I am standing across from a very successful businessman who is at least 40 years my senior. He is confused about why he is gaining weight in his midsection, though he has a strict diet of just fruits and vegetables.
I am trying to convince him that he needs protein in his diet. I have also let him know that I do not feel comfortable training him if he is not getting enough calories, because it will only do more harm.
For every single protein source I suggest, he has a comeback for why it is an unhealthy choice.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
I ask if he would like to be a vegan, so I can suggest how to get complete proteins from plants. I tell him there are organizations that will even deliver prepared organic foods to his door. He tells me that he does not trust organic foods.
Paralysis by analysis!
I lock eyes with him and say, “Do you realize you have researched your way into paralysis?”
“What do you mean?” he replies.
“You have researched everything about all the food you like to eat, and now you are only drinking juice.” I answer. “ You cannot just drink juice for the rest of your life.”
“But everything else is bad for you,” he replies with mild irritation. “ You don’t understand, I’m packing the Nutribullet full of fruits and vegetables.”
I then ask him if he realizes why I am so concerned, and ask for permission to explain my stance. Once he gives permission, I explain the importance of protein.
By the end of my “lecture” I have him convinced that he needs protein. However, he is still stuck on how he is going to start getting it. I pull my vegan protein powder (I get at my local gym) out of my backpack, and tell him he can have the rest of it.
“Is this the best protein powder?” he asks.
“I have no idea, but it does not have anything unhealthy in it. I have been using it the last couple months.” I reply.
“I’m just going to listen to you from now on. This is all too confusing.” He says.
“All I want, is for you to do what is right for you and your life.” I reply. “ I don’t want you living in fear of everything you put in your mouth.”
The truth is, I want all of us to stop living in fear.
Time and time again I see people anxious to change their situation.
But they get stuck on the “right” way to do it. Instead of taking a step forward, they research and consult others. They find that each resource has a different method of getting to the same result. This often leads to a sense of overwhelm and increased anxiety.
I would like to suggest to you a different method for change. What if instead of trying to figure out each step ahead of time, you just take one step forward?
Taking that first step…whatever it is… puts you in a new place. From that place you take the next step, and so on.
We live in a world that sells us the “right” way.
We live in a world that uses fear, to sell us the map of the the “right” way.
We live in a world that uses guilt to keep us on course.
Often I find myself in front of people who express to me that they think they are failing in their health and fitness. They recite a list of all the things they know they should be doing. They feel shame for not being able to follow this list of things the world tells them they need to do to be “healthy”.
As I watch them look to me for confirmation that they are failing, their face turns to surprise once I let them know that I don’t want them to feel bad about themselves…just because I walk into a room.
I remind myself of daily of this…
“Perfectionists often accomplish less because they are paralyzed by fear of failure…high performance people keep their vision of the end result uppermost in their minds, and forge ahead anyway.” – Lou Tice of the Pacific Institute
I invite you to focus on your goal and not the steps.
Look at your goal, then look at your options, and take a step in the direction of your goal.
Focus on PROGRESS.
Let go of your perfectionism and give yourself only reasonable expectations.
I have seen this immediately help my clients reduce their anxiety during their training with me.
If the goal is progress vs perfection, the fear of failure is eliminated.
Note: This process is much easier with a knowledgeable coach guiding your steps. No successful person is perfect. They have many stories of failure. Do not hold yourself to “perfect” standards of performance. Those levels are often not reasonable or recommended by true experts.
Contact here with WatchFit Expert Maile Inouye