Weirdly I just haven’t felt inspired which is not like me. Usually I’m bursting with ideas
To get creative we need to be in the human brain and it seems I haven’t spent a lot of time there recently
For anyone who doesn’t know me, along with boxing, understanding brain science is my biggest passion.
Having an awareness of what’s going on in our brain and how to motivate ourselves gives us power.
You know when you feel stuck and just can’t get yourself to take action, even though you really really want to? That’s your primal animal brain in play.
According to triune brain theory there are 3 layers to the brain. Below our thoughtful human brain lies our emotional and tribal mammalian brain that seeks safety through acceptance and belonging to our tribe or pack. Our reptile brain is our survival mechanism that reacts in fight, flight or freeze when under any form of threat. These ‘animals’ are still very much active and part of us. Their purpose is to keep us safe from anything that could threaten our survival.
Our biggest threat today is social threat. What other people think of us, are we being judged? Do we feel a sense of belonging and acceptance? We are essentially pack animals. The stronger our social connections, the safer we feel. When we feel safe that’s when we get to play in our human brain. That’s where focus, goals, dreams, creativity and self actualisation are possible. When we are not in the human brain it’s impossible to make decisions, find solutions or get creative. That part of the brain is offline. Until we can get human we are pretty much at the mercy of the animals, stuck in a reactive cycle of behaviours that don’t serve us
So what do we do about it?
Having an awareness is the first step to change. If we want to change our behaviour first we have to notice it, observe it and understand it
Changing our mindset like any other skill, is a practice. It doesn’t happen overnight. Knowing this stuff isn’t enough either. I’ve known about this for several years now but I still get caught out.
Just like we practice our punches and defence in training. If we want to stay human, we need to practice the behaviours that keep us off the punchline and out of threat
This means understanding how we can influence our environments to change how we feel and set ourselves up for the best possible outcome
It means becoming aware of and mastering our self talk and continually working on our connection and our relationship with ourself
It means understanding that stress, anxiety, overwhelm and other negative behaviours that keep us stuck are just our brain trying to keep us safe. But they also keep us stuck and stop us moving forward and limit our self growth. Understanding what lies beneath them, almost always fear of failure and not being good enough and continually working to build our self esteem is key to our success
Boxing is a tool to take us out of our reactive primal brains but if we don’t do the other work, the work on our relationship with ourselves, we just end up back there very quickly, reacting to life’s punches
Boxing AND working on your brain together will make you unstoppable
Most of you probably think at 12 Rounds were all about hard training and restrictive diets but here’s a few thoughts I’ve been sharing with my clients recently.
Since entering the fitness industry I’ve changed my views so much on what’s important and what gets results. Most of us who want to lose weight want to do so because we want to be happy right? We’ve been told from the experts to train more and eat less. Yet for some us us it doesn’t matter how hard we train or how much we restrict out diets those numbers on the scales don’t move. And instead if moving towards our goal of happiness we end up miserable in the process. Frustrated and sad that we can’t achieve what we set out to. We tell ourselves stories that it must be something about us, we’re lazy, not working hard enough, have no will power or are greedy….
But what if it was these stories that was keeping us fat?
I get you, because I’ve told myself those stories too. Even as a personal trainer I always struggled with my weight. I had a picture in my head of how I thought a trainer should look like. I thought if I looked like a fitness model, if I had a six pack and below 15% body fat then I’d be more confident, I’d have more clients and my business would be more successful, ultimately I’d be happier. That was my story. So I really pushed myself to train hard, I consulted nutritionists and tried different diet plans. I tried to follow the rules. At one point I ate virtually no carbs and almost passed out during one of my high intensity boxing sessions. But the measurements didn’t change, I fact some weeks I’d actually got bigger. Seeing those numbers not change was so demotivating. I felt like a complete failure. Why did it work for everyone else and not me?
I knew there had to be something else as this just wasn’t working for me or so many others.
Now I truly believe that the key lies not in how hard we train or how little we eat but in brain science and how much threat we are under.
Let me explain. The more we push ourselves to do things we don’t want to do the more we push our brain into threat. Our brain thinks we’re in some kind of danger and we revert to our reptile brain that’s only concern is survival. It’s often the stories we tell ourselves that place us under threat.
How much threat we are under has a direct effect on our stress levels.
Our stress levels then have a direct impact on our hormones.
Our hormones have a direct impact on our body’s ability to burn fat.
So how we feel is so much more important than what we eat or how much we train.
Makes a lot of sense right? If we are constantly making our selves miserable with behaviours that don’t serve us, then all we are doing is telling our brain we are under threat.
Think about how you feel every time you step on the scales and those numbers don’t move. Is this how you want to feel? So why put yourself in that position and makes yourself miserable everyday?
Instead of doing something that makes you miserable and focussing on your goal, reverse the cycle and start with how you want to feel. Learn to love the journey, not just the results.
Do something everyday that moves you towards happiness and the results will take care of themselves 🙂