Mindset Archives - Durbrow Performance Training
Category Archives for "Mindset"

Lessons From My Failures

Sometimes I take my life lessons from Olivia Pope. If you don’t watch Scandal you need to get on that. Total girl crush right here.

The best thing about Olivia is her famous line “It’s handled.”

My question for you is, are you handling your shit? What I mean by this is are you trying to set a goal, failing and then repeating this crazy cycle over and over, wondering why it doesn’t ever work and things don’t change?

What I mean by this is that YOU didn’t change. You’re expecting extravagant results in a goal but you didn’t change yourself.

Your thoughts, habits and actions didn’t REALLY change.

You just relied on will power and “motivation” to achieve that goal.

Shit didn’t get handled, because it becomes a vicious cycle of…

Set a goal —> get excited —> will power and white knuckle through a few weeks —> decide it’s not worth it —> stop

Success is stopped by many things, fear being a big one.

Today I wanted to share with you a lesson I learned from my consistent failures.

I was scared, big time. I didn’t realize it at the time but here’s what continued to happen…

I would set a goal, do it for a while and then become disinterested. I would stop that process and claim that I didn’t really care about the goal so I wasn’t into it.

I would stop keeping score.

Then I would ultimately just say that I hate setting goals, it’s stupid and I don’t need it.

After doing a lot of personal development I realized my issue…

I was scared. It took a long time to figure this because initially I was like “F that, I’m not scared

I just didn’t know WHAT I was scared of.

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Are You Getting What You Want? Start Examining Your Thoughts

Why don’t you accomplish what you want?

With weight loss, your career, your relationships…

You may be struggling with all of the above or maybe just one or two. Regardless of where you’re stuck, it usually comes down to the same thing.

In studying my own mindset, behaviors, habits and ultimately results, I’ve learned that it is actually very simple but we as humans tend to complicate things (more on that next week).

So what’s the secret sauce to getting what you want?

Don’t believe the stories.

What the what?

Think about it like this:

Thoughts –> Actions —> Behaviors —> Habits —> Lifestyle

When you are trying to make a change, what’s usually the first thing you think you need to change? Your habits or behaviors, right?

Those lead to your lifestyle and things like your non-negotiables, your daily practices and hopefully a happy and healthy life.

But we always skip over the beginning, which is what triggers our actions and behaviors.

Our thoughts.

Or more specifically, the “stories” that we tell ourselves, usually about why we can’t do something.

Stories are things that we have believed or simply never challenged for so long, that they just seem like the normal experience for us.

So what would happen if you just challenged the thought?

It doesn’t have to be much, just simply a yes or no.

For example: I can’t lose weight because I’m too busy to work out

Challenge the statement with a simple, is that true?

Yes or no. No stories, no spinning, no excuses. Yes or no.

That’s all it takes to start out with this, just question the thought. You might realize (as I did, many times) that you simply believe the thought because you’ve always believed it.

Is this going to change you overnight? No way. It will however get you into the mindset of challenging, examining and moving toward a different story in your head.

There it is, your challenge and homework for the week is to start questioning your thoughts and stories. Do this without judgement, just become aware.

I’ll be back next week with more about stories, how we complicate things and why this essentially makes us feel better.

How to Get Better Results: Part II

Last week I dove into the simple techniques you can use to improve your results or your life in general, without actually adding more “stuff” to your to-do list.

This starts with getting really clear on your goal. Don’t make it fluffy or you won’t follow through. You then have to ask yourself some deeper questions- why do I really want this?

You might need to ask that question of yourself about 3-5 times to actually get the real answer and make sure you’re not bullshitting yourself.

Now let’s talk about what happens after we set those goals. Why do we constantly and consistently FAIL to get results?

There are basically four stages that everyone goes through during this cycle of change.

The first phase is when you set those goals and you are crazy excited. THIS will be the time I’ll change. Basically this is that “Monday I’ll start again” phase. Everything seems exciting, new, motivating and you are ready to rock.

Phase II is when things get a little more interesting- this is called informed pessimism. This when you start to realize how much work is involved and a few doubts begin to creep in. The rainbow and unicorns in Phase I (uninformed optimism) are starting to become a distant memory.

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What Do Training in Groups, Canadian Geese and Motivation Have in Common?

I heard an interesting story a few weeks ago, about what groups, Canadian Geese and motivation have in common.

This is ironic that I actually liked this story because as some of you know, I hate birds. Yep, I have a strange fear of them (not the little tiny ones but anything bigger than a chicken). They just freak me out, particularly Canadian Geese.

Besides that, this story is really interesting and you’ll see why having group motivation in either training, nutrition or any aspect of your life will help you get to that goal even faster than you imagined.

Check out the video and the story right here:


Don’t Try

Happy Monday to you. I hope your weekend was excellent.
We went to a wedding for one of my favorite people, she has been a friend and a client for several years and it was really an amazing day.
I love March Madness so Sunday after a training session I was really excited to put the games on and just enjoy the spirit and competition of college basketball. Plus my team is still alive, Virginia Cavaliers!
Onto the topic at hand for today. You may have noticed that I’ve been writing more about the psychological and mental side of training and changing your life.
Over the years I’ve noticed the difference between people who REALLY change and people who get some results is what they say out loud and in their own heads.
People are resistant to change. It’s just human nature.
The reasons vary from person to person but usually it’s because getting out of the comfort zone or breaking habits is a scary thing.
When you do something for the first time, of course it’s not going to be perfect.
Think about the first time you tried to do a push up. You may have to think way, way back…
But it was probably shaky, your elbows flopped out like chicken wings and your butt was sticking up in the air.
You did them though. They weren’t perfect or pretty, but you did them.
This is what I want you to think about when you come across a new task, a new exercise or a new way to think about eating or planning your meals.
Obviously I don’t want you to say “I can’t do that” 
That’s a given 🙂
What most people will say is “I will try.”
Nope. Don’t try.
What is trying anyway? It’s a lame, middle of the road, “maybe I’ll fail so I don’t want to go all in” luke-warm, B.S. cop out.
I want you to say “I’ll do that.”
Doesn’t mean you’ll do it great. You’ll probably suck for a few reps of the exercise or a few weeks of the new eating plan.
You’re still doing it.
I’m not asking you to do it perfectly. Just put in the effort, then put in the effort again and again.
Do it.
Have a great week,


Are You Doing This (hint: you should stop)

I caught myself doing this.
Everyone does it. It’s hard to get out of your comfort zone, so we all kind of do “this” once and a while.
What the hell am I talking about today?
I’m talking about when you have a plan and you “kind of” follow the directions.
Let me give you an example. Sometimes I design my own workouts but sometimes I have someone else do it for me. I’ll either hire a coach or seek out a pre-written program that is designed for my goals.
The program is all written out, perfectly simple and ready to follow and then I say to myself I’ll just switch out this exercise. 
I’ll just do lunges instead of step ups. 
I hate step ups.
Why am I changing the program, not following the simple rules?
It’s putting me out of my comfort zone. I have to do an exercise that’s hard and that I don’t like.
No big deal, I’ll just switch it.
Are lunges just as hard? Yes, probably, but that’s not the point.
You will start to see this little trend creep in to other aspects. Are you supposed to try and hit 60 grams of fat per day but you “just” have that one more scoop of almond butter which puts you over your target?
It won’t make a big difference.
Maybe not that day, but the next day and the next day, it sure as hell will.
Following the directions seems like a simple concept but when those directions put you out of your comfort zone, it becomes human nature to just make an exception here and there.
Guess what happens then?
Your results become slower and slower.
Next time you think about making what may seem like a little exception or change, think for a minute about why you’re actually doing it.
If you have a perfectly good program right in front of you, don’t make changes. It may be uncomfortable at first but you have to trust the process.
Don’t fall back into your old ways and what’s comfortable.
Getting results is much more than just changing your body. You have to break down the barriers and the small, day-to-day things that are adding up to form your habits and that are slowing your progress.
Take this into action this week and be more conscious of your thoughts and choices.


You Can’t Do That

We have a rule at the gym, saying “I can’t” will earn you 5 burpees.Last week in my email I talked about how you need to reprogram your thinking to try new things and break out of the old ways that may not actually be benefiting you.Why do we have this rule?

When doing something new or uncomfortable, the natural human reaction (or defense mechanism to avoid looking silly or feeling pain or discomfort) is to say “I can’t.”

Sometimes you say it before you even think about what it is you’re trying to do.

I’m not here to tell you that you CAN do everything and you should never give up and give you a load of cheerleading crap.

I just want you to think about your initial reaction to something difficult. Do you automatically throw up the “I can’t” flag without even thinking?

Or do you take a second and let it soak in and then say, I’ll try?

You may not do it perfect. Hell, it may REALLY suck but it’s breaking out of you comfort zone and just giving it a try.

That’s what I want you to focus on this week. When something tough or uncomfortable comes around, whether it’s an exercise at the gym, a suggestion to your eating plan or a task at work, just take a second before you go into defense mode.

Don’t automatically turn to “I can’t.”

Instead think about saying, I’ll give it my best try and I won’t worry about the outcome. Good or bad, I stepped out of my comfort zone and DID IT.


The Fitness Lesson that No One Talks About

Every week, I write articles and blog posts that teach people how to get healthy and fit and I teach our clients in the gym to train hard and smart and to understand why lifting weights, conditioning and eating healthy are important and vital.

Yes, those lessons that I teach are powerful, and I know that I’m helping a lot of people. However, today, I want to share with you one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned and that most people don’t even talk about: Be kind to yourself.

I have to admit, when I used to see this phrase, I thought it was a weak statement. I’m going to bust my butt in the gym, eat clean and the harder I am on myself, the better results I’ll get.

I’m not weak, and I don’t need a pep talk or a baby sitter. As a former athlete and a leader and coach for many people, I thought that I had to be like superwoman. I wasn’t beating myself up for not getting results or for maybe having an ice cream, but I certainly WAS NOT being very kind to myself.

So, what does this whole “being kind to yourself” mean?

I want you to look at it like this: You can’t just work for the end result.

Rather, you have to enjoy the journey—the day-to-day work that you put in to accomplish a goal.

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How to Silence the Food Vampires (and a Paleo Stuffing Recipe)

Food vampires?

WTH is that?

It’s really simple. You know when you go out to lunch with a bunch of co-workers and the majority of people are ordering burgers, coma inducing sandwiches with a side of fries and then you order a salad with chicken on it and dressing on the side.

The record stops. Silence.

She’s ordering a salad?

Then the bread comes and you decline.

Oh come on, just have one piece. It’s not going to kill you.

Why are you ordering a salad? Live a little. 

You know what I’m talking about now….

Does this stress you out a little bit? If you’re human, then yes it’s going to. But here’s the thing. People are simply projecting their own insecurity and their own wishes onto you. They wish they felt better, had the motivation or the goals to eat healthy and for some reason or for that moment, they don’t.

What’s the alternative? Face what they are actually feeling, or peer pressure you and try to make you feel bad about your choices to eat healthy. Most people choose the latter.

That sucks for you but it’s really simple. When you get the pressure or the “why” questions you just answer back that you want to order a healthy meal because you feel better through out the day, you’ve been working out and you want to keep your body healthy.

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I Hated the Gym Last Week

How do you create a lifestyle of fitness and health?

A lot of people think that it’s so easy because I’m a trainer, I have access to all the information, I know how to train properly and effectively and hell, I WORK and OWN a gym so of course I’m going to get there.

Obviously I will be in shape.

Obviously I love eating healthy and since I know what to do, it’s pretty freakin’ easy.


The other day I was finishing up a training session with the 7am group at the gym. Awesome session, we had a great time and lots of laughs as the 7am T/Th crew always does. As we were winding down I was thinking about the rest of my day and as I thought about my upcoming personal workout I was like “shit, I really do not want to do this today.”

You know that I love training, it’s my therapy and it keeps me sane and focused but sometimes I just don’t feel like freakin’ doing it. It’s hard as hell. My body is often beat up, my mind is on other things and of course I have a million things to do that are business related. I’m tired, I’m sore and I just don’t feel like it.

Usually once a week I have a day like that.

The difference comes right now. Do I want to work out?


Do I do it any way?


Here’s a little check list that I give myself when I have that “I hate everything in this gym” day.

Step #1- I get my ass on the foam roller

As soon as I start feeling those sore muscles start to relax and I get some mobility in my ever tight upper back, I feel just a tiny bit better.

Not a lot better, I mean I still hate “almost” everything in this gym.

Step #2- I think to myself, just get through the warm up.

I start doing some mobility work, lunges, high knees and shuffles.

My heart rate gets up and blood starts moving to my pissed off brain.

I only hate 1/2 of the gym right now. We’re getting there.

Step #3- I just get through the first set

The first set is usually pretty stiff, legs are still a little lethargic but that’s okay, I just hit 195 on the dead lift for an easy 4 reps. I can do this.

I don’t hate that barbell as much right now.

Step #4- I can’t go back now. I mean, I’ve got my shoes on, I’ve got chalk on my hands and my body is warmed up. Okay, let’s go.

By this point the workout is typically in full swing and I feel pretty damn good. I won’t lie to you and say that I ALWAYS have a great training session at this point, but in the case of this particular day I described above, it was damn good. 6 sets of heavy dead lifts followed by a circuit of:

  • Kettlebell Farmers Carry
  • Battling Ropes
  • Prowler Drags
  • Boxing
  • Sledgehammer Strikes

What’s the moral of this story, besides getting a glimpse into the inner workings of my crazy brain on workout day?

We don’t always want to do this. Our bodies are going to be tired, sore and pissed off. The difference becomes when you create the fitness lifestyle. If you are in the fitness lifestyle, you slowly and gradually work your body and your mind up for the workout.

If you are on a fitness kick or a diet, you probably will skip that day.

People think just because I live and work at the gym that I love it every single day. I’m human too. I wish I had a trainer to program the workouts and allow me to show up, kick ass and then go home.

I wish I had the accountability to not only my trainer, but to 8 other people that will be asking where I am if I don’t show up to the workout.

Sometimes all you need is the motivation and accountability of others to give you that little push on the days you don’t want to do it. Sometimes though, you have to make the choice that you WILL live that fitness lifestyle.

Just get on the roller. Then just warm up. Then just finish the first set. By that time, I’m pretty certain that you’re not going to just walk out of the gym after one set.

On the days you just aren’t feeling it, think about that sequence. Think about the reasons that you train hard. That is what will get you past that feeling of being pissed off at your boss, feeling shitty about your body and just being damn tired.

We’re all human, we all struggle, but coming out on the positive side of that small daily struggle that you’re having with your conscience about working out is what will get you results. All those days that you say “I don’t want to” and you do it anyway, that’s results.

At Durbrow Performance Training we’ve got a 21 day trial membership. Click here to register and start living the fitness lifestyle.

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