The best book on the subconscious is Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. He explains that we all have a subconscious, and we are all capable of improving it. An empowered subconscious mind is the key to success in life.
Don't underestimate the importance of the things you say to yourself, and believe about yourself. Your thoughts really do become your reality. Your thoughts affect your self-esteem, your self-image, your motivation, and your energy levels. Henry Ford once famously said:
Whether you think you can or your can't, either way you're right.
Beware of self-imposed limitations, and don't underestimate the power of your mind to help or hinder you. The most important things you'll ever hear are the things you say to yourself, because they take root in your subconscious mind, and define your self-image, with all the consequences which flow from that. Your self image defines the boundaries of the possible. You can expand those boundaries by improving your self-image.
It's tragic that so many people talk themselves out of achieving a better body, better health, and any other goal that would lead them to a more fulfilling life. Some of my personal training clients in London come to me with misconceptions of what they're capable of - they vastly underestimate their ability to reach their goals. Most people sabotage their own goals without even realising they're doing it.
See below for some examples of negative self-talk, followed by empowering self-talk on the exact same issue. See the difference for yourself.
Disempowering: "I want to get in shape but I've no time to exercise."
Empowering: "I choose to make time to exercise regularly, because I really want to get fit and look good."
Everyone can make time to exercise. How many hours a week do you watch TV? Solution: you can exercise in front of the TV. How much time do you spend commuting? Solution: You can get off a couple of stops early and power-walk the rest. How much time do you spend waiting for the lift to arrive, or stand on the escalators? Solution: take the stairs two at a time, and walk up and down the escalators. No time to travel to the gym? Buy a set of dumbbells and a fitness mat and a swiss-ball and train at home. Often it's simply a case of organising your day in such a way that you create time for exercise.
Disempowering: "I can't afford the gym, or a personal trainer, or fitness equipment, or healthy food."
Empowering: "There are many ways to get fit and eat healthily that don't cost much, and I'll take advantage of all of these ways so that I achieve the body I want."
The 'no money' excuse is very common. That's all it is, an excuse. How much does it cost to do a session of bodyweight exercises (squats, lunges, pushups, core strength) in your lounge? Nothing. How much does it cost to jog round the local park? Nothing. How much does it cost you to ask for fitness equipment for birthdays/Christmas? Nothing. How much does it cost to buy a big bag of brown rice, a big bag of lentils, baked beans, fruit and veg from any one of the hundreds of street stalls that sell a bowl of fruit/veg for £1? Next to nothing.
Disempowering: "Exercise and healthy eating are just too boring."
Empowering: "Exercise and healthy eating don't have to be boring. I'll find ways of making it fun. And the results I'll achieve are worth a bit of effort."
If you find exercising alone boring, find a Fitness Buddy for free. And if you can't think of any ways to liven up an exercise routine with lots of variety, this website is full of ideas and suggestions for exercise routines. And healthy eating can be delicious if you know how to prepare healthy food in an appetising way. Check out This Week's Recipe and see the Nutrition page for more ideas. For healthy snacks, see the nuts & seeds page.
Disempowering: "I tried exercise and healthy eating, and it didn't work. I'm still fat/too thin/no muscle/unfit. Nothing I do seems to work."
Empowering: "I'm determined to lose weight/gain weight/build muscle/get fit, and I'll keep trying new methods until I achieve my goal."
When you try and fail, that's not a reason to give up. It's a reason to try harder, persist longer, and/or try new methods. Be honest with yourself - what exactly did you do when you tried? You'll probably find that you slipped up somewhere. Once you've identified where you slipped up, that's valuable information to use in your next attempt. People often give up too soon, and don't give themselves a chance to succeed. Or they just use the wrong methods, and falsely conclude that they've tried everything. If you set goals, you're more likely to succeed.
Most people over-estimate how much exercise they've done (and underestimate how much they've eaten!). An hour in the gym may really be 40 minutes of resting/chatting on your mobile/texting, and 20 minutes actual exercise.
If you're looking for a personal trainer in London to help you reach your goals faster, click the link.