Why You Fail

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When someone fails at my gym, it’s a dagger to the heart. They might not know that I care but I want everyone to be a success. When somebody has a hard time, I want to help. However, we don’t ask for help. There is a silent struggle among us all. People are struggling with many different things in life behind closed doors and nobody ever knows, because we don’t ask for help.

A big part of why you fail is not asking for help. Either we assume we know the answers or we try to find the answers ourselves. Part of my problem is I don’t like to bother people. Asking someone for help, to me, is like asking someone to drop everything and attend to my needs. I can’t do this easily. Why should they help me when they have their own life, their own journey, their own struggle?

But not asking for help will bring failure. We can’t do everything alone. When we’re sick and our efforts to rest and take medicine do not work, we ask our doctor for something stronger, or we ask “what’s wrong?” We get the help we need to feel better. When our cars break down and we can’t figure out why, we get it towed to the service center. We ask them “What’s wrong?” and they help us. When our plumbing breaks and we can’t fix it ourselves, we call a plumber and have them come out. We ask them “What’s wrong?”.

It’s different though when it’s us that needs fixing. We can’t just ask our friends or family “what’s wrong with me?”. But the truth is, we should. We need to. It’s important to ask. We won’t solve our problems or get answers to our important questions if we keep them to ourselves.

Failure is an effort that comes up short, and like I said the other day, it’s not failure if we don’t stop trying. Most of the time, trying again is going to require we ask somebody for help. Why can’t I get my website to work the way I want it to? We ask google. Why not ask your brother or sister who works in the IT department at a major corporation? Why can’t I lose weight? We ask google and get a billion responses. Why not ask your brother or sister or friend who is a personal trainer, a doctor, or a nutritionist?

If you want to succeed you’re going to need to ask people you know for help. You’ll have to spend money with a coach or a service of some sort. You’ll need to invest in yourself. You’ll need to spend time with other people who are there helping you, and then not feel bad about it. Like in the Godfather, Bonasera asks for a favor. He needs help. He goes to his friend and asks for it. He doesn’t care that it’s the Don’s daughters wedding day. He asks. And Bonasera gets his help and the Don knows that one day, the favor will be returned. That is how you succeed. You help someone, and they help you. When you ask.

You can’t do it alone. Stop trying and ask.

Failure

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As a coach I see people fail all the time. I see people fail to stay on track with their goals. I see people fail to seek the support of those around them who are willing to help. I see people fail to give it time. I see people join my gym with the goals and dreams of getting in shape. They sign up for a twenty one day program and they come once. They fail to return.

I see people join in transformation challenges who start with a bang, only to fizzle out within a week or two, or when something throws them off schedule. I see motivation in their eyes and willingness to try, but something stops them dead in their tracks and they never (or at least from what I see and know) get into the shape they wanted when they started.

But is this really failure? In my opinion, failure consists of quitting your efforts to try. If you get a result that isn’t what you expected it’s not failure but rather a lesson that we must use to help us change something that didn’t work. In business and personal endeavors unrelated to my gym I have gotten poor results many times and failed.

In the past few years I self-published five books. My first book Becoming Awake and Alive sold one copy on Amazon. My second book The Essential Essays of Activate Fitness sold zero. My third book On Living Your Best Life sold one copy on Lulu or Amazon, I can’t remember. My fourth book The 15 Principles of Fat Loss Success has sold zero on Amazon. The latest of my five, Your Life Activated has also sold zero on Amazon or any other on-line store it is in.

At my gym and with friends and family, I probably sold ten books total. I took this to mean I failed. What happened since is that I stopped marketing them. I stopped writing about them, talking about them, and mentioning them. I accepted defeat (AKA I quit).

A few years ago I started a new training program for small groups of three or four people. These groups were strictly off limits to others not a part of the group. It started off okay and I filled my slots of three people. As time went on, it didn’t work. People went into my normal groups or they quit and then I stopped trying. I accepted defeat. I quit.

Quitting is the only way we can fail. Had I not given up trying to sell my books, I might have sold the stock I have in my possession. Had I not given up trying to sell spots in my small group private training classes, they would probably be booked. But I let my emotions and feelings get the best of me and accepted failure.

When people fail in the gym, it’s not because they can’t do it. It’s because they accept not trying again. When you don’t lose weight there is probably only one or two things that went wrong that can easily be changed. The problem is, most people accept quitting as an option and therefore, they experience failure.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We have the power inside to keep trying. We have the resources available all around us to get the help we deserve and to make it work this time. You have the desire for success. You have the desire to live activated. You have the desire to feel the best you have ever felt. You have the strength to face poor results and learn from them and fight back. The question is, will you do it?

“The easiest thing to do for most people when facing an obstacle is to quit. With this mentality most people die without ever reaching their full potential in any aspect of life.

You must understand your worth, and your desire to succeed must remain strong even on your toughest of days.

Keep showing up, celebrate your small goals achieved along the way, and stay dedicated when motivation fails.

It’s worth it.”

- Tom Deblass

5 Ways To Boost Your Confidence

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I remember the three or four months at the end of last year where I was getting crushed in my Jiu Jitsu training. I went those four months without tapping anyone out. I was getting put into submission after submission and I was always on my back. Not a good place to be when rolling and it began to discourage me. I would see guys that started the same time as me getting taps and they looked confident.

Those same guys would run through me like a hot knife in butter and no matter what I did, I was still losing. Going for a few months without any “little wins” was very hard and in my time as a personal trainer, many people who go that long without a little win end up quitting. They lose confidence in their ability and they don’t want to fail anymore.

Instead of quitting I enjoyed the process. I knew that as a white belt and a “newbie” it was part of my journey to get crushed and destroyed. So what did I do? I listened to every piece of advice my coaches gave me and I put them into action. Ninety percent of the time my efforts in doing what they told were curtailed by my training partner, but nonetheless, I kept at it.

One day, I won. I got a beautifully executed rear naked choke against a training partner with high energy and a lot of skill. My confidence shot through the roof.

Sometimes though, our confidence doesn’t go up and despite our efforts it seems we stay stuck. The truth is, we can change our state and our confidence in a split second when we consciously choose to. Below I give you five tips to help you boost your confidence. I use these five tips still to this day. Boosting confidence is something we must do daily because staying “up” doesn’t happen effortlessly.

1. Use Affirmations for your Greatness

If you’ve ever read any books or listened to any tapes from Louise Hay you’ll know some powerful affirmations. I have on my iPhone six audios from Louise Hay and listen to them daily. Her affirmations are some of the best I ever read. You can quickly google them and see thousands of pictures of powerful affirmations she teaches and uses. But you can’t expect to say them once or twice and be good. They need to be repeated thousands of times and if you don’t believe you are or have what the affirmation says, keep saying it anyway.

2. Do an extra workout

Feeling down? Feel discouraged? Jump up and down and get your body moving. When we feel a lack of confidence, a quick ten or twenty minute workout can change a lot of things for your mindset. Exercise is powerful in helping your emotions and feelings. Often when someone is discouraged due to the lack of their results in weight loss, an extra workout can change the game for them. Even though you feel discouraged and feel like quitting, do one more before you make a rash decision.

3. Write a Journal about Your Greatness

Grab a notebook and write all of the awesome things about you. Write about your dreams, your goals, what you see for yourself in the future and what you wish you can do today. Write your fantasies and write your problems. Write about your lack of confidence. Write a story about how you’re a badass warrior forced to face your confidence villain in an ultimate battle of control. Write about the weapon your warrior is going to use to slay the confidence villain and then kick the shit out of your doubts.

4. Read A War Story

I started listening to the Jocko Podcast and during the episodes he often reads from a book written by a solider about war. The epic stories of loss, devastation, crippling effects, and effort are so powerful they make all of your problems and doubts look tiny. There is no better way to put your life in perspective then by hearing the stories of men and women losing friends and fellow soldiers in battle. The hardships they faced in the trenches and being able to survive can motivate you to look at weight loss or whatever it is you face as a tiny matter that you’ll easily win.

5. Treat Yourself to YOU Time

For me, Jiu Jitsu is me time. It’s my time to forget about being a father, a husband, and fitness coach. It’s my time to forget about bills, to forget about cutting the grass, to forget about my problems with writer’s block, to forget about my problems with my strength workouts, and to forget about being someone people look to for answers. It’s my time to overcome my demons and train my mind to be better. Find yourself time to do something for yourself. That could flotation, meditation, yoga, a shopping trip, a trip to your favorite bar, a bite to eat at your favorite diner. Whatever it is, treat yourself to it and tell yourself that not only do you deserve it but that you earned it and by doing it you’ll become better. When you understand that treating yourself to you time is deserved and earned, being present in those moments will help you become more confident to face your daily life.

One more for good luck and if all else fails in boosting your confidence..

Throw a party at your house and invite the people you love. You don’t need a reason, just say it’s to come hang out and relax. Once you throw your party, look at who is there. Those people care about you. They came to be with YOU. If that doesn’t boost your confidence then you’re not allowing yourself to see your true greatness and you’re not being open to the awesome things that make YOU who YOU are.

3 Ways To Fight Low Self Esteem

I can remember the day when I became a certified personal trainer. It was much like the day I received my driver’s license on my seventeenth birthday. Two tests that I was able to pass. Two tests that showed to me my low self-esteem.

When I left the division of motor vehicle with my father, now a licensed driver, I told him I didn’t want to drive. I was afraid I wasn’t a good enough driver yet, which might have been true, and my chest sunk in and my shoulders dropped as I sat in the passenger seat defeated by my self-esteem.

The day I became a personal trainer changed nothing in my life, except it gave me credentials, credentials I felt I did not deserve. There was no excitement in actually knowing I passed. I was thrilled that I didn’t fail but not overjoyed that I was doing something I wanted to do. For several months after, I stayed stuck and defeated. My self-esteem and even body image problem kept me from taking action on a new career I was dying to get started.

Over the course of about one year I read many books on self-improvement and self-esteem and doing the work needed to fulfill your goals. I finally got the courage to apply myself to the field of personal training and submitted about thirty different applications in my area. Out of the thirty places, thirty called me back willing to interview me. Again, my self-esteem and body image issue kept me from taking action and I ignored them all. Here I was trying to get into the fitness industry with thirty local gyms and fitness businesses willing to take time out of their day to have me come in, and I threw them in the fire.

It was then that I knew I had an issue with more than just my self-esteem but the only way I’d be able to do what I really wanted to do was by just doing it. After burning the bridges of the local gyms, I entered the fitness industry with no experience and got to work. It was truly a difficult time in my life. I felt like I did not deserve to be considered a trainer and that people wouldn’t pay me to help get them fit. Through the negative self talk and low self-esteem, I stepped onto the battlefield of life and fought my way to a higher self-esteem.

Even still, my self-esteem is not a level I’d like to be at. The Dalai Lama said it was a shame for anyone to feel low about their self. In the Tibetan language they don’t even have a word for it. When he first heard of such a thing, he couldn’t understand what was being told to him. It took awhile before translators could get him to understand what they were telling him. This is because by nature we are each powerful and highly capable people. Able to do whatever we put our minds to. The locks and chains of low self-esteem has kept many great things from ever being discovered and has prevented all of us from doing or saying something we deeply desire to.

In my books and the Your Life Activated community, it is my mission to help others see the vast awesomeness within and to really believe that we are capable of such powerful and life changing things. We must recognize our self-esteem problems and admit the truth of such in order to be victorious over the negative talk that goes through our minds. To fight low self-esteem we need to take action on several areas of our life.

The conversations we tell ourselves in our minds can be a big reason why we might have low self-esteem. When I said to myself that I wasn’t capable of helping people lose weight, that was what my reality brought. I had no clients and no drive to do something about it. When I said to myself that I couldn’t drive a car, out of fear, I couldn’t drive a car and asked for others to drive. When we say things to ourselves in a pessimistic way, like “I know I’m going to fail”, that is what usually happens, we fail. Gaining control of the negative self talk within the mind is the first step in the fight against low self-esteem. We can’t predict the future so why bother creating it with negative thoughts?

When I finally decided that enough was enough and it was time for me to lace up my trainer sneakers and get my hands dirty, I made a commitment to myself that I would try my hardest and put in the work and if I failed, I failed, and that would be the end of it. I had decided to become willing to fail in my journey. When we fight our thoughts and go back and forth over making a decision to do something of importance, being willing to fail is a powerful tool to help persuade yourself that you can do it. Making the choice of being willing to fail has helped me do more things since that time than I could ever have imagined. Use this choice to help you fight low self-esteem.

I am a trainer. I am powerful. I am a great person. I am universal and infinite. I am in charge of my life. What you read there are affirmations, another great tool to help you overcome self-esteem. To combat the negative thinking we all go through in our minds, affirmations can be used to help you build the value of who you are and what you are capable of. I began using affirmations shortly after deciding I was willing to fail and have used them every single day since. You can search the internet and YouTube for videos, books, and articles detailing affirmations and how to use them. I highly suggest blasting away your low self-esteem with positive affirmation ammunition. I wrote this article that you can reference: 20 Daily Affirmations 

Above are only three of the many ways you can fight low self-esteem. There are infinite amounts of ways you can increase your self-esteem and in time, with work, you will see the changes. The truth is, you must make an effort to see this increase. You must be willing to do the things on a daily basis because like everything, without practice you won’t learn and by applying these three things into your life you add traction and through practice you create mastery and in time, you are an individual with high self-esteem. To learn more about self-esteem and self growth, check out the free Facebook group Your Life Activated. If you want help or have questions, comment below in the comment section or fill out the contact form.

3 Ways to Build Self Confidence

Spending time in the gym after many years away from the iron was definitely a step out of my comfort zone. For seven years I forgot what it was like to lift weights. I forgot the smell of the gym, the people you see when training, and the feel of going, kicking ass and then knowing you did your best. This was around eight maybe nine years ago. I was fat. My health was horrible and I knew it was time to grab hold of the weights again. When I walked into the gym I had no confidence about my strength, my ability, and my chances of seeing great results. This lack of self confidence played a factor in my results as it took over a year and a half to lose ten pounds.

It took me longer than most to understand that the belief we have of ourselves is the most powerful force we can use to reach our goals and live our best life. Self-confidence hides from the view of our actions and thoughts and for many, the lack of self-confidence we operate with is enough to keep us exactly where we are. With no room or desire to grow.

In today’s society we see many advertisements, television shows, and social media material that can negatively affect our self confidence. We see friends or family at different stages of success or development and it hits our jealously which in turn dwindles the self-confidence we have for ourselves. Rejection from a group, work, family, a job opportunity and more hit us below the belt and we feel the emotions it creates, most of the time hiding them and storing those emotions deep within. All of this impacts our self confidence.

Confidence is a crucial tool for living our best life. We must practice the growth of our confidence. It won’t magically appear one morning. You need to believe it’s possible to improve your confidence. You must want to boost your confidence. Here are three ways to build your self confidence:

1. Meditate and Get to Know The Real YOU

Far too often we find ourselves thinking about what others think about us or looking for input from people like our husbands and wives. We yearn for something positive to come from our loved ones mouth and when we don’t get, we allow it to affect our confidence. We focus on mass media news and highlights and instead of doing some inner work, we wish and dream of something that comes from outside of us. Meditating is a great tool to help you build confidence by focusing on the real you within. Meditate on confidence and you will find answers to your problems. Pathways will open for you to take that will add a layer to your confidence. Instead of “needing” input from outward, you get all the “needed” input from your true self, your heart, your mind.. you.

2. Set Small Goals and Make Notches on Your Timeline

I remember trying to lose the sixty pounds I lost when I got my ass in gear. I tried to get abs overnight. I tried every program in the books for a week hoping to get those results. I tried to “sprint a marathon” and fell flat on my face. This crushed my confidence and hurt my feeling. Then, I decided I would set small goals, like lose 5 pounds in a month, and let them add up. Notches on the timeline of success. When we try to leap from point A to point B, we fail to enjoy the process and we rush through the days unconsciously. How can you ever expect to get results or build confidence that way? It’s hard. Instead, set a big goal that can be the bread and butter of your journey and then work backwards with smaller goals along the way. When you achieve a goal at the first small step, you build your confidence and as you continue to “win” you continue to build your confidence.

3. Practice Gratitude and Be Happy

How important to do you think gratitude is to building confidence? For me, it’s probably one of THE most important things you can do for happiness and confidence. Being grateful for the things in your life is critical to build your confidence. How can you possibly build confidence if you are not appreciative of everything you have in life, or of life itself? Your happiness will be in direct proportion of how grateful you are for what you experience each day. Take five minutes everyday to find something you are grateful for and write it down. Keep a journal. Write down all the things you find that day, that moment, to be grateful for and don’t neglect the power of this practice. Within no time at all you will see your confidence, and happiness, rise.