Before you all start thinking I am writing an old television review, for those that are not aware, this is the first part of an old proverb; ‘Birds of a feather flock together’. Its origins seem to date back to around the mid-16th century and its meaning implies that those of a similar disposition tend to stay in the same groups.
Something I learnt very early on in my career in the health and fitness industry is that you are the average of the five people with which you spend the most time. This is indeed very true, particularly for health and fitness.
Something I talk about with all my potential clients, particularly women, is their support network. Will their family and friends support them in changing a few nutritional and lifestyle habits? Trying to make better food and drink choices can be very difficult when everyone around you is urging to consume the same old rubbish – the rubbish which got you to the point of wanting to change in the first place.
Even for those with the strongest will power, peer group pressure can tip you over the edge. Therefore, the question needs to be asked ‘Is your social network really that good?’ It seems like a very cruel scenario to have to choose between certain people and what you ultimately want from life but you must realise that if those people really were great friends, they would support you all the way.
Being around the same like-minded people can be a real source of motivation, in any walk of life, not just regarding your health and fitness. Raising your children, setting up a business or simply finding a training partner for the gym can drive you through those extra steps where otherwise you may have stalled or even stopped completely.
Seeking out help or assistance no matter what level you currently are is usually a good choice because do not forget, even the best athletes and business owners in the world all have mentors or coaches to guide them on their journey.
There is not one single person who knows everything there is to know about all subjects and because of that I am a big believer in the concept that you can learn something from everyone. So if you have surrounded yourself with like-minded and motivated people your life will be a constant source of not only learning but also teaching others.
You should also not be afraid to have your thoughts, concepts or beliefs tested or questioned. I try to teach my clients about health and fitness rather than just giving them instructions, this way they have a better understanding of why somethings work and others do not. If you understand something in greater detail, you are more likely to stick to it. I think the key to learning is this: You have two ears and one mouth therefore you should listen twice as much as you talk!
To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” If you feel that embarking on a journey of health and fitness will positively impact your life, then choose wisely who you tell. If being selfish allows you to be in a better position to help others, is it really being selfish?