Easier Fitness: "Helping people with little time or low energy find simpler ways to exercise, eat better and stay healthy."

Fear of Success, Part Two: Can You Be a Successful Person at Getting in Shape?

A person's success can mean different things to different people. But other components of a successful person can be more universal. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome, however, is the fear of success. Yes, the fear of being the best you can be. Why are we afraid of making millions of dollars, starting a non-profit or saving the lives of others? Or being in the best shape of our lives?

Why do we self-sabotage ourselves? They are things we want. There are steps we can take to help make those goals become real, but we don't do take them. We keep doing what we're doing, sitting around, wasting time, thinking "Maybe someday I'll do that." Decades can pass and you don't do anything.

It might be hard to create a multi-million dollar business. Certain skills would be involved. Other endeavours that we dream of doing would similarly require some skills. Skills that we might not yet possess and would have to learn. We probably could learn some of them, if we wanted, but somehow the couch seems a safer option.

Other skills might seem too hard to learn.  I think a lot of us would like to stand on the top of Mount Everest, having climbed up there ourselves, but actually doing the work to get there might be too hard for us to even contemplate. Starting your own business seems like something more doable, even though we still may not do that.

A Person's Success at Getting in Shape Doesn't Have to Require Great Skill

But when it comes to eating better and doing some exercise, these are often much less difficult things to do. Not as much skill is involved. Yes, to become a world-class athlete, a lot of work and skill is involved. Hours of work everyday are required and high-level skills need to be developed and honed.

You may have plans to become an elite athlete. If you do, go for it. Don't let me stop you. But for many of us, we don't have to spend hours everyday honing high-level skills to reap the benefits of a healthy diet and some basic exercise.

Everybody knows how to eat. Healthy eating simply requires you use your hands to put the right foods in your mouth instead of the wrong ones. We all know how to maneuver forks and knives. We all know where our mouths are on our faces. These aren't high-level skills.

We know how to walk. We know how to run. We know how to lift a weight up and down. We may not know how to put a ball or a puck in a certain corner of a net with precision repeatedly. But that's the beauty of basic exercise. You don't have to be an expert to do it.

Most people can walk. Or run. Yes, with some instruction they can improve the mechanics of the way they run. But most people have a good enough form to begin with. The same with working out with weights. Most people can do a good enough form of a bench press or a push-up or a sit-up to begin with. If they don't, with a little bit of instruction, they can learn the proper form.

People don't spend years learning how to do the perfect push-up. We don't have competitions judging people on their form of a push-up. In weight-lifting competitions, we judge participants on the amount of weight they can lift, or the shape of their bodies. Winning these competitions means for a large part showing up everyday at they gym. Repetitive iterations of those same push-ups or bench presses. Not giving up.

Yes, there is skill and knowledge involved to win these competitions. But like Woody Allen said, "80% of success is showing up." For most people, you don't have to become a world-class bodybuilder/athlete to get a lot of health benefits.

Become a Successful Person by Getting
"A Bit Fit" Instead of "Totally Fit"

Have you ever thought of becoming "a bit fit"? Getting a bit of muscle on you? Becoming a bit of a runner? You don't have to win marathons to enjoy an improved cardiovascular system. You don't have to have tons of muscle on you to lengthen your life.

Do the top 5% runners live 5% longer then the top 10% runners? Do the top 10% runners live 5% longer than the top 15% runners? Do the fastest runners live twice as long as those who are half as slow as them? Does someone who can lift 400 pounds live twice as long as someone who can lift 200 pounds?

By becoming "a bit fit", you can increase your chances of living a healthy life without all the hours at the gym or the high skill-level involved in becoming an elite athlete. By becoming "more in shape" you will reap many of the health benefits of being "totally in shape".

By getting to an ideal weight, by getting a bit of muscle on you, by getting some basic cardio levels by running a few times a week for at least 20-30 minutes, you can get substantial health benefits.

Again, the key ingredient in all of this is repetition. Showing up everyday. Improvements from building muscle or gaining cardio usually happen from showing up three days a week. Going for a run three days week and working out with weights three days a week are where you will start to see results, more so than two days a week. The trick is to make this a habit for weeks on end.

And that is where a lot of us mess up. We don't go for weeks on end. Perhaps this is where we think the "hard" part of being a successful person exists. It just seems like a lot of work. Hundreds or thousands of hours over years and decades. Heck, if we did that we'd be winning all the races and on the covers of magazines! Or would we?

How many people do you know who go to the gym and/or go for a run three days a week? How many people do you know who have "a bit of muscle" on them? By "a bit of muscle" this could mean they have anywhere from really just a bit of muscle to a decent amount of muscle, but they don't have freakishly large amounts of muscle.

There are people like this in every city around the world. Are all of them on the covers of magazines? No. Is Hollywood calling them to be in the next movie? No. They go about their day just like you and I, only they reap the benefits of being in shape and other people may mention to them that they look like they're in great shape. But that's it. No movie deals. No fans following them around. No paparazzi.

But somehow we think that if we go to the gym or go for a run that is what will happen to us. Millions of people do that every day and no one bothers them. They are left alone. They are not hounded by the media.


› Can You Be a Successful Person at Getting in Shape?