Welcome. Today I want to talk to you about five common mindset traps and how to avoid them.
When it comes to your fitness and health, if you’re a woman over 40 and you want to be fit, be healthy, and feel terrific in your clothes and have that lovely calm and inner peace, then there’s one thing that you need, and that’s consistency.
Hi, I’m Jessica Cooke, the fitness coach for women over 40, and it is my absolute mission to help women all over the world over 40 get fit, feel great, and find their inner peace and calm. I know one thing’s for sure, that one thing that always gets in the way is mindset.
In my years of experience, 14 years coaching women and through my own personal transformation, for those of you that don’t know me, I had a complete nervous breakdown in my 20s. I was three stone overweight. I was so unhealthy, I smoked, I drank too much, and I did not know how to take care of myself. I was the opposite end of the scale when it came to peace and calm. I had so much anxiety, so many panic attacks. I used to feel so stressed out.
I was, what you would call, a stress head. I was just extremely stressed out all of the time. It took me a long, long, long time to find my inner peace and calm. And even though I’m always a work in progress, it is really important to me to help as many people as I can feel good as quickly as I can with all the things that I learned, which I wish I had known earlier. And I meet many women on this journey. I’ve been coaching women for many years now, and one of the biggest things I hear women say when they’re starting a program with me or they’re starting out in their journey is that they are lazy, that they’re just not motivated and they struggle to stay consistent.
What I want to chat to you today is one of the reasons why it might be difficult to stay consistent. And like with all my pieces of content, if there’s one thing that resonates with you, then my job is done. If there’s one piece of content that you can take away from this and go, wow, okay, that has totally changed my perspective on it in a good way, then I’m absolutely delighted because all it takes is one mindset shift, somebody to tell you something good that you didn’t know for you to go, wow, okay, I get it.
So five common mindset traps, number one is you find fault.
Have you ever noticed that when you start a program or a course or you try to get fit that you can sometimes start to find fault with it or yourself or everything? All of a sudden you’re just finding fault all over the place, and that is fear. So you can be really terrified of change or really scared of getting out of your comfort zone, or really just uncomfortable and fearful about doing this out of your comfort zone thing. That can lead you to find fault. It’s like you just automatically, subconsciously resisting it.
The lovely thing about this mindset trap is that once you know it, you can see it for what it is. So the next time you’re starting a fitness program, and I’ve been there before, and I’m like, “Jessica, this is it. This time you are going to be consistent. This is the time you’re going to be different.” And then it could be to do with anything, learning, studying, anything new that I have done, getting out into the big bad world and the big good world and trying to make connections with people, trying to form friendships, which would be something that I have to work on that I can struggle with. It’s allowing yourself to do these things, allowing that vulnerability out, acknowledging that you’re out of your comfort zone and that your brain is going to be looking for fault because it doesn’t want you doing this because it doesn’t feel safe.
And once you know that the next time you’re starting a program and you’re searching for consistency and you’re trying to be consistent, you can just say to yourself, “I’m finding fault. That’s because I’m scared. I’m scared of change. I’m scared of being vulnerable, and that’s okay.”
The second mindset trap is that you compare yourself to others.
Now, this can really bring you backwards, and the reason you may be comparing yourself to others is again, because you’re scared. You don’t like being vulnerable, you don’t like doing something that you’re, you’re not great at. So you start comparing yourself to everybody else who you think is way more ahead of you in this journey.
And sometimes you will be right that people are ahead of you on your journey. But rather than that, just be, yeah, great they started before me, you can really use that as a stick to beat yourself with. Now remember the subconscious mind when you’re doing something new doesn’t like you out of your comfort zone. So it’s trying to find anything to drag you back, to drag you back to where you were. So for example, a woman called Joan, she is three stone overweight. She feels really uncomfortable in her clothes. Now Joan wants to change so bad, but her default behavioural patterns are sitting on the couch after dinner, comfort eating and not getting any exercise in.
That’s where she feels comfortable. That’s what she knows because that’s what the habit that she’s built up. Now, if Joan decides she wants to lose weight and get fit because she wants to be healthy getting older and she starts working out and avoiding eating after dinner, she’s going to be out of her comfort zone because she’s just doing something new. Now all those feelings are going to try and drag her back because your brain is in survival mode the whole time. We have like a 4 million-year-old brain that is designed to look for threats.
So when you’re designed to look for threats, when you’re doing something new, of course out of your comfort zone is going to feel like such a threat. So Joan may experience those feelings of finding fault. She might think the workout is really annoying, or her walk route is really annoying, or the playlist didn’t work or it’s a crap playlist. She didn’t feel in the form, but she will try to find fault. And running alongside of that, she might start compare herself to others who are in the same group as her if it’s an online program and she sees somebody that she thinks is doing way better than her or people out in the road, and you just get into that really comparing mindset.
Now, the next time you start to do this, say to yourself, “It’s just because I’m out of my comfort zone. I am trying to drag myself back, be aware of it and keep up the good work.”
Now the third mindset trap is that you can tend to overcomplicate things, especially when you’re starting something new.
And I’ve recently learned that for some people that they overcomplicate it, it’s because of a past trauma that they may have experienced and that they find it difficult to keep things simple because their brain can get very overwhelmed and very stressed out.
Now, have you ever noticed that when you start something new, I have definitely done this so many times. In fact, all of the mindset traps that I am talking to you about, I could write the book on it with myself and it’s something that I have to work on every single day and be aware that I have these mindset traps the whole time. But over complicating something is something that I have always done.
I want to do something really simple. I want to take action on it. So I start to write lists and write it out, and then all of a sudden I’m writing it so much and I’m trying to make it so good that I’ve overcomplicate it and I don’t know what to do. Now, I have done that for most of my life and I’m only really learning that action is the only solution for me to get me out of that overcomplicated thing. Now, if you can relate to what I’m talking about, the best thing for you to do when that happens is to just go and take a bit of action. Whatever it is that’s on your list, just start and you’ll start to get more cam and relax.
Now, my fourth mindset trap that I want to talk about is resisting reality.
You say to yourself a lot, what if, if only. And when you do that, it means that you’re not living in the present and you are scared to live in the present and you are sacrificing the present and you’re living in the future. And you’re saying to yourself, “When I’m dress size lighter. If only I had this, my life would be easier. When I do this, I will do this.” And that’s an absolute trap. And again, it’s a trap that’s going to bring you back. It’s going to drag you down, and it’s going to stop you from being consistent.
My fifth and final mindset trap is that your expectations are too high.
Your expectations on yourself might be too high, what you can get done in a day and you’re not allowing yourself to be human and have off days and deal with the stuff that’s thrown at you every day. So when you feel like your expectations are too high, lower them a little bit. Be kinder to yourself, accept that you’re human. Do what you can do. Maybe take a little bit off of your plate.
Now there’s another little bit of a tip that worked for me when I overcomplicate things, and that is to journal, just to journal out a few things about how I feel and it helps get it out of your head and onto paper, and it can be so super helpful if you are overcomplicating things in your head. So to sum up five mindset traps to avoid that might be getting in the way of you being consistent.
Number one, you’re finding fault with everything once you get started. Now remember, that’s going to take you off course. Just be aware of it, accept it for what it is and keep doing what you’re doing. The second one, you compare yourself to others. Again, trying to drag you back. Remember that we’re all on different parts of the journey and just take it nice and slow and steady and call it for what it is. I’m comparing myself to others. Let’s stop doing that. Is it helpful? No. The third thing is that you overcomplicate things. If you’re overcomplicating things and it’s all in your head, get it down on paper. If you’re doing too much on paper or you’re, you’re writing too much lists, just start taking action. The fourth thing is you resist reality and you notice yourself saying, “If only I had this, what if I had that? ”
The best thing you can do for that is to practice living in the moment. And the last mindset trap is that your expectations are too high. Lowering your expectations with yourself and being a little bit kinder and a little bit more gentle with yourself and not striving for perfection may really, really help you. I hope you find this helpful. If you need help, setting goals, setting visions, I have a goal and visions workbook. If you just go to JessicaCook.ie/vision and you can get everything you need out onto paper, your goals for the year, your action steps, and that’ll help you keep it really clear and simple.
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All my love, Jessica Cooke X