Are You Playing To WIN Or Not To Lose?

On Sunday afternoon I spoke at a workshop for SF Fitness Camps members in Dublin.Coaching and NLP For Self-confidence


I spoke about how to use your brain to get better results with your fitness program.


On the way to the workshop my husband and I were having a conversation in the car when I made a comment about how I didn’t like how the jeans I was wearing fitted me.


I was wearing a pair of black skinny jeans.


My husband said “what are you talking about? They look great on you”.


I said “no, they don’t, look at these legs!”


“You’ve great legs” he said “how many women would love to have your legs!”


To which I replied “yeah whatever, but I’ve very high standards for my legs”.


I’m not blind, I’m aware that many women would be very happy to have my pair of legs. But the pair of legs I aspire and work my butt off in the gym for look very different to mine.


And by the way I’m not saying my standards are better than anyone else’s, they’re simply – probably – very different from what most women would consider a beautiful pair of legs.


I know this because when I speak to clients, family members, and friends, they all seem to agree they’d love to have long thin legs. I know this from working as a fitness trainer for many years too. It seems that long thin legs are what women want.


Not me!


My standard of beauty involves lean muscular athletic looking legs. The same goes for the rest of the body by the way, otherwise the whole thing would look just weird… 😉


Of course, in order to have the legs of an athlete you need to… well, train like an athlete.


Achieving the legs of an athlete requires a lot of hard work in the gym, disciplined nutrition, the right supplementation, strategy, rest, the right mindset and a lot of patience.


It’s not something one can achieve in 4 weeks before one goes on a beach holiday, or even 3 months for that matter; it’s a work in progress you can’t afford to slack on.


I understand a lot of women don’t like the muscular look. They want to be thin, and that’s fair enough.


But to me, thin is so easily achievable that it’s boring, in fact I believe it’s one of the reasons why a lot of people give up so quickly on their weight loss efforts.


Clients and friends tell me they’d be happy to lose 1 pound a week. Or that if they could lose 7lbs that’d be nice. Or they tell me they want to lose 1 stone, when in reality, when I dig in, I find out that what they really want is to lose 2 or 3. Or they tell me that they just want to maintain their current weight.


I don’t really like hearing things like these, because to me it means you’re not playing to win, you’re playing not to lose.


See, standards are very important in fitness, and in life.


You’re Either Playing To WIN Or You’re Playing Not To Lose


Playing not to lose requires a totally different mentality than playing to win.


Someone who’s looking to maintain their weight or to not put on any more weight is going to approach things with a totally different mindset than someone who’s looking to achieve a specific weight, shape or size, or perform at a specific event.


If all you want is not to get bigger than you already are you’re bound to approach things with a sense of fear and cautiousness. “I ‘m not supposed to eat that”, “I shouldn’t drink that”, “I gotta watch what I eat”…


But when you’ve a specific and positive goal, a target that’s big enough that it scares you a little, but small enough that’s achievable in the near future, you’re going to begin to think and do things differently: “right, what do I need to do?”.


I know the chances are you’re not an athlete, I’m not one either, yet 😉 , but think of and athlete; an Olympic sprinter for example, getting ready to race.


Do you think she’s thinking “well, if I’m careful enough I might not lose this race” or… “this race is mine!”.


So, again, we might not be athletes, but there’s a lot we can learn from them in terms of how to approach our goals in life, be it health and fitness goals, career goals, relationship goals… whatever.


Coaching and NLP for Confidence


I was talking to a young student last week. She was torn on what career path to follow. Finally, she decided to pursue a career in journalism.


I suggested it’d be a good idea she contacted a journalist she admired, someone who was working in the field and doing so successfully.


“I wouldn’t want to talk to someone who’s struggling” I said.


“Why not?” she answered “isn’t it a good idea to find out why they’re struggling so you don’t do it?” she said.


“Unless I was planning to struggle myself, I personally wouldn’t do it”.


“Why?” she said.


“Because in life you’re either playing to win, or playing not to lose”.


What I’m trying to say is that if you’re going to bother setting fitness or life goals, set goals that are worth the physical and mental effort; goals that make you want to get up in the morning and get going, goals that are going to challenge you, excite you and empower you, not goals that are going to bore you, mentally debilitate you, and make you feel like a failure.


You’re not a failure, you’re a WINNER, you just have to think and behave like one 🙂


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