, and everything has changed, and people are treating them differently, among other things. And after our curiosity has been sufficiently piqued, that’s usually all we hear about it. We rarely get to go deeper into the far-reaching implications that a physical transformation can have psychologically, socially, spiritually, etc.
I think this is for two reasons, primarily:
- Most people and interviewers don’t ask the right questions that draw out the deep stuff.
- Even when asked the right questions, most people have difficulty articulating the full implications of their transformation (i.e. the “good stuff”) because they’ve been so immersed in the experience that they can’t see how much they’ve changed simply because they don’t have the right vantage point.
It’s like how you don’t notice the changes in your own children as they grow because you see them every day. The changes are so small – too small to even notice most of the time. But when you see your nieces and nephews for the first time in a year, you notice a huge change because they’ve grown and matured. You’ll exclaim, “you’re a foot taller than when I last saw you!”
Obviously, since you’re with yourself all the time, the changes that happen to your psyche (e.g. the increased self-confidence, etc.), and all the effects of those changes on your life (e.g. people treating you differently) happen gradually – and often, haphazardly – making them difficult to pin down, track, and make sense of.
Furthermore, as you change physically, mentally, and emotionally (etc.), everything about your life changes as a result. So, your present experiences don’t always line up with your past perceptions and expectations of reality (and vice versa). You notice that things are different, but you’re not exactly sure why – until you realize that the world hasn’t changed – YOU have. And that realization totally rocks your world.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it’s very difficult to understand what it’s like to transform your body – and by extension, your life – unless you’ve actually done it. You don’t know what it’s like until you live it, personally.
For instance, the following comments are things I’ve often heard from people who have successfully transformed their body:
- I didn’t know how good it would feel to be fit.
- I didn’t know what I was missing. Boy, am I glad I stuck with this.
- I can’t believe it took me this long to make a change. If I had known it was going to be this good, I would have done this a long time ago.
You just don’t know what it’s like until you experience it for yourself. It would be like trying to understand what sex is like without actually experiencing it. No matter how much you read in a book or talk to the experts (etc.), you just won’t get it.
And so, when we combine all of these different factors, it should come as no surprise that we rarely hear anything deeper than these brief, vague explanations of the massive mental/emotional/social changes that take place after a physical transformation – changes that have far-reaching implications (that you’d want to know about before you go down that road).
So, at the very least, I want you to know that everything changes when you go through a physical transformation. Everything. Think of this as a heads-up. Expect it. Be ready for it, and embrace it.
The good news is that when you transform your body, you’ll be healthier, stronger, and better able to deal with life changes as they happen. You’ll be able to adapt and overcome challenges better than you ever have before. You’ll have a better grasp of who you are and what you’re made of. You’ll better understand of the difference between real and perceived limits. And you’ll start to feel unstoppable – maybe invincible. You may even start to believe down to your very core that your success is a certainty. And that’s only the beginning!
Of course, most people will only see the tip of the iceberg. But there’s more beneath the surface. Lot’s more.
So, come on out to the deep water. It’s a little colder and more risky, but everyone who’s been here long enough will tell you that the rewards are worth it. Just thought you should know.
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Health-First Fitness Coach
P.S. Hat tip goes to Hannah Fons who wrote the insightful article The Psychological Complexities of Becoming Strong, which inspired this post. If you’d like a glimpse into the potential depths of a complete lifestyle transformation, check out her article.
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