Many people, not just models and celebrities, suffer from insecurity, anxiety, and sometimes erratic and extreme mood swings that keep them from being whole and happy. These people believe they deserve to be perceived as beautiful—or able to lose weight, get fit, earn money—only if they practice almost torture­-grade fitness and weight loss strategies, find a magic pill, or employ some other drastic measure. More often, people just don’t believe they deserve to lose weight. Instead, they believe that they are overweight because they deserve it at some level.

The key here is that what you perceive is what will manifest. You might be beautiful outside but miserable inside, or you may truly struggle with excess weight; either way, what you ultimately believe about yourself will become your truth. And belief lives only in your thoughts. That’s why the right frame of mind, attitudes, beliefs, and internal thinking strategies are key to achieving a truly successful, balanced, and emotionally secure life.

When I first started training others, I would often scratch my head, baffled that when I gave two similar clients nearly identical programs, the results could be extremely different. I remember two clients, let’s call them Sally and Jane, who each wanted to lose roughly 25 pounds, establish a regular fitness routine, and begin healthier eating habits. From the start, I noted that Sally was positive about starting a new path toward improved health, but Jane was pessimistic from the get-go: “I’ve lost and gained weight so many times, but [sigh] I’m willing to give this another try.”

Both women reached their goals in a reasonable amount of time, but while Sally found happiness and fulfillment in her achievement, Jane continually expressed dissatisfaction, barely noticing her accomplishments and complaining increasingly that she hadn’t lost enough weight. Jane began to make excuses and miss appointments even though she was paying for them. Not surprisingly, her weight began to creep back up. “Here we go again,” she told me. “Nothing ever works for me.” Jane’s mind was already made up, and what she was really telling me was that she believed she deserved to fail—­and so she did. When people don’t truly and deeply believe they deserve something, they don’t make positive choices or take actions needed to reach their goals. By contrast, Sally sustained her weight loss, felt empowered by her success, and continued to train regularly and improve on her fitness goals. Sally came to me already believing that she deserved better health and weight loss so she was willing to take the steps to make her dream a reality.

Based on the experiences of Sally and Jane, as well as countless other clients, I began to formulate strategies to help my clients look at their existing beliefs and chip away at negative and self­-defeating messages, concentrating on self­-belief and self­-worth. I saw client after client reap benefits that fell far outside the health and fitness perks: happiness levels soared, relationships grew, and even financial and career paths flourished. It was a ripple effect that happened when the brain was “washed” clean.

I can say with resounding confidence that no matter who you are, how much money you have, or what resources are at your fingertips, the key to true success is learning to transform mental belief systems to empower you to break out of your comfort zone and succeed.

Check out Joel Harper’s website, or click here to buy his book, Mind Your Body: 4 Weeks to a Leaner, Healthier Life.

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