Today’s guest post comes courtesy of my good friend, trainer, and author of Amazon Best Seller Unleash Your Alpha, Mike Campbell. I first crossed paths with Mike- via the interwebz in a coaching group with Jon Goodman–since then, we’ve talked shop countless times. Hell, Mike was kind enough to guide me through my first photoshoot, to say I respect him in an understatement.
Fast-forward time a bit and Mike and I continue to share messages back and forth on training, nutrition, and arguing over American Football vs. Rugby. I’m afraid I’m losing that battle– those guys are bad-ass. Mike and I have decided to share a few guest posts over the coming months.
Enough of me, this guy is an Amazon Best Seller and has some great perspective in the post below.
Are you lying to yourself?
Yes, you are. Well, to assume so is pretty safe, seeing as most of us do. A lot.
What do I mean? Let me explain through a few common examples…
“I really want to just lose the extra padding around my gut. I eat well and train regularly…”
In my experience- no, no you don’t. No really. And therein lies the key. So often guys say they want to drop body fat, usually stressing how much they want it. The problem is that their actions – for the most part – don’t reflect that ‘want’, and therefore they’re lying to themselves because they don’t really want it. What they mean is “I really want to lose fat easily“
“I’ve just got to get through this busy period, and then I’ll be ready to hit the gym properly…”
Umm, yeah, no. You’re ready when you say you are. Not when forces external to you dictate it. I’ve heard this a million times. Maybe a billion. Your life is just that- yours, not someone else’s to determine. Usually this is a form of procrastination, simply passing the buck for inaction on to the boss/work/family/other… If you don’t make the choices that dictate your behaviours and actions, well, you’re fucked. Choose to start now. Simple. Or the end result is… you’re lying to yourself.
“I can eat this, I’m bulking, bro…”
Yeah, really? (Said in high pitched doubtful voice). Are you ‘bulking’, or are you using that as an excuse to eat whatever you like, get bigger and simply say “Yeah, I’m bulking at the moment.”? There are ways of going about putting on muscular size so that you remain pretty lean, that don’t (and shouldn’t) involve simply pigging out on anything and everything. Not, just get huge and stuffing your faceand hormones. In my experience ‘bulking’ usually means… you’re lying to yourself.
And one of my favourites (not), the all too common ‘reality’ TV situation:
“I just want this so badly”
No you don’t! You really don’t. Otherwise you wouldn’t be pinning all your hopes on a show that hands you that end result. If you really want it that badly you’ll go away and make a plan to succeed. You’ll then set about making that happen with every fibre of your being. You’ll hustle, sacrifice and repeat. You won’t live your normal life and then cry that it wasn’t handed to you on a TV show. What you mean is “I just really want this so badly for free”. I’m (not) sorry, but you’re most definitely lying to yourself.
There are endless examples here, in all walks of life; business, personal, social, but the most pertinent for us is regarding our health and fitness – our body.
At the end of the day, regardless of what is said, most guys are simply lying to themselves.
This can be due to knowledge and current capabilities, but it doesn’t really matter, because…
You just don’t want it badly enough.
If you really want it then you’ll find out what needs to be done, you’ll expand your capabilities and you’ll make it happen.
The number 1 reason stopping most guys from reaching their body composition goals is because their actions do not reflect what is necessary to achieve that goal- they want the body they have in their mind’s eye, but they don’t want to work that hard for it, they want it to come easily. So, what must we do…?
Values, Vision and Vehemence
The three V’s of success that is sadly missing from so many guys. Working on these 3 things, putting your energy and commitment into them will ensure that you are not only on the road to attaining your goals but you’re no longer lying to yourself; you’ve chosen to make it happen.
The first thing, before any kind of dreaming and goal setting is to think about, and then set down on paper what your core values are. What is it that you value most in life? What things are most important to you? What can you not live without? What must be in your life every (or nearly every) day? What qualities do you value most in yourself and others?
Brainstorm on these, refine them and get your top 5. Now you can start to set some goals around these. For now you have perspective and a point from which everything else is relative and accountable.
If your health and happiness is a high value then you must reflect that in your behaviours and daily actions; make sure you eat like a man; prioritise good food, train like a beast; regular & effective training, quality sleep- whatever is relevant to you reaching your health and happiness goals. Whereas if you say you value your health, yet you consistently act against that, prioritising work, poor food choices and pissing it up, you are simply not aligning your actions with your values. A simple shift in priorities will stop you from lying to yourself. On the other hand if you’d rather work hard and hit the booze often over getting in great shape, so be it – just be honest and know that’s what your values are.
Knowing your values and being able to come back to them regularly is vital to knowing your path and where your health and body composition goals fit in the big scheme of things. If you want to unleash your alpha, do you value it enough to do so?
Which brings us to vision. Now that your values are set and you have some goals in place, don’t stop there. Setting simple outcome orientated goals isn’t enough. Sure, losing 20kg and regaining your sex drive is nice, but so what? What then? Why? Why do you want that? What does it mean to you? What you need to do from here is take your values and your surface goals and dig deeper, like way deeper.
Create a bold and exciting vision for your life. Incorporate any kind of superficial goal you have, but explain why and what it means to you and how that is evident in your day to day life (in the future; 3-5 years/whatever is appropriate for your situation). Tell a story, be creative and outline what your body and life is like and keep in mind that this should light you up. This vision should see you living out your values from above.
This vision is to be written by hand a few times and refined if need be. Then read it. A lot. Read it every day. If it isn’t making you think “Fuck yes I want that to be my life!” then it’s not strong enough- you need to want it badly. From here you should be itching to make your actions and behaviours those that will make that vision a reality.
Which is now when you should act with utter vehemence – relentless hustle – to make those dreams, that vision, come true. Without truly committing and acting day to day in ways that get you closer to your goal, you’re simply lying to yourself. Keep in mind however, that your vision must be powerful enough that you happily act accordingly.
Once you have this vision and your values set out, you can set out a plan that will see that realised. From here you must live out the plan, vehemently. Hustle, sacrifice and have faith in your own strength.
This isn’t saying that you must be a monk and never do things that aren’t directly in line with your vision. We’re talking 85-90% of the time. You have to chill, relax and unwind – whatever that may be, as it is goal and situation dependant. But your determination to make your vision a reality must win out; otherwise you’ll be lying to yourself again…
It’s a cliché, but it’s also true and often apt:
Success comes from stepping outside your comfort zone
This discomfort will manifest in numerous ways- saying no to certain foods, declining the booze at a work function, bumping a meeting because you have to train, whatever- bold things don’t come from doing the same old thing, remaining comfortable and never stretching yourself.
Before you ask “Surely it’s not all hustle?” let me point out that every situation is different. You need to find your relative level of push for you and your priorities, but always check – am I lying to myself?
Let me paint a recent example:
This nutrition and training caper isn’t that hard for me, I am pretty lean and fit all the time. Why? Because I value it highly, so I act accordingly. But when it came to a big vision of writing a bestselling book, well that was a different and incredibly uncomfortable story.
So I aligned my values and what it meant to me, I incorporate this into my vision and then could set a plan in place. From here I vehemently went about making this happen.
Was it easy? Hell no! But because I wanted it badly enough and I knew what it meant to me, where it fitted in my values, vision and therefore my priorities, I was able to keep acting in ways that made it happen and got me closer to reaching it every day. I hustled and constantly sacrificed because of the end result. I was probably more boring than I normally would be, but I still had fun, chilled and tried to set aside time every week to relax and do things I enjoy – with my priorities in mind – but the overriding theme was: get this book done and whatever is necessary to make it a success.
Now Unleash Your Alpha is an Amazon #1 bestseller.
A little bit every day leads to a lot
Is just takes some values, vision and a lot of vehement follow through.
If you actually want to get that thing you say you do, you’ll check that you’re not lying to yourself, and then you’ll prioritise making it a reality.
But first you have got to make the choice that this is what you really want.
Once you’ve chosen your desired path you can plan out how to get there.
Then you have to hustle and do so with relentless consistency.
Only then are you being truly honest with yourself and putting yourself in the best place to succeed.
In order for this stuff to happen and continue to happen, you have to be able to look within yourself for the strength to do so. You have to have a strong faith in yourself and your ability to change, learn and grow.
That doesn’t mean you can’t outsource some things and ask for help, coaching and guidance – this you should most definitely do – but you have to be able to cover the general values, vision and vehement follow through yourself.
Only you can determine your fate, so go and do it.
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