If you are unhappy with yourself & your progress towards your goals, it all comes down to this one question:
Are you being too harsh with yourself...or not doing enough to get results?
It's one thing to allow your perfectionistic tendencies to take over and beat yourself down for not being the best. You are overly critical of yourself & carry unrealistic expectations. You don't appreciate the progress you've made because your mental demons constantly tell you it's not enough. Expecting & judging yourself against things that are genetically impossible for you is not doing you any favors. No matter how hard you try or how much pain you endure...holding yourself to these impossible standards will only destroy your self-esteem and break down your body in the process. (Trust me...been there done that.)
It's another thing to accept mediocrity and use it as an excuse to not try. Why try to get better & improve your lot if your genetics & life circumstances put you at a disadvantage? If you weren't born a thoroughbred and struggle with the shape of your body or technique, sometimes it can seem easier to just give up instead of fighting for more. Instead of taking control & improving what you can, you throw your hands up in the air and say, "Oh well...this is as good as it gets."
The key to your fulfillment and true potential in life lies somewhere between these two extremes. It's not a bad thing to want more from yourself. In fact...if you're not using your time on this earth to explore possibilities, reach for more, become a better version of yourself - both physically & mentally - you're going to regret that big time at the end of your life. So, you need that drive of having higher expectations for yourself. But you can't let that drive get to the point where you don't appreciate your progress & the value of your efforts due to your perfectionism.
On the other hand, sometimes you need a gentle kick in the a$$ to help you realize your potential. There's a lot of coddling going on these days. And that's fine...we all need to be reassured sometimes that we are enough just the way we are. But if used in the wrong way, that coddling can actually make you feel worse about yourself in the end. Sometimes what you need is tough love.
I talk a lot about pleasure, rewards, self-care. But make no mistake, I'm busting my a$$ in between the rewards. My default state involves harsh, rigid, hard-working drive with absolutely brutal self-scrutiny. I'm a workhorse. I need to make a big deal about rewarding myself and indulging in pleasure...otherwise my perfectionism takes over & I become ruled by my mental demons. But, inevitably I start indulging too much & notice my self-improvement trajectory sliding downward instead of climbing. In those instances, I ramp up my discipline & follow my "Clean Eating Phase" from my FAT LOSS GAME PLAN for a week or two. Dial in my eating. Avoid alcohol. Step up my workouts. Prioritize sleep. Focus on superhydration.
Sure, it doesn't sound fun to rein yourself in and cut back on some of those pleasures in life. And it does suck for a couple days. But after about 48 hours when you start to look & feel better in your body, the hard work becomes worth it. Couple that with knowing you are doing the right things to better yourself...and your confidence starts to grow. Those positive feelings fuel your momentum going forward, motivating you to make healthy choices to continue your progress.
Just to clarify, this isn't about unnecessary torture, restriction, or long-term self-denial. In fact, I intentionally limit this "Clean Eating Phase" to 1-2 weeks for that very reason. But this short, focused period of time is enough to shift your momentum and give you a sense of power & pride over building your best self. It allows you to tighten up the tools you have control over (nutrition, exercise, sleep, hydration) to build a better you & prioritize self-improvement.
Let's face it...we all want the pleasure in life. But sometimes what you need is the discipline. The more confident you become from knowing you are investing in your body and self...the sweeter life becomes...and the more you can enjoy those indulgences and pleasures when the time is right. So in case you need extra motivation to get started, know that rewards come with the hard work.
For more info on my nutrition philosophy, "Clean Eating Phase," process for planning guilt-free indulgences, and other secrets for fat loss, performance power, & pleasure:
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