How to Handle The Psychology of Your Well-Being

How to Handle The Psychology of Your Well-Being

At times I felt helpless. Empty of any traces of hope. My thoughts flood with negativity, which spirals me into feeling less than. I start to wallow in self-pity and life finds itself stuck in neutral.

These psychological battles in the past led me to quit exercising for months, resulting in 15 pounds of weight gain which I hid. I’ve stayed in bed for consecutive days not wanting to face the day ahead, secretly wishing problems to vanish on their own.

Our minds are delicate entities. Creative goals, fitness goals, career aspirations, and relationships can all crumble in front of our eyes by the activity floating inside our brains.

It’s easier to search for a workout plan or debate over nutritional minutiae than to dissect ourselves and come to grips with what’s going on inside of us.

Without coming to grips with what’s going on inside, your goals and potential won’t come to fruition (no matter how many feel good articles and inspirational quotes you read).

Your thoughts, feelings, and actions become your greatest adversary.

You can’t stop binge eating. Can’t maintain an exercise habit. Can’t lose those last 10 pounds. Can’t gather the courage to quit your job. Can’t gather the courage to pursue your art. Can’t maintain healthy relationships.

Motivation is gone and you’re only left with your thoughts, which are currently betraying you.

Are you to sit there and accept it as is? Accept the powerlessness? Accept the despair? Accept that this goal or thing you want will never come to fruition?

Absolutely not. You have a choice to fight and decide. And it starts with how you handle the psychology of your well-being.

The good wolf and the bad wolf

“One evening, an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.”

“It is a terrible fight and it’s between two wolves. One is evil—he is angry, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued…However, “The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson paused and thought about this statement for a minute and then asked his grandfather “Which wolf wins?”

The old grandfather simply replied with, “The one you feed”

the psychology of your well-being wolf

The good wolf and the bad wolf of fitness

Self-sabotaging and psychological battles reign supreme in many people’s lives when it comes to attempts at healthier living.

You know you should exercise. You know you should say “no” to those office cookies and treats. You know you should sleep instead of surfing Facebook. You know you should pass on watching one more episode on Netflix.

Every corner you turn is another opportunity to feed your bad wolf and distance yourself further from your goals.

Information isn’t the issue. You’re full of knowledge and desires but empty of action.

How many times have we seen this scenario:

It’s a Saturday night and Skylar decides she wants to lose 15 pounds. She plans to strength train three days a week while participating in other forms of activity for 60 minutes on non-training days.

Sounds good so far.

Skylar knows that she needs to change her diet. She’s going to the grocery store on Sunday afternoon and throws away all her foods that don’t support her goal.

She’s invincible.

Monday morning, Skylar is off to a great start with her healthy and well-balanced breakfast of eggs, oatmeal, avocado, and a cup of blueberries. Skylar breezes through work and goes to the gym afterward.

Fast forward a week later and Skylar has an unexpected project land on her desk. Her family, peers, and job are worrying her and now she’s overwhelmed (and stressed).

Today is a workout day, but she’s tired and had a crappy day. She promises to go tomorrow (doesn’t happen).Over the week, Skylar faces various temptations and obstacles which alter her flow.

These moments, temptations, and curveballs are the ebbs and flows of everyday life. These ebbs and flows require us to make a decision each time when faced with one. Each moment allows her the opportunity to feed her good wolf or feed her bad wolf.

When it comes to you, will you…

Let stress at work become your excuse for not going to the gym and then binge eat? Only later to feel guilt and shame about your choices (this is feeding the bad wolf).

Let your emotions and desire for temporary pleasure cause you to grab a handful in the snack jar or grab a soda or two (bad wolf wins again)?

Let your peers guilt you into eating junk food at the restaurant and bar (bad wolf notches another win)?

Doubt yourself and your new strength training regimen because it’s uncomfortable and unfamiliar? Thus allowing yourself to quit and use the excuse “it wasn’t for me” (bad wolf secretly wins again)?

Or will you…

Acknowledge the stress at work and take preventative actions to not let this dictate your behaviors (victory for the good wolf)?

Recognize that it’s your environment and the nervous/anxious energy given off by your peers that are causing these feelings? Recognizing this prevents you from self-sabotaging your goals for temporary moments of relief (the good wolf wins again).

Recognize that your choices are ultimately yours? If they’re good friends, they will respect your new lifestyle and even support you (the good wolf strikes again).

Re-frame your thoughts and recognize that fitness is a skill acquired through repetitive practice (no one is excluded in fitness)? As with any other craft, the beginning is murky as a swampland, but on the other side is bright skies along with a new and improved body (the good wolf prevails).

The best defense against an illness is prevention through healthy behaviors. The best defense against negative thoughts isn’t to completely avoid negative thoughts (that’s impossible). Instead, the best defense is to train yourself not to follow these negative thoughts when they arise (be a watcher of thoughts instead).

Identify your self-defeating thoughts

Here’s an example: You feel bad about your weight and want to make a change. But, you tried many diets before and claim to have tried “everything”, but yet nothing works. You sometimes stress and binge-eat. Hours later, you feel guilt and shame that you weren’t strong enough to resist.

Besides the fatal error of relying on willpower (which is a whole subject on its own), your thoughts are full of negative narratives such as “I’m weak”, “I’m not strong enough”, “I’ve failed before, why will this time be different”?

These negative narratives lead to feeling down about yourself, which leads to lack of action.

This type of person still won’t take consistent action despite the consumption of inspirational quotes and motivational videos because they’re fighting against their subconscious and it’s going to win each time unless you start to rewrite these narratives.

This constant internal battle is what we call a negative feedback loop.

good wolf

Thoughts such as: “I suck at fitness.” “I suck at relationships.” “I suck at writing.” “I suck at business.” “I suck at healthy eating.” “I suck at getting quality sleep.” “I suck at {whatever else you feel like inserting here}.” “I don’t belong here.” “She’s out of my league.” “I’m not good enough to wear this dress” “My arms aren’t big enough to wear these type of shirts.” and “Once I get to this ‘weight’—I’ll feel better about myself and life will be better” are all destructive thoughts.

These type of thoughts don’t completely go away, but you must catch these thoughts when they arrive.

Most people go about their day without ever addressing these thoughts. Over time, these thoughts cement themselves inside your sub-conscious and expand over time. While you may not feel them 24/7, these sub-conscious thoughts of feeling less than quietly leads to feelings and behaviors on a daily basis that match up externally with how you think of yourself internally.

Ever notice how on some things, you tend to shy away from because “you claim to be bad at it”? That’s because your subconscious is secretly working in the background. It’s operating from past experiences and negative thoughts that had free reign.

And the first step to re-framing your mindset is to develop more self-awareness. Anytime negative thoughts appear, realize that they are thoughts and only thoughts—not a prophecy or a reality that is set in stone.

Challenge your self-defeating thoughts with encouragement and logic while attempting to replace those destructive thoughts with more positive narratives.

Solutions and questions to ponder to help feed your good wolf

Below are a serious of exercises you can try to help re-frame your mindset and turn those negative thoughts into neutral-to-positive thoughts. These exercises will prevent you from becoming paralyzed by the potential negative manifestations created inside your head.

Here are the exercises to follow in a logical order. Think about these questions and journal a couple out and see if you can get to the core root of what stopped you in that moment.

  1. Are you aware of the internal struggle of the opposing wolves? This is a good starting point if you don’t recognize the divide and internal battle going on inside you each day. Take a day to notice your thoughts as you’re going about your normal routine day. Notice your mind when it comes to tempting food choices. Notice when it comes time to exercise (you suddenly don’t feel like working out). Notice when it’s time to sleep and Facebook seems like a good idea or you need to watch one more episode on Netflix.
  2. Recognize that deep within you is the separate entity that is removed from labels, titles, and traits: This is your true identity. After stripping away titles given to you by work, career, friends, and various other sources lies the true you. When you say “I have no willpower” or “I’m this or that”, this is you placing yourself inside a box. You can be whatever you want to be, as long as you think and act this way inside your mind.
  3. Have you ran into situations or internal fights and struggles or faced with decisions and you didn’t know which way to turn?
  4. When you made decisions in the past, have you realized that there was a better option available that was more positive and beneficial, but yet you didn’t take it?
  5. How effective are you when it comes to choosing the rights actions and thinking the right thoughts?
  6. What are some ways you can increase the chances of making a better decision the next time faced with temptation?
  7. How do you feed your bad wolf on a daily basis? What actions, thoughts, and feelings do you do?
  8. How do you feed your good wolf on a daily basis? What actions, thoughts, and feelings do you do?
  9. Having become aware of how to feed the wolves that reside within you, what are some better ways that you can nurture your specific wolves?

Mental Fitness 101: 10 Powerful Lessons to Overcome Adversity & Improve Your Well-Being

Mental fitness

My physical fitness was a strength of mine throughout my life, but my mental fitness was a glaring weakness.

I would appear strong on the outside, but inside I would crumble at the slightest sight of adversity. I had a million dollar body but a $2 dollar mindset.

When it comes to achieving our fitness goals, it’s never really just the training and nutritional program that’s holding us back.

It’s oftentimes the other intangibles of life that are holding us back from our desired fitness goals. One of those big ones is our mental fitness. The sets of squats and deadlifts aren’t the toughest challenges to staying healthy, it’s the random (and sometimes cruel) things of life that can cripple us.

One of my favorite books over the last year was ’13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success’ by psychotherapist Amy Morin.

As someone who’s not ashamed to admit to being in therapy for six months, our mental strength is pivotal to our overall well-being. We don’t blink an eye to hiring a coach when it comes to improving our physical fitness and appearance (go here if interested in that). We should treat our mental fitness the same.

mental fitness
Exercising your brain is just as important as exercising for toned legs.

If you aren’t mindful of your thoughts, then irrational thoughts and beliefs can run rampant. If behaviors aren’t in check, you run the risk of causing damage and making bad decisions with your health and well-being. And with our emotions, if we don’t reel them in, then the inverse will happen and they’ll reel us in.

With that said, our mental fitness starts with us replacing and challenging our irrational thoughts with more realistic thoughts. Behaving and acting out of logic despite how dire or tough the situations may be. And finally, being in charge of our emotions so they don’t control us.

As Dr. Morin states in the book, “we make our best decisions in life when we balance our emotions with rational thinking.”

Here are some of the bigger points I got from the book that you can apply to become mentally tougher in fitness and life.

1. Don’t waste time with self-pity parties

If there was going to be a picture of self-pity in the dictionary, it would have my headshot there with a crown. No matter the situation in life, I had a Captain America shield that deflected blame to everyone but me.

Ran out of money, not my fault, it’s the bank’s fault. My girlfriend breaks up with me, not my fault for ignoring her and not treating her as she should—it’s still her fault.

Tore my pec minor in college trying to show off, not my fault—it’s the gym and benches fault for throwing me off angle. Writing gets rejected, not my fault—it’s the website and editors fault.

Unfortunately, this pops up in fitness a lot of times, it’s easier to find some external excuse in the world to blame for our shortfalls with fitness than to acknowledge and admit to ourselves that we’re the problem.

Here’s the big problem with feeling sorry for yourself?

Feeling sorry for yourself leads you to procrastinate with taking responsibility for the situation. Most importantly, this is stopping you from growing as an individual and learning from your mistakes.

Feeling sorry for yourself and having a self-pity party is self-destructive. This only leads to more problems down the road and more consequences. When you don’t take responsibility for your weight loss shortcomings, you’re neglecting the core reasons that stopped you the last time while you’re health is still getting worse since you didn’t succeed.

Next time you catch yourself falling into a self-pity party, try these things:

  • Switch out your self-pity for gratitude —I failed on my last diet. Instead, I’m grateful for attempting to improve my health and though I didn’t reach my desired goal, I’m grateful for the lesson I learned and now I can apply it to my next attempt at improving my health.
  • Choose to actively problem solve your situation — You’re not losing weight. What are you going to do about it? One small action is all that’s needed to get started again. Don’t just remain passive about the situation, fortune favors those who take action.
  • Replace your negative thought with a shot of reality—Is your situation really this bad? Probably not. Many others have been in our situations—we’re not special snowflakes with unique problems. Don’t allow yourself to believe that your life and situation is worse than most peoples.
  • Try the 5-second rule by Mel Robbins—Bad thoughts keep coming. Stop and count, 5…4…3…2…1 and then do something or act differently to change your current state.
  • Don’t forget the good— Think of all the good things you have and have done compared to the one thing that you’re struggling with.

2. Don’t freely give away your power like it’s a Netflix rental

Far too often, we let other people steal our joy and zap our self-worth away. Maybe it’s a bad relationship or a manipulative figure in your life who knows just the right thing to create a mind-fuck within you.

Maybe it’s your immediate circle of people who aren’t supporting you with your fitness goals. Instead, they tell you a million reasons as to why you can’t do something instead of the very reason why you can do something.

At times, my family and even some of my friends unintentionally zapped my self-worth away. But in actuality, the only time we can give our worth away is when we allow it to happen. Our self-worth card isn’t a Netflix rental that needs to be freely available to everyone in the world.

Netflix-DVD- mental fitness

3. Don’t be afraid to change and reinvent yourself

Change is uncomfortable and scary—no other way around this. Putting myself out there with writing and now speaking creates massive butterflies of nerves in my stomach.

But without changing, we can’t arrive at the future that we desire for. It may be hard giving up some of those comfort foods, tv binges, familiar social circles who aren’t good for you, or social events, but think about your outcome.

Is the perceived goal really important to you or are those events of short-lived fun more important to you?

Your resolutions don’t break because you’re not capable enough, smart enough, good enough, or any other type of enough—they break because you weren’t mentally ready to change yet.

Grab a sheet of paper and write down the pros and cons each on a sheet of paper. If the pros mean more to you, then that’s part of your motivation and reminders as to why you want to change.

4. Focus only on the controllables

This type of mindset is detrimental to your success in fitness because you can’t control most of the events that pan out. If you want to lose 20lbs, that’s great, but you have no control over when those 20lbs will be gone.

All you can control is the process and the present moment which encompasses doing the daily actions that will give you the chance to lose those 20lbs.

When you waste energy on things you can’t control, your happiness decreases, stress levels go up, and there is a higher likelihood that you’ll give up on your fitness goals because of the unreasonable expectations you placed on yourself.

Often times, this obsessive control problem is mainly operating out of fear that we’re trying to mask.

Ask yourself, “what am I so afraid of?”. For many of us and myself included, it was fear of failure and the fear of putting in the effort and not getting the desired results.

The first step to gaining control of this issue is to start examining your beliefs about what you can truly control and what you can’t.

When those 20lbs come off—out of your control.

Eating healthy and exercising consistently each day—fully in your control.

Practice accepting things as they are. By surrendering to not trying to control everything, you:

  • Become stronger
  • Become happier
  • Become better at your relationships
  • Become less stressed out
  • Become better in your professional life

5. Don’t fear taking intelligent risks

Taking risks is something that’s unavoidable in life, especially when attempting to attain a new goal or changing the narrative to your life. Whether it’s the pursuit of a new relationship, new business, travel the world, or a fitness goal—all of these come with a degree of uncertainty which in turn means there is some risk involved.

And that’s ok. Taking risks is necessary.

step up & play the game —mental fitness
Step up & play the game.

The biggest reason that we avoid taking risks and going outside our comfort zone is our emotions and inner critic drowns our belief in the situation.

6. Keep the past in the past

The present moment can’t be executed to it’s best capabilities when you’re stuck in the past. The future can’t be molded to your liking when you’re too busy regretting and obsessing over the past.

Constantly replaying a bad breakup, a past shortcoming with weight loss, a loss of confidence with women, and a past business failure all present the same problem of keeping you stuck in the past. This happens because the fear of moving forward seems too painful and it seems easier and more comfortable to stay stuck in the past.

It’s tempting to romanticize the past as a method to escape the present and your responsibility. It’s easier to imagine that life would’ve been much better had we changed “such & such” event in the past.

Don’t let the past hold you back from what you can become. Getting out of this rut starts with shifting your thinking. Our memories aren’t as accurate as we think they are when it comes to recalling these past events—there tends to be a lot of exaggeration.

Accept your past choices, actions, and decisions for what they are and move on. There’s a lesson in the past that you can use for your future endeavors.

Maybe you lost weight and then gained it all back. Accept that and then look for the lesson that you can take with you this time around so it doesn’t happen again. The business failed, accept it and think about what you can do differently this time around.

7. Don’t give up after a setback

It’s tempting to give up after a setback or two.

“It’s just not for you.” I hear this many times when it comes to people’s health and fitness. It’s genetics, their body type, their job, and another laundry list of excuses that I didn’t feel like writing out.

Unraveling those excuses, it’s just their mentality—the setbacks and struggles have gotten to them psychologically.

Setbacks and failures are a natural part of life. If you aren’t experiencing setbacks and failures on a recurring basis, you aren’t pushing yourself enough outside of your comfort zone.

I’ve been rejected by many publications. I’ve been denied by companies I reached out to for speaking. I’ve been rejected by women—this one kinda stings a little:)

In all instances, those situations only made me a better person. More importantly, pursuing those things I wanted, prevented me from having the regret of not doing anything about my desire.

Dr. Seuss was rejected by 20 publishers and he ultimately ended up with 46 books. When you give up too easily, it becomes a recurring self-fulfilling prophecy.

Each time you quit on something, you’re reinforcing the idea that failure and setbacks are bad and you’re not good nor worthy enough to keep pursuing your dreams.

Think about some beliefs you have around failure that stop you from trying again. Is it the perception of what you see and think of yourself when you fail that hurts? Is it peers, family, significant others, or social media?

Find the root of why the failures and setbacks hurt so much and potentially stop you from trying again.

Reframe the way you see failure and setbacks. Instead of thinking of failure as meaning you’re less than or not capable enough, see it as an experimentation where you’re continually gathering data and ideas to implement into a better version the next time around.

The biggest way to get over this is focusing all your efforts on the process instead of your outcomes.

8. Don’t fear being alone

Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely.

Loneliness (one of the biggest health crisis) is a perception and feeling that no one is there for you. While being alone and in occasional solitude is about making a choice to be alone with your thoughts.

Many (myself included) at one point was afraid to be alone due to the potential discomforting thoughts that could arise.

Alone time is good because you get to connect with your thoughts and feelings while removing the excess chatter in the world. Having alone time allows you to reflect upon your goals, set goals for the future, and decide what it is you truly want.

staring out at windows is underrated—mental fitness
Staring out at windows is underrated.

Alone time allows you to build up your mindfulness more. One way to do this is through meditation. This helps you accept your thoughts as just thoughts, not necessary serve as your truth and let them determine who you are as a person.

9. Let go of feeling entitled and like the world owes you something

No matter how crappy life has been, how smart you are, how pretty you are, or anything else—you don’t deserve good fortune more than the next person beside you.

Sounds harsh, but this humility and self-awareness that none of us are special snowflakes make us realize that our issues aren’t unique and therefore are solvable.

If many others have had our problems and perservered, then why can’t we? I see this as the ultimate motivation as to why it’s never good to give up.

Life isn’t meant to be fair. Our problems aren’t unique. Many people have fallen short with their fitness. Many have lost weight only to see it come back in full force (often with extra weight). Many have been rejected by publishers and event planners (talking to myself here).

Many have been rejected by our crushes (talking to myself again). Many have had bad relationships (unfortunately). Many have had low funds in the bank and felt the darkest night of the soul night wondering how to get out of this (talking to myself for the third time).

These situations are tough, there’s no denying that, but they aren’t unique.

What’s unique and left open to the possibilities is how you respond to those disappointments and setbacks. That’s where the mental fitness comes into play. None of us are more deserving than the next person.

10. Let go of needing immediate results

Living in today’s microwave generation is dangerous to our egos and psyche. Patience is a past time. We overestimate our abilities. We underestimate how long transformations and change takes. This combination leads to prematurely quitting and giving up because we can’t wait—not that we’re not capable.

When you have expectations for immediate results and want everything yesterday, when you don’t get those results, you’re tempted to take shortcuts and cheat your future (hello fad diets and other short-term fitness tactics).

Skewed and unrealistic expectations potentially lead you to deduce the wrong conclusions, negative emotions, low self-worth, and behaviors that set you back even further.

Let go of the need for immediacy.

Commit to the long haul. If it’s worthwhile, then isn’t it going to be worth it down the line (I tell myself this every day)?

Don’t underestimate just how damn difficult it is to change. Be mindful that progress isn’t always easily apparent and linear. Often times, progress shows up in small ways and through the intangibles.

Keep your eye on the prize. Celebrate milestones along your journey (no matter how small they seem—momentum is your best friend).


Here’s a free gift with the 10 mental fitness lessons from this article. Hang it somewhere visible & use it to remind yourself not to go back into your old habits.

mental fitness chart

The Fitness 10/10/10 Rule: How this Quick and Easy Process Can Help You Make Better Decisions

The Fitness 10:10:10 Rule: How this Quick and Easy Process Can Help You Make Better Decisions
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was a guy named Julian who was thoughtful, smart, kind, and nerdy with a dry sense of humor and a curious spirit.
 
He had a crush on this girl and one day he finally meets her in person, but he knows that he needs to muster up the courage to ask this woman he likes out for a date.
 
The thing is, Julian is shy and isn’t one to be bold. But he understands the social dynamics of how man and woman operate.
 
Yet, Julian struggles with being vulnerable—something that many other people do as well. 
 
We’re scared to show our true selves. It’s hard to put yourself out there and risk the heartache, disappointment, and other associated feelings that stem from putting yourself out there for the world to reject or accept.
 
It’s hard to ask for what we want due to the possible scenarios of what can happen.
 
For example, let’s take a look at some of the potential scenarios about my predicament above. In a flash of five minutes, I have many scenarios that have sprouted up in my head with a multitude of options such as:
  • What if I mess up with asking her out and it sounds weak, wimpy, and awkward
  • What if she says no—damn this can get awkward…real fast
  • What if she says no because I’m not good enough, smart enough, handsome enough, or any other ‘enough’ you want to add
  • What if she says yes out of guilt or even worse…out of pity
  • What if she says yes because she’s lonely and I’m just the rebound guy from her last breakup or a temporary replacement until her main attraction comes back around
The more thought of these negative scenarios, the more I feel the pain of rejection before anything has even happened. The more thought about these situations and scenarios, the more I’m psyching myself out before attempting to do anything.
 
The currency required to ask her out is too steep for me (or should I say my ego).
 
There are a gazillion negative scenarios and only one positive outcome of where she says yes. Is this worth the potential rejection, awkwardness, and other associated feelings circulating inside my head?

What should I do?

The majority of people who I would ask for an opinion would tell me to do it.
 
“Take the leap.” “Embrace uncertainty.” “Dive into the unknown and mysteries of life.” “Kick fear in its ASS.” “YOLO.”
 
And whatever other motivational slang terms that people use these days.
 
It’s crystal clear what needs to happen when you’re giving advice 40,000 feet above ground zero where all the action is taking place.
 
This is a phenomenon that occurs in all facets of life.
 
It shows up in the book critic or the person who leaves nasty reviews on articles while they’ve never written a page nor have any clue about the craft. Or the girlfriend who dishes out love advice to her friends about relationships, yet she hasn’t had one successful relationship.
 
And lastly, the fitness expert who isn’t in shape themselves nor has ever been.
 
When the tables turn, only a small fraction of those people dishing out the advice will do what they tell someone else to do.
 
We have unlimited amounts of courage for others, but unlimited amounts of fear of the potential consequences for ourselves
 
Here are some other scenarios in case my current dilemma isn’t doing it for you:
  • Asking your boss for a raise
  • Starting an exercise regimen when you don’t know what you’re doing
  • Sharing your art with the world
  • Breaking up with a lover who isn’t serving your best interest
  • Finding new friends in a new city

The case doesn’t matter, being vulnerable scares the heebie-jeebies (shout-out to Boy Meets World) out of us.

After enough negative scenarios, we keep to ourselves, clam up, and don’t take the risk at all. It goes to the grave with us, just like many of the world’s dreams and potentials.
 
This is how dreams die, magical romances never become what they could, and how people stay unhealthy, unhappy and mediocre in all facets of their lives.
 
If we dish out advice on being brave to others, how can we channel this bravery for ourselves? How can we propel ourselves into action and make better decisions?

The 10/10/10 rule to make better decisions

It’s easy to lose perspective when faced with a pressurized situation. There’s emotion involved and this blinds us from making the logical decision.
 
We’ll agonize and change our minds over and over. Worst of all, when emotionally compromised, this leads to over-emphasizing the short-term and losing interest of what’s best in the long term.
 
Think about some of the worst decisions you made in life and when they happened. Odds are, you had emotions of anger, lust, greed, anxiety, jealousy, and short term filled emotions in the heat of the moment, which clouded your judgment and ability to make better decisions.
 
But we don’t have to be slaves to our emotions.
 
This is why the 10/10/10 rule invented by Suzy Welch is your best friend to making better decisions in life and fitness.
make better decisions
 
This rule that she created consists of 3 questions:
  1. How will you feel about it (the decision) 10 minutes from now?
  2. How about 10 months from now?
  3. How about 10 years from now?

Let’s get back to our story

I’m going to ask her out on a date.
 
Using the 3 question system, this is how the scenario would look as I’m prepping to ask her out.
 
1. In 10 minutes, how do I feel about this decision? Most likely, I’m going to feel a little embarrassed and worried about her saying “no”. But in the grand scheme, I’m going to feel good about myself because I removed any potential “what ifs” and regrets.
 
On the contrary, if she says “yes”, then I’m going to feel good about the decision to ask her out. Not only am I overcoming an emotional hangup, but I’m also learning to act in spite of fear and I also have a date with a girl I like.
 
2. In 10 months, how will I feel about this decision? Most likely, I’m going to forget about it or will only remember it when it’s brought up. But, I could have a girlfriend or an even deeper friendship.
 
3. In 10 years, how will I feel about the decision? Definitely, have forgotten about it. If she didn’t work out, I most likely have met another wonderful and pretty woman. But again, I could have met my dream woman and been with her for 10 years now.

With this scenario, are the risks still greater than my payoff?

Absolutely not.
 
There’s a chance for a rich and fulfilling relationship along with opportunities to grow as an individual. As with most things in life, when we’re deliberating about whether to do it or not, we overvalue the current moment in time and undervalue the long term.
 
In dating, we overvalue needing someone in the current moment and this leads us to jump into relationships that aren’t suited for us. Instead, these relationships just provide comfort because those types of people would rather be in a shitty relationship than to be alone until the right one comes along.
 
In fitness, we overvalue the implications of a 25-day fad diet and its effects on us while undervaluing the long term implications this can have on our bodies.
 

An example of the fitness 10/10/10 rule 

Let’s name the person Richard. Richard wants to lose 15 pounds but is reluctant to try since he’s attempted previous times in the past and has fallen short in his efforts. Richard has hangups about going on a diet, working out, and making it mesh with his desired lifestyle and busy work schedule.
 
Richard (and many people at the beginning) have a lot of mental hangups about the gym.
 
Here’s Richard’s scenario of going to the gym:
 
1. 10 minutes from now, how will he feel? He may be in a little discomfort, fearful, and uncertain about his decision to walk into the gym. But ultimately, he will be proud of himself for arriving here because many people would have let the discomfort stop them from walking in.
 
Anytime we attempt to step outside our comfort zone in life—fear, uncertainty, and discomfort will accompany you. But, these are signals that you’re headed for growth as an individual.
walking forward- make better decisions
As long as you’re moving forward—you’re doing more than enough.
 
Alternatively, Richard could’ve found an excuse for not going to the gym. But, he likely would’ve had feelings of guilt accompany him for not going and this would’ve led to more self-loathing and negative talk.
 
2. How will he feel about this decision 10 months from now? He either has developed the habit of exercising and his body most likely shows it as well as his confidence and work performance.
 
Or, he’s still self-loathing, feeling stuck and covered in shame that he hasn’t made any progress and doesn’t look nor feel any better.
 
3. What about 10 years from now? He’s achieved the body he’s desired along with making his unique dent in the universe through his business since he now has more energy and confidence.
 
Or, he’s puddling in mediocrity in life and business. He’s in a unfulfilling relationship or worse, jaded that he can’t get the girl he wants for whatever reason (probably his confidence).
 
He doesn’t like his body and since he neglected to adopt a healthy lifestyle for the past decade, his quality of life is most likely lower along with him suffering from some long-term health consequences due him not taking pride enough in himself to exercise.

Closing remarks

I won’t lie, you might hate every single minute that you’re putting yourself out there and being vulnerable. You might feel utterly uncomfortable with attempting to lose weight again, pursue work, or go after a relationship that is meaningful to you.
 
But, what the hell is the alternative?
 
Mediocrity. Unfulfilling work. A lifeless relationship that drains you more than inspires you. Filled with excuses for why you can’t do something. Living vicariously through others because you didn’t choose yourself nor believe in yourself enough.
 
That sounds awful.
 
And each one of us deserves better than that. But, we must choose ourselves and step out of our comfort zone (even a tiny step works).
 
When it comes to making better decisions, remind yourself that what you do today will have consequences tomorrow (good or bad).
 
When you think of pursuing your goals, don’t just think about the doomsday scenarios, think about everything that could go right. Don’t let distorted views or others opinions stop you from pursuing goals that truly matter to you.