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The Best Advice Ever

“Your mind is the ignition; your heart is the engine" -

In 2012, I had the privilege of working with Jill Coleman in her one-on-one, mind-body-business coaching program, the "Best of You Coaching Club."


In one of our first coaching calls, I told Jill that I wanted to focus primarily on BUSINESS. I wanted to get smarter about my day-to-day work/life balance, because I was making all the classic fitness industry newbie mistakes:


...running myself ragged teaching classes;

...taking on too many in-person training clients;

...poor time management and no concept of prioritization;

...and generally running around like my hair was on fire 24/7.

I was spinning my wheels and knew that burnout was inevitable.


Then I told Jill, "Oh, and I don't really want to work on the mind/body stuff."


HA! Listen to me! I was Little Miss ALL BUSINESS! Quite the aspiring entrepreneur and not at ALL interested in things like my physique or fitness. No no no, not me. :)


I told myself didn't want to waste the precious time in my coaching program on something as fleeting and superficial as my physique. After all, I was a trainer! I had nutrition certifications! I knew what to do - so why would I need help when I could do that part myself?

NOT SO FAST...


A few months later, the pressure of working in the fitness industry stared getting to me. I was spending more and more time and energy worrying:


"What if I'm not fit/strong/lean/ripped/good enough to be successful as a trainer?"


I needed help and insight from an outsider, an expert: so I turned to Jill for help with the one thing I swore I didn't need her help with:


My body.


Well, I thought that's what I needed help with. In truth, it was my MINDSET that was holding me back from looking and feeling the way I wanted.


And then, Jill gave me the best advice ever:


"Own it."


That was it. That was the advice. Those two words.


Jill told me to start owning my physique and owning my "leanness," a word I had never heard or used before.


It meant accepting myself just the way I was, right then and there. Without losing a single pound or percentage of body fat .


Owning it meant acting AS IF I was already there, right now.


Owning it started with the beliefs I had about myself.


Owning it meant believing:


"YOU ALREADY ARE THE PERSON YOU WANT TO BECOME."


Those words changed my life, and I STILL use them as a mantra when I'm struggling with self-doubt or playing small.


PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE


Jill told me to practice a tool known as "Visualization":


I would spend at least 10 minutes every day, visualizing the next day when I went to sleep each night.


I would "see" what did I wanted to do, in great detail, exactly how I wanted it to play out.


I didn't believe it would work, but I had nothing to lose so I started practicing...

THE EXPERIMENT


Once I started the visualization exercises, I realized I'd been doing them for years - especially in high school and college:


...before a speech and debate tournament;

...before I stepped on stage in a school play;

...before I went on the field at half time for our cheerleading routine; or,

...before a big event I planned like an outing or banquet;


I already KNEW visualization worked!


So I started to believe that I was lean and fit, to act and live like I was already there:


I would wake up, my mind in "athlete mode" from the minute my feet hit the floor. I would grab my coffee, go to the gym, and get in my workout.


I grocery shopped with my goals in my mind, stocking my fridge with lots of protein and veggies, healthy fats, and good carbs - not the ultra-processed diet junk food I wasted money on in my pre-fitness career days.


If I didn't cook at home, I knew I had plenty of good options eating out (omelets, salads, steak & veggies, etc.) I still allowed myself small treats throughout the week like dark chocolate or a froyo from Pinkberry.


Nothing was off limits, but with this new healthier mindset and believing I was already there, I didn't really want the stuff that wasn't serving me.

THE OUTCOME


I actually did get leaner! I couldn't believe it! All along, I wrongly thought I had to torture myself and be unhappy with my food and workouts if I wanted to look and feel like I belonged in the fitness industry.


My confidence grew - inside and outside the gym. I had more energy and focus because I wasn't draining myself with negativity and anxiety.


This new way of thinking got me focused. Suddenly things that used to be drudgery were FUN to me (ie. treadmill sprints, lifting weights, etc.) and I looked forward to doing them.


Once I took away all the pressure and negativity, I got what I wanted. I got happy with the body I had - and that allowed me to make it better.


This is the exact process I followed to prepare for my first photo shoot with Ariel Perez in November 2012, which was part of our membership in the Best of You Coaching Club.


I was really happy with how my photos turned out because I was happy with myself. Period.


Now, any time I want to achieve a goal, this is the exact strategy I use, again and again, even now - four+ years later. No matter what the goal is or what even I'm preparing for, I know I have a plan:

Just follow The Best Advice Ever:


OWN IT.


Have you ever tried Visualization? Start the conversation in the comments below and share this post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

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