Are you able to recognize what you are good at? What you are bad at and need to work on?
Are you able to recognize what habits of yours are good and help you reach your goals? What habits are holding you back from your goals? Let’s just stick with fitness, health and exercise goals for this.
Are you able to recognize the consistency that those good and bad habits show up in your life? How about knowing how big of role of those habits play in determining how successful you will be in reaching your goals?
Are you able to drop your ego, step back and say “this is what is holding me back and this is how it has to change?”
If you answered “yes” to any or all of those questions you have some level of self awareness. My new favorite word. You see, I noticed a few months back I on get on these kicks of using certain words in my daily conversations with clients. Words such as “patience,” “discipline” and “consistency.” I have always used words like that, but for some reason I go in phases where I use one or two more than others. The word I keep coming back to recently is self awareness.
I currently watch a lot of motivational videos and podcasts for entrepreneurs. They give tips obviously, but also offer reassurance that being self employed is tough for everyone and there is hope when you act on your ideas and are consistent with your effort in providing a top notch product. Just like many of you may watch gym motivational videos when you are lacking that drive, this is my current down time activity when I need a boost. What is common across the board for whomever I listen to is that they all talk about self awareness in business. Knowing what you are “good” at, what you need to improve on and what you might be wasting your time trying to improve upon.
The last 9 months or so, I have sat back and realized how I think I am very self aware about certain things and not self aware at all about other aspects of my life and business. I have no boss to be accountable to. No sales goals put upon me. I have to motivate myself and I know I am good at that, I always have been. I am self aware enough to know that the success of my business rides solely on my own shoulders. And this is what I want. I have realized since being self employed how much I love being in control of my destiny with my business. If I fuck up and spend 3 grand on a marketing plan that got me ZERO clients then I will own that and move on. There is no one to blame, but me.
There are also numerous things that I have learned I need to improve on though. I think I am pretty self aware of aspects of my personality that have needed to improve for me to be successful. I have always been a pretty quiet and private person, not wanting the world to know what I am doing day to day or letting people into my personal life unless they were very close to me. Well, I realized to grow my business and retain a steady client base I needed to open up and let people realize that I am just like everyone else. This is why I started a business Facebook page and blog. Doing both was out of my comfort zone. I was excited to try blogging, but also very nervous to see how people would respond…or if people would even read. I have really opened up and it has paid off immensely for my business. I have attracted numerous clients from my blog posts and business Facebook page, in part because I think me being open and honest is settling for many people un-sure of what some skinny 25 year old trainer dude is like. You can agree or disagree, but that is what I think
I also have realized and this is even hard for me to say, that I needed to smile more. I have always taken sports, school and work seriously. This is how I stay focused. This didn’t mean I wasn’t happy, it just meant I wanted to win, or get As, or watch my clients get more results, or not fail as a trainer. I told myself two years I had to be more welcoming and smile in sales meetings…well I had new clients left and right after that. Part of this was getting comfortable talking about myself in front of a stranger, because I also know that I don’t like attention on me. Never have. This had to change or I wasn’t selling anything. Its amazing how a little confidence can go a long way. But, it had to start with me dropping ego and being self aware enough that what I was doing wasn’t going to be good enough.
Just in the past couple months I think I have become more self aware about what I am good at in regards to coaching and what I need to improve on. I know the type client I want to train and am best at coaching. Sorry, not every one of you might be a good fit for me as a client Just as I might not be the best fit for you as a coach. Personalities have to match up. I know I am better at handling situations when clients are frustrated with slower than expected results. I know I am better at writing than I am in front of a camera or talking in front of a large group. I know I need to work on my sales pitch at wellness fairs. I know I need to get out of my comfort zone more at networking events (God those things aren’t fun for me, but they help my business). I know I have to be more patient when things don’t always go as planned with a client’s program. I know I need to be less frustrated when a client doesn’t adhere to a plan like I think and know they can. I know I can’t control every aspect of a client’s life to guarantee their success. I know now that hiring a personal training isn’t for everyone…two years ago I thought I could convince anyone to hire me. Some people just aren’t a good fit for a trainer or maybe the timing just isn’t right. I have learned to let those people go and not get frustrated that I can’t change their minds.
I have also dropped my ego with my exercise and nutrition. I figured out that to get to the body I wanted I needed to track my macros daily. I was eating too much of some foods and not enough of others. Wouldn’t have known this if it wasn’t for a little app called MyfitnessPal. I needed to lift more and do less cardio. I needed to stop skipping workouts. In essence I needed to be more like my most successful clients…more disciplined and consistent. I needed to be more self aware of what would get me to my goals and what was holding me back. Cutting back on alcohol and getting better sleep has also helped immensely. I couldn’t pull the “I’m a 25 year old guy with a good metabolism” card and get where I wanted. So of course age matters, but you can do so much more than you think you can, no matter what your age is. Don’t use age as an excuse.
So, what does all this mean for you?
If you are frustrated with lack of results are you 100% sure you know what it takes to “get there?” Now think about it again…are you 100% sure? I thought I knew 100% what it took for me. Unfortunately, that didn’t involve tracking my macros. When I started tracking, my body started changing in the way I wanted. Tracking your macros teaches you so much about food you will never know until you track for 3-6 months .Just give it a try if you are frustrated, please?
If you are still thinking cardio alone will get you to your weight loss goal, you might not be self aware enough about what it will actually take. Hint: it actually takes being in a calorie deficit (might need to track to know this) and gaining some muscle via resistance training.
If you want to maintain the weight you have lost and have already gone back to your old habits after only 6 weeks, you might not be self aware enough about the time commitment it takes to get there.
If you want to run a faster 5k and haven’t ever pushed yourself to run faster than your fastest race time, you might not be self aware enough about what it will actually take.
If you consistently over eat on the weekends and are frustrated on Monday when your scale weight is up, you might not be self aware enough yet to realize how 1 or 2 “bad” days can balance out 5 days of “good” eating. I see this time and time again…..a true commitment to weight loss means a commitment Friday-Sunday as well.
If you are telling yourself you will work out 6 days a week when you have 3 kids at home, a 60 hour per week job, a mom in the hospital and you haven’t worked out once in 6 months you might not be self aware enough to realize that 6 days of exercise might not doable right now. 3 days per week could very likely get you amazing results
If you hate your gym and it’s atmosphere but keep going there, you might not be self aware enough to realize that you are not putting yourself in an environment that will help you succeed. Gyms are everywhere, try a new one.
If your friends don’t respect your commitment to a healthier lifestyle and keep pulling you down, you might not be self aware enough to realize that you don’t have a good support group. I’m not a counselor so I won’t give any advice on that.
Being self aware is the first step to changing. From there it is up to you to take action. I can’t tell you to change your nutritional habits, or change gyms, or gently ask your friends and family to support you, or exercise more. That is solely on you and when the timing is right. The timing is right when you are self aware enough to know that the timing is right
How do you know when the timing is right to change? You will know. It usually takes trial and error. Experimenting and failing with fad diets. And then it will “click.” It will “click” and then it is time to actually do some work and be done thinking about. Then never look back.