Posted on September 26 2018
Overcome Your Mental Barriers To Fitness With Faith!
It says in the Bible: “Do you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). With this in mind, shouldn’t we be striving to maintain a healthy body? That is easier said than done. Exercise takes a lot of self discipline. People face many obstacles on their fitness journey, one of which is themselves. Mental barriers often prevent people from succeeding in their fitness endeavors. Three common mental barriers that prevent people from achieving their faith and fitness goals are self-doubt, lack of motivation, and a feeling of little to no support. With some hard work and strong faith, you can overcome these obstacles.
Achieving even the smallest fitness goal is challenging when self-doubt is involved. Self-doubt is a common mental barrier that affects everyone from time to time. Sometimes, however, it can keep otherwise capable people from achieving their very best. They might think they aren't athletic enough. The workouts are too hard. They can't do it. These poisonous thoughts prevent people from achieving their fitness goals.
One way to overcome this mental barrier is to acknowledge it. Recognize the negative thoughts as just that--negative thoughts. Restructure those thoughts so they are less demeaning and more productive. Do not say, "I can't run a marathon. Instead, say, "I can't run a marathon YET." Start small. Go on long walks instead of running a 5k. Jog with your dog instead of sitting on a bench and watching him play. Work your way up to your goal. When you get past your self-doubt and are able to exercise, you get an additional benefit of boosted self-esteem. With this heightened self-esteem, it will be easier to work out because you doubt yourself less.
Philippians 4:13 says: "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). God believes in you, so why shouldn't you believe in yourself? We must remember that God is all powerful, and humans are not. If you can't handle the pressure of success or failure in your fitness routine, then all you have to do is give it away. Put the weight of your workout on He who strengthens you. Dedicate your workouts to Christ, and see how much pressure that takes off of you.
Lack of Motivation
When the new year rolls around, thousands of people resolve to work out and get fit, yet very few ever fulfill their New Year's resolution. Oftentimes it is because of a lack of motivation. Lack of motivation has a strong effect on your fitness goals. Most of the time, it results in the failure of the goals.
People vary in how they get themselves motivated. There is no single method that will guarantee a successful result for everyone. One possible way to get started is by making a schedule and sticking to it. You can even incorporate physical exercise to your daily routine, like biking to work instead of driving. Set a concrete, achievable goal for each day, write it in your calendar, and do it. Each day will get easier and easier. Once you are able to overcome this mental barrier, however, it is not over. It is possible for you to lose the motivation and revert back into your original state. After you get motivated, you must stay motivated.
Consider Proverbs 23: 7: "As a man thinks in his heart, so he becomes.” That in and of itself should be motivation enough to get you to work towards your goal. You become whatever you dream of being. Believe in God's ability to get you there, and you will achieve your goal. If you need help painting a picture in your head of what you want, find inspiration that will motivate you. That inspiration may come in the form of a Christ T-shirt, an encouraging song, or a role model.
Lack of Support
Another mental barrier that plays a part in deterring people from ever reaching their fitness goals is the belief that they are unsupported. Having a support system is beneficial in many aspects of life. The lack of one can be very discouraging and lonely. It is difficult to maintain health and fitness under these circumstances.
An easy way to gain support in your fitness endeavors is to join a class or workout group. By assimilating yourself into these social circles, you are surrounding yourself with people who share common interests, goals, and attitudes. This fellowship serves as a great support system, as these people will understand what you are going through. They can offer help and encouragement. It is also helpful to follow people who inspire you. Even if they cannot physically be next to you to cheer you on, you can gain a sense of encouragement from their stories. There are many inspirational people out there that have overcome barriers similar to the ones you are facing.
It is important to remember Deuteronomy 31:6 when you are feeling alone and unsupported, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.” When you feel as though you have no one to turn to for help, and you cannot find anyone that can offer you their support, just know that God is always there for you.
Give It A Try!
With the perfect combination of hard work and faith, you can be breaking your mental barrier to fitness. No matter what your obstacle is, whether it is self doubt, lack of motivation, lack of support, or other personal issues, know that your God is stronger!
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