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Using Fitness as The Base of Your Self-Development

Last Updated on February 9, 2018 by Jeff

I really believe the fitness community is such a positive, inspiring place to be.

People come together to improve their lives, feel happier, more confident, stronger; and overcome their boundaries.

There’s a natural symbiosis between fitness and personal development. Fitness is the development of the body, which is the vehicle you travel in every single day of your life on this planet. Not to mention the only model you will ever get (with current technology, at least).

As we come to understand the body more, it becomes more evident just how much the body and mind are inseparable, that Descartes had it wrong and there is no duality.

How taking care of the body is the same thing as taking care of the mind. The body gives you the strength and energy to produce, love, and succeed in the things most important to you in life.

Most people get into fitness for aesthetic reasons, to lose weight, tone up, build a bit of muscle, and look better.

They’re great goals, and worthy of pursuing.

When you stick around in the fitness world, you naturally start progressing into other areas of self-development.

Let’s look at some of the skills and behaviors you learn through fitness, and how they can bring positive impact to other parts of your life.

Goals & Following A Plan

You set goals for your fitness – to lose 10lbs, or drop a couple of belt buckles. Then you create a plan for how you’re going to do so.

This sounds very simple in principle, and it is, but how often do you sit down and set goals for other parts of your life?

We’re conditioned to look for authority figures to tell us what to do, give us our objective, and we plod along doing as we’re told.

The first steps to increase your freedom, productivity and happiness are setting meaningful goals that further your agenda; rather than that of your boss, company, parents, teachers, government, etc.

Whether you want to find the love of your life or achieve financial freedom; to get there you need to set yourself a goal, and a plan to work towards it.

Often just taking a step back and thinking about what YOU want for a change is enough to totally change the trajectory of your life.

Pushing Your Boundaries

When you first start in the gym you look at the big weights some people are lifting and feel intimidated. You probably say things like, “I could never do that”.

You see people doing things that are so far away from your current reality, that you cannot picture yourself doing the same.

But over time, as you become more experienced and comfortable in the gym, you’ve put in the work and become stronger; suddenly those huge weights are not so far away.

Next thing you know, the new people are looking at YOU and saying “Oh, I could never do that”.

You’ve pushed the limits of your possibilities, expanded your boundaries, and achieved things which just a few months earlier, you didn’t think were possible.

It begs the question; what else is possible?

Where else in life can I achieve more than I thought possible?

I see a lot of people go through a physical transformation, their confidence skyrockets and suddenly their career or business totally transforms too.

They’re not any smarter, harder working, or more skilled; they just have more self-belief. They put themselves up for promotions, pitch bigger clients, find a way to do things other people think impossible.

Effort Brings Reward

The gym is a very controlled environment, with a pretty linear relationship between input and outcome.

If you do the work, lift the weights, run the miles; you get fitter and stronger.

You’re only in competition with yourself, so the variables are fixed. 10kg is always 10kg.

You start to see how the effort you put in is rewarded. Not only in outcomes like weight loss or strength gains; but you have more energy, feel more confident and walk a little taller.

You realize that you can control the outcomes. You put in the work and are rewarded with the desired outcome.

After setting goals and planning, you can put in the effort and you will be rewarded. You now have the power to achieve anything that you’re willing to work for.

Setting A Positive Example

When you go through a transformation, get in great shape; you are setting a great example for the people around you.

You become a leader through your actions.

Friends, co-workers, kids; they will all see the positive changes in your life, and want some of the same for themselves.

Now you’ve helped inspire the people you love to live a better life. How does that make you feel?

Great, of course!

Other people will start looking up to you, asking for advice, or a friendly ear to offer support. It feels great to help people, and you’ll enjoy people looking up to you for advice.

Self-Confidence & Self-Belief

As you push your limitations, change your outward appearance and internal mindset; you naturally start to develop more self-confidence and more self-belief.

This will show up in all areas of your life. In your relationships, your business or career, your family life, being more confident is a net positive in every part of your life.

You’ll be happier, and living a better life in every area you can think of. There is not a situation where being confident or having self-belief is ever going to be a bad thing.

Fitness as The First Step Into Self-Development

I’ve only scratched the surface of the many benefits fitness offers to development across all other areas of your life.

We’ve looked at some of the skills and behaviors you can develop through fitness, and how they will have positive impacts in other areas.

More fundamentally; for many people fitness is the first interest they have in self-development. It might start with more surface level aesthetic goals; getting bigger biceps or a flatter stomach, but it can often morph into so much more.

Hopefully, you are already seeing some of these benefits play out across other parts of your life.

If you’re not quite there yet, I will leave you to think about how your life has changed or will change, through a commitment to bettering your fitness.

Can you see how it will benefit other parts of your life?

Try writing down the 3 most important things in your life – for example; kids, partner, career – and then list 10 ways that improving your fitness could positively impact each of these areas.

You’ll soon get into the flow of it and might find you write a lot more than 10. As you link your fitness aims with bigger life goals, you will find that fitness takes on much greater meaning in your life, is more inspiring, and easily becomes part of a positive feedback loop, with growth in other parts of your life.