Mental Obstacles: Six Impediments to Physical Change

In order to change your physique, you need to exercise and maintain a healthy diet, among other things. All of this involves a transition process. There are people who aren't able to make the changes they want, and this is often due to a variety of mental obstacles.
Mental Obstacles: Six Impediments to Physical Change

Last update: 10 November, 2018

Changing your physique is a process that requires willpower, consistency, and – above all – ambition. In some cases, improving your appearance can be difficult, and this is due to certain mental obstacles hidden within the psyche. In this article, we’ll identify them and show you how to move past them.

It’s all in the mind. The brain gives orders for our body to perform. This means that you have the control, and you can do whatever you want regardless of any mental obstacles you may encounter.

The most common mental obstacles

Many times, the mind plays tricks on you, making you doubt yourself and give up on certain goals. Just as there are obstacles in real life, there are also mental obstacles you need to be able to identify and overcome.

1. Limiting yourself

There’s no worse mental obstacle that setting limits on what you can do. Don’t slow your progress because you feel like you can’t see it through. If you usually do 50 squats, aim higher and try to do 60, and eventually 70. Don’t lose steam because you’re not used to pushing yourself. “I can’t,” should not be a part of your vocabulary when it comes to working out, maintaining a healthy diet, or upholding any other changes you’re trying to make in your life.

Woman at gym

Meanwhile, not knowing what you’re capable of is a way of wasting your potential. People who make big changes in their lives – and sometimes other people’s lives too – don’t settle for less. Change is achieved by moving forward, so don’t put limits on your potential.

2. Being afraid

Fear of change. Fearing failure. A fear of the unknown. It’s perfectly normal to feel afraid, but you can’t let it defeat you at every turn. Don’t allow this feeling of uncertainty to overwhelm you. On the contrary, use it as motivation to show that you can do anything you set your mind to. Doubting yourself will only strengthen your fears.

3. Overthinking

One particularly problematic mental obstacle is overthinking. Thinking too much about the changes you want to make will only make them more difficult. Usually, overthinking carries emotional consequences, which affects our performance.

Woman sitting at gym

Don’t think too much, don’t worry about the future, and don’t compare yourself to others. Change happens at your own pace and in order to change you need to be mentally and emotionally healthy.

4. Wanting to quit

If you’re trying to make a lifestyle change, there are going to be times when you’ll want to give up. But wanting to abandon your goal for whatever reason, only represents one weak moment. Don’t get carried away, and don’t make decisions when you’re feeling down or discouraged. When you feel like throwing in the towel, think about all the effort you’ve made, and your motivation for trying in the first place.

5. Taking negativity to heart

When you decide to change your life, there will be people who try to support and motivate you to get the things you want. There will also be people who make negative comments and try to discourage you. Don’t listen to these comments; they won’t bring out the best in you. Becoming clouded by negativity will prevent you from achieving your goals. Let people say whatever they want! Focus only on the good advice and helpful hints, and ignore anyone who tries to bring you down.

6. Lack of motivation

Making excuses such as, “I’m too busy to work out,” or, “I’ll start dieting next week,” speak to a lack of motivation. It’s up to you to stimulate your mind in order to keep going. This can mean little things like buying new workout clothes, listening to your favorite music, or exercising with friends. These details can make all the difference.

Woman lying on gym bench

Mental obstacles are just that, obstacles. They can be overcome as with anything else in life. Be brave, love yourself, and find the drive to make the physical changes that will have a positive impact on your life. In addition, you’ll feel happy and proud when you start to see the results. So, focus on yourself and work toward the things you want!

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.