Get Off Your 'But'.

Have you found that your competitive steam or lifting program has been falling behind and lacking the luster it once had? Is your training hitting that dreaded plateau and you're caught in a slump that you can't climb out of?

Have you found that your competitive steam or lifting program has been falling behind and lacking the luster that it once had? Is your training hitting that dreaded plateau and you're caught in a slump that you can't climb out of?

Procrastination has been the bane of success in life and the advent of technology has made once challenging chores much easier and tolerable. Has this advance provided us with the additional resources to accomplish more?

For most, myself included, these advances have put us in a position to take on more to task, often leaving us little time to prioritize the smaller things in life that we once took advantage of.

Are You Getting Expected Results?

One of the definitions of confusion is repeating the same task over and over again but expecting a different result. Quite often we find ourselves shelving the tasks at hand and seeking refuge in those things that we find comfortable and routine. If we were to repeat this same behavior over and over again, should we come to expect a different outcome?

I Can, I Can't...
You've heard it before. Never say I can't. Think positive. But how do the things we say, feel, and believe truly affect our lives? Every day you have internal conversations ...

The question that we need to continually ask ourselves is, "Does this level of comfort and routine provide me with the results that I expect from my efforts?" An ongoing assessment of your output versus your results is one of the keys to determining the success of your endeavors.

Dr. David Burns, a best selling author and self-help psychologist, in his self-help book entitled, "Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy," coins this term the "TIC TOC Technique." This reference to TIC, meaning Task-Interfering Cognitions, should draw our line of thinking to taking note of our reasons for putting off certain tasks and replacing these with TOC's (Task-Oriented Cognitions).

An all or nothing thinking will undoubtedly lead to disqualifying any hopes of positive thinking and will keep this line of negative thinking alive in your subconscious. How does this translate into competing or strength training? Read on ...

Positive Thinking

Worrying about how difficult our tasks are or how time consuming they have become will allot a portion of our subconscious to focus on the negative; impairing judgment, performance and confidence.

The power of visualization is an effective strategy at attaining a level that you can realistically accomplish and gives you the mental blueprint to break those roadblocks that can thwart your success at even the simplest plans. You must build the vision with which to pattern your actions against.

See yourself posing on stage in front of a packed theater or picture yourself locking out those last few inches of a milestone lift and analyze the entire thought process, focusing on as many of your senses as possible.

Whether you choose to relate this to your training, career or personal life, the power of suggestion holds one of the keys to patterning effective behavior habits. Negative thoughts will only harbor doubt and attack our self confidence to the point of clouding our judgment and our chances of matching this visualization with your intended goal.

Do You Have The Vision?
Without vision, you have no path - how can you, when there is no destination to reach? Fortunately, visualization is a technique that has been around for some time ...
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A simple example of this and one that every one of us has encountered in putting off a training session are the "buts" that constantly creep into the equation and help us to justify the procrastination. "I really should go to the gym but I'm really too tired, or I'm just too lazy, or I have too much work to do, or I'm not in the mood ..."

Once you have the awareness to realize that you're using many "buts" every day, it's time to restructure your pattern of thinking towards, "I'll feel more energetic once I get started," or "I've spent too much wasted time in putting this off," or "The reward that I have when this is completed will outweigh the guilt I'll feel if I don't go."

You'll quickly find that if you itemize your "buts" versus the positive aspects of the task, it's easy to see which direction to follow.

The Power Of Goal Setting

World Natural Sports natural pro body builder and world champion, Ian Walling writes:

    As adults, we tend to lose the ability to free our minds from what limits us. Most people aren't aware that there is a conversation going on in our heads 24/7. This is our negative self-talk; "you can't do this you can't do that." What were you thinking by limiting thoughts which are usually someone else's opinion?

    Your mind is the driver and your body will do whatever it tells it to do. This is the force behind whether or not you achieve your goals, in fitness or in life. "Those who believe they can and those that believe they can't, are both right": (Henry Ford)

Set short-term daily goals, weekly goals and overall goals that are both realistic and fall within the parameters of what you would ultimately hope to achieve. Grab your contest application months ahead, mark the date on your calendar and forward it on to establish a personal commitment to yourself along with the deadline.

Once committed, it becomes a reality that you need to start patterning toward. If your goal is to bench press 400 pounds and your present ceiling is 315 pounds, it's easy to abandon your efforts of ever getting there. The journey across the world starts with the decision, holstering our negative thoughts and taking the first step of the journey.

Whether this is simply a short-term goal of adding 5 pounds to the bar, you'll quickly realize over a course of time that you can really "eat an elephant one bite at a time." Your self defeating thoughts should always be quickly paired with statements which endorse positive action or thinking along with a planned route through your journey.

The Power Of Goal Setting.
Without goals we are like a ship on the middle of the sea, just drifting away with no sense of direction. In order to achieve success in our bodybuilding program ...
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If you dare to try, set aside some time each night in bed when times are quiet and you have the opportunity to reflect on your day's activities and determine which thoughts were negative and how you can alter these negative thoughts and replace them with positive actions.

Follow this period by the visualization process in which you're going to make a mental mind map of your day to come and how you visually plan (not predict) how these events will unravel. It's much easier to mould this sculpture from an image or a written note than to simply confront them "on the fly."

Should these events turn out not to mirror your visualization, go easy on yourself and itemize the areas that you would like to improve on rather than allow the dreaded "buts" to support this negative thinking.

Nancy DiNino, an accomplished world class dancer and FAME figure competitor reiterates how this assists her in competition:

    "Vital to my competition preparation is the mental conditioning of visualization through such aspects of proper breathing, self talk and imagery. Uniting our conscious and subconscious minds is essential for peak performance.

    This process begins by putting myself in a total state of relaxation, having complete control of my breathing and my mind, body and soul connectivity. I try to 'create a blueprint' performance using human senses; allowing myself not only to "see", but to hear, feel and sense, the live performance from an internal and external perspective.

    For example I visualize myself as I am an active performer at the FAME World Championships, inside my internal being and on stage under the warm lights, with a slight feeling of sweat, hearing the muffled music over the shouting of the audience. This helps me re-create a familiar energy and feeling as it will become real and present."

An Interview With Figure Competitor Nancy Di Nino.
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Now's the time to get off our "buts" and make way towards the front of the lineup that is reserved for the people who choose and decide to be successful. Don't let life dictate your success; dictate the success in your life by a positive plan of action.

Set your sites on committing to an achievable goal.

WNSO events cater to natural bodybuilders, strength athletes, fitness, figure and fitness modeling competitors across the United States, Canada & overseas; rewarding your efforts of commitment, dedication and persistence.

About The Author

Daryl Gazey is the head judge and director of the World Natural Sports Organization and FAME World Events. For more information on Daryl and/or the WNSO, visit their website or send an email to