On the 10th of October 2015 I attended the “Mastering the Business of your Talent” Masterclass with Steve Harris and his guest speaker was Leke Alder. You can imagine what an experience that was but this post is not about the content of the class per say, I want to lift a term that John Obidi used that lit a bulb in my head.
He shared a story about how meeting Steve Harris gave him Psychological permission to go after his dream. Meeting him in person, hearing him speak in real life broke every limiting thought and reminded him that it was possible, it was not a myth.
The term used is one I had not heard before but something I had definitely experienced and something I constantly expose myself to regularly.
In 2011, I was my all time heaviest at 120kg. I was sitting at the airport and I was so uncomfortable because I had to sit in a funny way so my already bulging stomach would not ruin my button. I felt like an elephant and I saw so many slim, healthy looking men and women and I wondered what they did differently from me. I saw a number of fat people and wondered if that was how I looked. I felt so fat, I felt it was impossible for me to lose weight and keep it off, na today? Do you know how many times I have tried to lose weight?
I decided to use my time at the airport wisely and check online for resources, I searched for a lot of practical solutions on blogs written by internal fitness coaches and I was getting bored and overwhelmed by the information. I figured I would have to wait to travel abroad to resolve my fitness issues. Going through this information gave me “Psychological denial” it made me feel like it was not possible for me to achieve what I wanted to achieve where I was located.
My flight was delayed, (heavy sigh) and I wondered…”what if I can do it in Lagos? worse case it will be expensive, let me check” the first thing that popped was Tayo Lekan-Agbajes blog. She was a Nigerian woman based in Lagos who lost weight the natural way by herself. I spent two hours going through her pictures, I was in shock! I had no idea that I could find something this intriguing in 2011 by a woman, who lost 20kg! (if I can just lose 20kg…)
Now I did absolutely nothing about it, I did not even save the website but her blog was a seed in my life, it gave me Psychological Permission. In my subconscious I now knew I was capable of doing it if I had the right information and If I was ready to put in the work. In 2013 I was 110kg (don’t worry, I did not intentionally lose 10kg…I was stressed and it fell off)10 months later I lost 40kg without going to the gym, hiring a personal instructor or taking any pills. There were days when I felt I could not achieve my goal but I also knew it was not because it was impossible, it would be because I gave up.
I think it is very important for people who are trying to break out of a cycle, whether it is in business, relationship, health etc to surround themselves with people and resources who grant them psychological permission.
Many of us are surrounded by people who do not encourage or inspire us, who constantly remind us of our past failures and who project their fears and limiting beliefs on us.
For those of you who do not know where to start from or how to gradually break out from the psychological bondage, here are 5 things you can do today.
1. If you are on Social Media, follow people who inspire you and who share a similar story with you. So if you want to lose 40kg, you should follow me on IG @totalmakeoverp.
2. Unfollow people or accounts that do not inspire or encourage you. Some of you do not know but you follow people who do not inspire you, they make you feel bad. For instance when i was trying to lose weight, I unfollowed all the chefs, all the people who post food and recipes. Now, don’t get me wrong! they are not bad people but seeing their posts was pushing me to eat outside my plan especially when I was not hungry.
3. Plan for future problems and deal with them before they arise. I used to read stories and stories of people who lost weight, know their struggles and mentally prepare myself for my turn. I would ask myself “so when my mum offers me food outside my plan, what will I say?” “when the girls plan a night out, what will I say?” Don’t wait for the time to come before you decide what your reaction will be.
4. There will be people whose sole duty will be to remind you why you can not be slim, who will tell you that “you are overdoing it” “you look sick” “you will add it all back” etc Do all you can to avoid them, trust me when you reach your goal, they will forget all the things they said to you.
5. Have a vision board. I can not over emphasise the importance of a vision board. I put up visual representations of what I wanted my future to look like and set mini goals on how I intended to accomplish them. I am obsessed with Vision boarding because it works and I am constantly updating.
On this note, I say “Psychological Permission” granted!