PJ's Fitness Blog

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You’re Only as Strong as Your Peer Group

42-16917327Are your friends and loved ones sabotaging your fitness progress without even knowing it? They might be, and it’s not because they don’t care about you. It’s because they do care about you and they value the patterns they share with you. I have talked to many people who are very fired up about their fitness goals and have every intention to make wonderful progress, only to go back home or out with friends and have that motivation sucked out of them.

When your family offers you that cupcake after you have told them you are trying to get fit, it’s not usually malicious. It’s just that you used to say yes and enjoy it with them. They know your patterns and often just act them out on autopilot.

Sometimes friends, coworkers and family may sabotage you on an unconscious level when they offer you fattening foods, because they have failed over and over in their own fitness goals, and it would make them feel better about themselves to see you do the same. Again, this is typically not intentional. They usually don’t even know they are doing it.

Occasionally however, coworkers and friends (or enemies) will sabotage you on a conscious level. They do this for the same reason above – if you fail, they feel better about their own failure. If you succeed, their failure is more personal and they have to own it instead of excuse it. It is important for you to cut these people out of your life and fast! You don’t need that negative energy around you, and if they are sabotaging you on purpose, they are not your friend anyway.

The bottom line here is whether it is intentional or not, your friends, family, and those around you can drag you down if you aren’t aware of this issue. They can also help you with the right support and “energy.” A recent Harvard study showed that when people who are making healthy changes in their lives connect with a others of like-mind and support, they get 245% better results over a two year period compared to trying it alone. Just being aware of this important issue can be a big help, but you can also turn it all around and invite those close to you to share in your success with the simple tool below. That way everyone wins!

Creating your own support group and preventing sabotage is easier than you might think. It will take you less than 1 minute per day. It is simply a matter of verbally stating your commitment and having your key peer group members state their commitment of support back to you. These key people need to be the ones you share the most patterns with, so make sure they include your family members, closest friends, and key co-workers. It doesn’t’ have to be everyone, just a few key people you see often.

You may come up with your own proclamation, but here is a good sample that lots of people have found success with. Every day (especially in the morning), look them in the eye and say, “I am committed to becoming fitter, leaner, and healthier”. Then your partner says back to you, “I believe in you, I support you and I will commit to helping you.” Notice the concept of commitment is in both proclamations. This is a key word because it reminds you and your partners that this is to be taken seriously, and there will be no trying – only doing.

When your partners say their line back to you, they now have a vested interest in your success. When you succeed, they feel success too instead of feeling like you are stamping their own failure with an exclamation point. Their conscious and subconscious brain is put on alert and sabotage goes out the window. They get to share in your success and they also get to share the credit. They may even become inspired to do it themselves as they link your success in their own brains, and you will probably turn into their proclamation buddy so you can return the favor!