I hear the common excuses all the time for people dropping off from a fitness or nutrition program. People usually say they are busy, or need to save money. However, according to my yoga teaching, their are 5 common enemies of your success.
- Doubt (In yourself, your teacher, or the system)
I am going to break these down and help you identify where they are showing up in your life. Then help you see how you can overcome them.
Sloth shows up when we are too slow moving and tired to really work hard. I am a big believer in listening to your body, but too often we end up listening to sloth instead of our body. These are the yoga students who are in child pose 80% of the class, or the person in the gym who, day after day, is going at a slow comfortable pace. Sloth does not want to wake up and get moving. Sloth is always late to everything, and rarely put’s in an effort they know is their best. Sloth might be full of excuses as to why they are always taking it easy, or why they are absent. Deep down, they might not even recognize it is sloth talking over. They have become so accustomed to giving into the urges of sloth, that they have begun to believe the lies they tell themselves. This is also a great example of a dysfunctional warrior archetype as described by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillettee in the popular book “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover”. Yes sloth can be the result of clinical depression, but we are not talking about mental health issues in this post. We are talking about issues you have power to control. Talk to a therapist if you have doubts as to if you are depresses, or just feeling lazy.
The opposite of sloth is agitation. This can show up as physical injuries from over exertion, over training, and over reaching. It can also show up as mental instability, like rage or extreme anxiety. While some young athletes think that agitation and rage is a tool to become stronger, faster, better… It will ultimately turn on you and lead to your destruction. Agitation is a dysfunction of integrating all aspects of yourself. You likely have unresolved issues that end up being taken out on your physical body. Agitation starts of almost undetectable, a little more fire in your workouts than usual, burning off steam from your daily stress. Then it slowly morphs from a healthy outlet, into a center of rage and destruction. Your workouts used to bring you relief at the end, but then it takes you hours to wind down after. You feel so amped-up all the time, that you soon begin to lash out at others who have done nothing wrong. Agitation will destroy you the quickest, burnout will hit you, and you will then be living in an empty emotionless sloth state. Even caffeine and pre workout won’t be enough to motivate you back to the level you used to function at.
This can take the form of food cravings, or emotional cravings for circumstances other than your own. You don’t have to look further than social media to see that so many of us are all caught up in WANTING. We long for a fairy tail relationship, exotic vacations, more money, more more more! If I know anything, it is that jealousy is the surest way to live an unsatisfying life. Not to mention, you will never be satisfied. Once you give into satisfying the cravings of jealousy, you will soon realize that the monster has an insatiable diet. Ultimately the cravings will consume you until you lose everything. Craving works it’s way into your mind and twists you why. Your why is the reson
Aversion, or otherwise known as fear. This is something you are avoiding, and their is usually a deeper reason for avoiding this. Aversion can be tied up with sloth and they work as common enemies against you.
Doubt can show up as self doubt, doubt in your teacher, or doubt in the system. I want to talk about all three. Doubt in yourself can manifest when you don’t even sign up in a program because you believe you will fail. Doubt in the teacher might come from you not knowing them, not trusting them because of gossip you have heard, or maybe they teach something you have heard to be incorrect? Doubt in the teacher can also come from very good reasons like them not being experienced, or having a bad reputation. If you have enough bad experiences with fitness programs, this can lead to full on doubt in the system. That is when you see people give up completely. They stop trying, because they are so overwhelmed with conflicting information that they don’t even know where to begin.