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How to Reach Your Full Potential — and Become a 10

| Posted by Shawn McIntyre | comments
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HOW TO REACH YOUR FULL POTENTIAL — AND BECOME A 10

Whether you train to compete or simply turn heads, you (like the rest of us) want to stand out. Like Olympic gymnasts who train their whole lives to nail a single routine that will earn a perfect “10,” many of us in the fitness industry base our worth on our competition scores. 

About 18 months ago, I became a fitness model. I lived, ate, and breathed the lifestyle. My body changed in startling ways, and I experienced gratifying success. But my self-worth was tied to these external factors, rather than an internal force. 

 

But becoming a “10” isn’t something you can achieve through physical fitness alone.

When striving to earn recognition for our hard work, it’s easy to get caught up in training, competition, and expectations — and lose sight of our well-being. But becoming a “10” isn’t something you can achieve through physical fitness alone. It requires caring for your mental, emotional, and spiritual fitness and learning to value your true self.

Changing the Outside Doesn’t Change the Inside

Body image dissatisfaction often drives people to pursue competitive fitness, modeling, or bodybuilding. It’s one thing to shed excess weight and fat, but if the root cause for the change is unhappiness, no amount of outer training will fix the problem. 

The same goes for competitions and awards: The anxieties surrounding your physique and the pressure of competition may actually heighten problems, particularly when coupled with certain drugs or supplements. 

 

People struggle because they don’t pay enough attention to their internal selves. 

How effectively we employ our bodies and minds determines how successful we are. People struggle because they don’t pay enough attention to their internal selves. We have mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual sides — all of which need attention and training. 

Mental:
•    Create a primary focus that takes precedence. This will remove distractions and enable you to create an identity that feeds your primary focus. 
•    Think big — when you run into problems, your mind needs to see beyond those obstacles.
•    Observe your thoughts; stop for a moment to consider who is speaking. As soon as you hear an unsupportive thought, cut it off.

Emotional:
•    Don’t react to your emotions — they fog your clarity and hamper your choices. Every time you don’t react, you strengthen your emotional state.
•    Breathe deeply and slowly to allow emotions to move past you.
•    Take full responsibility for everything that happens in your life. Placing blame weighs you down.

Physical:
•    Eat clean food — cut out sugar, milk, and bread.
•    Stand up for yourself. 
•    Be willing to do more — action is the bridge between your inner world and your outer world.
•    Practice yoga, experiencing everything as yourself.

Spiritual:
•    A homecoming is not something you achieve. When you see that everything we experience happens inside us and not outside, this is the homecoming of spirit that already exists.
•    Create a daily meditation ritual that forces you to observe your mind, body, and emotions to experience the separation between your true self and your conditioned self.
•    Raise your standards for how you treat yourself in comparison to how others treat you.


As you train, it’s natural to notice the results, but it’s important to think about the actions you must take for those gains. While focusing on your actions, reflect on the thoughts and feelings you have before, during, and after training and how they affect your program. This process should be as much a part of your routine as any physical exercise.

 

While focusing on your actions, reflect on the thoughts and feelings you have before, during, and after training and how they affect your program.

To examine your mental state, focus on separating thoughts about yourself from your personal being. You are not who you think you are. One method for practicing change is the TFAR approach. Thoughts lead to feelings, feelings stimulate actions, and actions bring results. The thoughts we have are often based on past experiences and may limit our ability to succeed. 

Remember that just as you are not your body, nor are you solely your mind. Champions learn to replace negative thoughts with positive ones and examine their programs and daily routines to make appropriate adjustments. People live below their full potential because they shift between memories of the past and imaginations of the future but don’t live in the present with their true selves. 

How can you discover your true self?
•    Go past your current habits. Most people do what they like, but infinite growth comes when you can move past your likes and dislikes to simply see things as part of life. 
•    Act in spite of your fear. You may fear the stage, ruining your diet, or not getting results quickly. Do it anyway.
•    Drop your identity. You can choose the person you want to be seen as, but accept that that persona isn’t you. 
•    Get in “the zone.” Whatever you do, do it with absolute involvement. Mop the floor with absolute intensity, do your workouts with full commitment. Stop wishing your life away and engage with what you have.

 
Being a ‘10’ Isn’t Just About Looks

Shawn T. McIntyre is the CEO and founder of Shawn McIntyre Fitness and the fitness program “The WorkOut of Your Life.” Shawn is an international cover model, a pro fitness model, and a published author. He offers online and private training and leads speaking and workshop engagements. Shawn coaches clients to help them achieve success in fitness and life and is dedicated to helping and inspiring people to take action with clarity and power, not fear.