A few years back we saw a program on TV with Derren Brown where he subjected people to a series of test and situations designed to test and challenge their outlook on life. Eventually he narrowed it down and managed to get a group of people that believed they had bad luck all the time. Interestingly he showed that, through another series of challenges, their luck could be changed by changing their outlook on life. I.e. if you believe you're lucky then you'll be more likely to spot opportunities that could be seen as lucky. If you believe you're unlucky then the opposite is true. We're not saying a TV illusionist show is a great base for scientific argument, but it did raise some interesting questions about how your outlook changes the way you view the world and the events it throws at you.
We see similar things in the gym and when we're working with people at their homes. Generally we find that if someone approaches an exercise, set or particular nutrition plan with a negative outlook it seems from the outside to be a little harder. For example, if there's a weight to lift and you're thinking it's too heavy to lift before even trying then you practically talk yourself out of it. On the other hand, if you approach it with a positive attitude you can all yourself into lifting that weight.
There's a lot of thought that this is due, in part, to your subconscious mind and how it behaves. By talking to yourself in a particular way you can impact your performance on a subconscious level. Take, for example, Johnny Wilkinson and his visualisation of the rugby posts before kicking his conversion. He's telling his subconscious mind that he can score and that he will. In turn, his subconscious mind does its best to ensure he succeeds. If he had a negative attitude you can be pretty sure he'd miss a more than he does!
Translating this to your health and fitness work can have real impacts on your results. Having a positive outlook on the next session, on your nutrition plan and on your progress towards your end goal will help you get there. We once got told that one effective way of helping improve the outlook you have on life in general, or on specific challenges, is to be 15% more positive. That's it. In the morning when you get up think about how your day is going to be 15% better than your last one, think about how you're going to enjoy it 15% more. Before your workout commit yourself to trying 15% harder and being 15% more positive about the challenge coming up. Each time you feel yourself thinking negative thoughts remind yourself to be 15% more positive.
It's an interesting technique that works for lots of people and is a good way to get started training your subconscious to work with you rather than work against you. Give it a go and see now you get on!