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Overcoming Mental Roadblocks: When Desires and Beliefs Conflict

Being stagnant in life, and knowing it, is no fun. It can be crippling to a person’s self-esteem. But even so, a lot of people get stuck going nowhere and simply accept it. This is why I root for people who are trying to change their lives for the better. At least they’re trying, after all.

But I’ve also observed many people attempt to transform themselves only to give up before they build any positive momentum. It happens all the time, particularly when people try to get in better shape, and there’s no single reason for it. Some just aren’t patient or persistent enough to give their efforts time to work. Some are unable to rein in their unhealthy dietary habits. Others have altogether different reasons for falling short of their aspirations.

Typically, what the person will do is rationalize their failure. “I just couldn’t make the time to do it.” “It was way harder than I anticipated.” Some even find a way to blame their spouse or kids. People can get quite inventive with their excuses, but the truth is that when a person wants to do something badly enough, they’ll do it. I posit that the real challenge many people face is overcoming themselves.

So, what’s really going on here? Many times, a person’s desire is not aligned with what they believe about themselves. And since many beliefs are unspoken and unconscious, the person doesn’t even realize it’s the reason they can’t follow through. They stay trapped in a paradigm that doesn’t serve them well. Here are a few examples of how a person’s subconscious beliefs can clash with their aspirations:

Linda’s Aspiration: I want to get in better shape and improve my figure.

Conflicting Belief: This body is what I deserve.

The Gist of the Conflict: Linda can imagine herself being out of shape.


Randy’s Aspiration: I want to be wealthy.

Conflicting Belief: There will never be enough money.

The Gist of the Conflict: Randy believes money inevitably runs out, so he spends everything he makes, no matter how much he makes.


Gustavo’s Aspiration: I want to change careers.

Conflicting Belief: I can’t start over from scratch.

The Gist of the Conflict: Gustavo believes time is not on his side.

At Bounce Pep, we emphasize the idea that the first step towards changing your behavior is often to change what you believe about yourself. So many people skip that part of the process because they’re unaware it’s even necessary, and they block the blessings they seek. We tackle that problem by getting a person to explicitly define their identity because doing so can reveal the paradigms holding a person back. I have found that most people never purposefully define the kind of person they aspire to be, i.e., their identity.

The shape that you’re in is a direct reflection of certain attributes of your identity. What are you, and what are you not? What can and can’t you accept? What do you value? If you’ve ever struggled with mental roadblocks to getting in better shape or pursuing any other aspiration, those are questions that deserve answers. More importantly, you deserve answers.

Sayonara until next time.

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