Fitness Coach, NLP and Personal Performance – Part II

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In “Fitness, NLP and Personal Performance – Part I” (inspired by by an article by Robert Dilts, Daniel Dilts and Lily Dilts.) I discussed how NLP and fitness coaching can play an important role in fitness and personal performance.

I’m going continue with part II with other aspects of how NLP and a fitness coach can lead to fitness success.  

Motivation and Confidence

Motivation is critical for people to achieve good fitness. A trainer can tell clients what they need to do and how to do it, but that will not make any difference unless their clients are motivated.

Many people desiring to achieve good fitness are challenged by motivational issues, especially when they are overweight, tired, discouraged, etc. People who are out of shape frequently feel very low self-esteem. They joke about their “multiple chins,” for instance, and feel embarrassed to be seen by others. This can even start a downward spiral. They will avoid going to the spa to work out because they are embarrassed to be seen in their gym clothes and, as a result, end up even more out of shape.

Good fitness requires mental strength and a lot of learning, discipline and control. It can be difficult for people to keep up their momentum, and they may find themselves struggling with laziness and boredom. It is important for fitness coaches to help clients discover and focus on their own personal “motivators.”

Another important mental strength motivator for clients can come from thinking of others whom they care for and who look to them as role models or mentors. A key motivation for a woman, for instance, might be to become “a good strong role model as a woman for my daughter.”

Creating a Compelling Future

Creating a compelling future is one of the keys to winning the “inner game” of fitness training. Creating a compelling future involves visualizing desired goals and successful outcomes. Such images help to inspire us and propel us forward toward a dream and goal. In addition to helping create positive expectations, visualizing successful outcomes helps you to tap into and direct your own inner source of motivation. Compelling futures are typically formed around key values. To get a sense of your own values, consider for a moment the following questions: “In general, what motivates you?” “What inspires you?” “What moves you to action, or ‘gets you out of bed in the morning’?” Some possible answers might be:

  • Success
  • Praise
  • Recognition
  • Accomplishment
  • Inspiration to friends and family

These are all examples of “values.” When we can connect our future plans and goals to these values, those goals become even more compelling.

According to NLP, we hold or represent these values to ourselves in the form of inner pictures, sounds, words and feelings. These sensory perceptions influence how we think and feel about something a great deal. Consider the ways in which your sensory perceptions influence your degree of motivation and desire. Think of an advertisement on television that made you want to own the product being advertised, for example. What was it about the ad that inspired you to go out and buy the product? Was it the color, brightness, music, words, tone of voice, movement, etc.? These particular features are known as “Submodalities” in NLP, and often play a significant role in people’s degree of motivation and desire.

The following process uses imagination, values and visualization to help create an inner representation of a compelling future.

Visualizing Success

  • Think about both your near-term and long-term future. Ask yourself, “What kind of body do I want at the age of 30, 40, 50, 60, 70? How do I want to move? How much energy do I want to have?” Put yourself into your future and imagine that you have already achieved these fitness goals and are really enjoying it. Get in touch with what you are seeing, hearing, doing and feeling while enjoying these benefits.

 

  • Adjust the sensory qualities of your internal experience in such a way that it feels more motivating or compelling. Does the experience become more compelling and attractive if you add more color? Brightness? Sound? Words? Movement? What happens if you bring the image closer or move it farther away? What happens if you make the sounds or words louder or softer? What do you experience if you make the movement quicker or slower? Identify which qualities make the experience feel the best. Applying those qualities, experience the good feelings that come from having your outcome.

 

  • Ask yourself, “What do I need to start doing today in order to ensure that I will get my long-term fitness goals?” Remember the good feelings that will come from reaching your successful future as you picture yourself doing the exercises and eating the way that you know will help you move closer to your fitness goals.

The above is a “rough” format for visualizing your future.  In group and private coaching I help individuals create a strong and completing future and then place it in their time line (in the future) to create a “future pull.”  This process has been found to extremely effective for fitness and other personal success goals.  

Breaking Old Habits

Changing old habits and establishing new healthy ones is another key to achieving good fitness and personal performance. It is important, for instance, for fitness coaches to remind and support their clients to step back and “think before you react.” For example, let’s say a client is offered some cake. Rather than just reacting by reaching for it, clients need to first ask:

  • How much do I want?
  • Why do I want it?
  • Do I need it?
  • What will it do for me to have it?
  • What do I really need right now?

As these questions imply, it is important for clients to sort out “need” from “want.” If a client wants the cake for the taste, for instance, how much does he or she need in order to get the taste? If it is to please him/herself or others, are there other or better ways to do that? Additionally, if the client is eating in order to please him/herself, he or she can be prompted to consider, “Are you really pleasing yourself?” “After you’ve eaten it, how will you feel?”

Mental strength questions such as these can help clients to switch their mindset about healthy eating from “depriving myself” to “benefiting myself.” This allows people to get the same feeling and gratification from not eating as they do from eating. They begin to realize that the pleasure of not eating will last longer than that derived from eating, and that the “food hangover” that frequently results from overeating is not nearly as pleasant as the feeling of energy and confidence that comes from eating healthy portions of food.

In the next installment I’ll continue on what a NLP and fitness coach can do for you in the areas of fitness and personal performance.

My e-book, “Develop the Mental Strength of a Warrior” can assist you tremendously in moving into an area of mental fitness that will support you in physical fitness.  If you’d like to experience Fitness Coaching request your Introductory Consultation

OK…how are you doing with your fitness?  Let me know in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. Thanks Loren for the insight!

  2. Sometimes people don’t recognize the difference between external and internal motivators. External motivators are excellent ways to start something new, but it is the internal motivation which keeps you going for the long run.

  3. My pleasure…glad you found it useful!

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