Monthly Archives: July 2011

Coach T’s Guest Post — Addition by Subtraction

Since I’ve been away working on the book, it seems as if the writing bug has hit my friend and colleague Coach Toussaint, also known on our YouTube show as Mo-T.  Shawn has been kind enough to share some great fitness psychology tips in the guest post below.

I can't believe this beast is afraid of anything!  I can’t believe this beast is afraid of anything!

As a young boy, I was afraid of the dark. When the lights went out, the shadows of objects in my room would suddenly take the shape of monsters. I would often pull the covers over my head to shield my eyes from the known objects and unknown shadows I created in my mind. Today as a 36 year old man I still have a fear. I am afraid of living my life and not reaching for my dreams. Many of the dreams I’m talking about were born during those nights with the covers pulled over my head. Now I must take this knowledge and dream with my eyes wide open to fulfill the dreams of the boy and be successful in my quest to help motivate others to live their dreams.

As a personal trainer, I deal in the business of helping others achieve their fitness related goals. I have had some success over the years at doing this. I have found that many times it is not just the fancy exercises and complex programs I have created that help people succeed. I believe the primary reason some people succeed at achieving their fitness goals and some do not is directly related to how the person deals with fear, in particular their fear of success.

I know being afraid to succeed sound crazy, so why isn’t everyone successful at whatever they choose? It is safe to say that most people know what they need to do, but why don’t they do it. Is it unwillingness to do the work? Is it a fear of becoming different from those around you? Is it due to distractions? I think it’s a combination of these things and perhaps many others. For me, it is mainly my love for procrastination and laziness. I know that may sound harsh, but it’s true. I have known that I needed to start writing more to grow more and to live my dream of helping others to my fullest potential. For me, it took the experience of someone else telling me to do what I already knew that I should have been doing a long time ago. That’s fine. Sometimes we need a push from a good coach, mentor, parent, friend or even stranger to help guide us toward our path out of fear and into success.

My friend and mentor, Nate Miyaki, once said, “the programs are simple; execution is hard”. I understood this immediately. It goes back to the notion that most people know what they need to do, but doing it is the hard part. The challenge is to take those small steps in your day to day routine that put you on the path to success.

I’m not very good at mathematics, but I love its quantitative nature. For me to over come my fear and add writing to my life again, meant I had to subtract something else to make room. That something else was sitting at the front of the gym talking to my coworkers. Seems ridiculous doesn’t it? It’s funny I still talk to my coworkers, but now I do it with a purpose. That purpose is to extract their ideas and use them toward my writing. I lost nothing and gained double. That’s the idea. I believe that a good number of people don’t execute their plans because they believe they have to give up something up to do it. I believe that focusing on what you can gain by following through with the desires of your true essence will far exceed your perceived loss.

If you know you’ve been needing to lose that weight, don’t focus on the time you’ll lose away from your friends, instead focus on the possibility of making more friends. Focus on how you could be a positive influence on those around you, who may be suffering more than you thought you were. Be a difference maker, not an excuse maker. Excuses are just bits of undigested processed sugar that make their way into our thoughts. They really don’t exist. The only thing that exists is your will to be the best you can be in whatever it is that you choose. Let’s turn on the light and open our eyes to the success that lies ahead.

- Shawn Toussaint