By Patricia Moreno, Founder of Intensati
The other day during one of my classes, I saw a shift that I often see in my students: the workout was allowing them to access the feeling of their own power and success. What I didn’t expect to see is how hard they were pushing, how strong they were boxing, how much they were sweating, how loud they were speaking. Some of them nearly crawled out of the gym because they challenged themselves so much. And yet, they told me that it was the best class they had taken in a while and that they felt more accomplished, happy, and fulfilled than ever.
Pushing above your own expectations
"Often, when we are about to break out of our comfort zone, we experience fear, and that is a non-resourceful state, because it blocks us from achieving results."
The workout I created is intenSati, which is about training ourselves to let go of our limiting beliefs and transform them into a positive state of mind, that allows us access our own power. Through a series of choreographed moves drawn from martial arts, dance, and yoga disciplines, we speak out empowering mantras with the intention to self-generate states of mind that give us access to our greatest yet to be. Often, when we are about to break out of our comfort zone, we experience fear, and that is a non-resourceful state, because it blocks us from achieving results. But when we embody a feeling of achievement, we awaken the emotional state within, and experience a shift of perception from fear to confidence.
This month, since the passing of Muhammad Ali, I created a series based on his most famous quotes.
Muhammad Ali knew how to get himself into a resourceful state. He hypnotized himself, his opponents, and the world into believing he was the greatest. “I said I was the greatest before I even believed it,” he said. He used to hate the time at the gym, but he kept training his mind to let go of those excuses that prevented him from being the champion. “Don’t quit,” he would say to himself. For one hour, my students trained hard, affirmed Ali’s mantras, channeled this resourceful-state, and became their own champions. They didn’t use their “old” mind, their old limitations, with their old excuses – I’m too old, not in shape, too weak. They overrode their own excuses and their self-imposed limitations and justifications, and instead they imagined, pretended, invoked, and literally became the champion within.
"When we embody a feeling of achievement, we awaken the emotional state within, and experience a shift of perception from fear to confidence."
Choosing to let go of your old state
We can’t be in two states of being at the same time. We can’t feel empowered and afraid. We can’t feel both inspired and deflated. Often when we are about to have a breakthrough, when we have reached our upper limit of strength, courage, or comfort, the uncertainty of what’s on the other side causes us to pull back.
Tony Robbins teaches that as humans we need to feel safe, and sometimes when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone, that place in the workout I call a growth spurt, we leave the state of certainty — and it can get uncomfortable. Am I going to be able to do this? What if I get hurt? What if I embarrass myself? But we also thrive when we have a challenge in our life, and we want to find a way to dance in between certainty and uncertainty.
"They overrode their own excuses and self-imposed limitations and justifications, and instead they imagined, pretended, invoked, and literally became the champion within."
During a good workout we can learn to be more mindful of our need to be certain and uncertain, to grow and feel significant, and when we realize our excuses are there to make us feel safe, we can examine them from a new lens and make the decision to let them go. When we learn to use mindfulness — Sati — instead of judging ourselves for using excuses, we tune into what kind of need the excuse is helping us fulfill.
Instead of forcing yourself to simply “get over it” or shaming yourself into doing something different, invoke the champion inside of you, put yourself into a state of a winner, throw your arms up in the air like you just passed the finish line, or do some shadow boxing and then ask yourself “What Would the Champ Do?” Then let go of your own excuses, and do it.
A mind body coach and a trailblazer in the fitness field, Patricia Moreno is a published author, has been twice-nominated Best Fitness Instructor by New York Magazine, and made the “Ten Women Who Shape the World” list by Shape magazine. She has been featured in most high profile publications such as the WSJ, The New York Times, NY Magazine, O Magazine, and has appeared on the Today Show. She is the founder of Sati Life, a company devoted to helping people live a life they love, in a body they love. Her workout DVDs and training programs are successful around the world, and her bestselling book The intenSati method: Seven Principles to Thinner Peace has just been republished in paperback.