Lifting the lid on what you think is possible for you

The biggest limiting factor when it comes to what is possible is not circumstances, but the story you tell yourself about them.

Carmen Dell'Orefice
Carmen Dell’Orefice 84 year old supermodel and the epitome of grown-up knock out glamour. Photograph: Dan Hallman

Your thoughts are not facts. If you fully understand that, then you have the basis for powerful and lasting change. People constantly feed themselves an incessant diet of mantras, life stories and commentary, all of which severely restrict and limit their ability to live their very best life. True change is very difficult when you are counter invested in an opposing story. Silence the story and you have created the space for transformation to happen. I am not talking about ‘Yay Go Girl Go!’ positive thinking. Positive thinking grafted onto a restricting life story is about as much use as a button on a hat. If your story does not sit easily with the change you are trying to make, you have resistance. An energy draining tug of war between your story and your potential ensues. It is the profound (but ultimately incorrect) belief in the factual correctness of your story which nine times out of ten tugs you right back to where you don’t want to be.

“For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”

– Shakespeare

What’s your story? ’I’m too old’

People love to tell themselves this. I’ve seen people deeply invested in being old when they were in their 50s! The reason is that as you can’t do anything about your age so, if you tie something you don’t want to do to age then bingo! You don’t have to do it. Not so fast dear readers. Chronological age is far less relevant than people would love to believe, particularly when it comes to physical activity. Your body will do what you train it to do. If you lift weights, it will get stronger regardless of age, if you don’t it won’t. If you sit in a chair all day – you will shorten your hip flexors whether you are 19 or 99. It’s not the age that produces weakness but what you are doing with your body during your day. Many people don’t train because they tell themselves a story of the inevitability of declining strength with advancing age. They therefore don’t train and therefore they do not build any strength. The story has limited them, not their age. The oldest lady in my gym is well into her 80s and does handstands.

‘I just don’t like exercise’

Unpack the ‘I’ here. Which part of you exactly doesn’t like it? It’s not your body that’s for sure. Your body delights in it. Bones squeal with delight as they lay down more material in response to weight training. Your body stabilises and strengthens, like a beautiful house in desperate need of renovation. Vascular systems bloom as they pump around oxygenated blood more efficiently to joyous, dancing cells. Muscles re-kindle their lost love with neurological nerve endings. Neglected muscles are brought out to do their job – thriving again like an abandoned animal given a new home. Tight hip flexors stretch, oh how they’ve sat in that economy seat for too long. Your internal organs celebrate casting off thick, dense layers of fat like a man in a hot room shedding a thick overcoat. No, the ‘I’ is not your body, it’s your mind. Your body strives to be lean and strong but your mind doesn’t like exercise. It imposes its will on your body, like a crazy, misguided CEO at the head of an amazing organisation with the world’s most loyal and badly treated employees. If your body isn’t lean and strong, your mind has too much say in the matter. You do not need to think at all to exercise, you don’t have to psyche yourself up or think – “how much longer?” If you bring a ‘mind like water’ to exercise, it’s far less traumatic and the results are fabulous.

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This is an excerpt from Issue 1 of Amanda Magazine. Read the full article by ordering your copy now.

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