When I was a performance coach for the Canadian National Synchronized Skating team and helped them qualify for the World Championships during an improbable season of uphill struggles, I didn’t change their on-ice talents…I changed what they believed was possible.

When I was a self-help coach working with people worldwide who wanted to do more with their lives, I didn’t change their goal setting abilities…I changed the expectations they carried.

When I was a mentor for gang affiliated teenagers who wanted to use music and dance as a way to get themselves off the streets, I didn’t change their rap skills…I changed their perspective.

It doesn’t seem to matter what label I use to define what it is I ‘do’ for a living, my real ‘job’ is as an agent for change.

But not through talent, ability or skills.

And not through physical appearance or fitness level either.

Because what I came to learn many years ago in my own journey and evolution is that the only thing in need of change is your mind. Change that and everything else changes with it.

As fitness professionals and performance coaches, our next horizon is the reality of “mindset and behavior.”

Understanding our clients and athletes from the inside-out and recognizing the incredible potential that lies in truly embracing the nuances of mindset.

If you have clients who seem stuck or plateaued, try this exercise with them. A simple perspective shift that holds the power to literally vault them out of that sticking point overnight.

The exercise: Tripod Perspective

The point: To help our clients understand that their current plateau is a mindset perspective and nothing more.

The science: Very often, it is our self-created ‘truths’ that keep us limited. Once we change the perspective on that limitation, we evoke powerful shifts in the brain and unconscious mind that begin to alter our actions, habits and behaviors.

The method: In this sequence -
1. Have your client generate an “I will never…” statement related to where they are stuck.
Ask them to write down three reasons why they believe that statement is true.
Work with them to create ‘counter-statements’ for all three.
Remind them to refer to their ‘counter-statements’ every morning and every evening.

1. I will never obtain 6-pack abs
2. Three reasons why they believe that’s true:
1. I don’t enjoy the food required to obtain them.
2. I’ve tried before and it didn’t work.
3. I don’t have the genetics.
3. Three counter-statements -
1. I enjoy chicken, spinach and eggs. All I need to do is find more recipes for those foods and expand my horizons by trying other healthy options.
2. In all honesty, I wasn’t really consistent in the past.
3. But genetics only play a very small role in physique transformations.

Underneath what we tend to ‘believe’ there exists a litany of ‘reasons’ held in our unconscious. More than we ever realize, those ‘reasons’ combine to impact our actions, habits and behaviors daily. The objective of this exercise is to bring awareness to those ‘reasons’ and provide countering evidence as to why they are not absolutely true.

Mindset performance is not intense brain science, ‘raw-raw’ motivation, nor esoteric spirituality. It is a simple way of breaking down our internal dialogue, making ourselves aware of the mental story we carry and finding ways to alter that story in order to enhance our success and happiness. Mindset is an integral part of succeeding in fitness and a necessary aspect for us all becoming sustainable agents for change.

Brian Grasso is the Founder and former CEO of the International Youth Conditioning Association, an 18-year veteran of the fitness industry and has trained athletes ranging from youth developmental and collegiate to professionals and Olympians. He has been a guest lecturer for private, governmental and national facilities worldwide, featured in Newsweek, ESPN, Men's Health and Men's Fitness and is a former consultant for Nike.