It's the last 2 reps in your dumbbell bench press. Your muscles are on fire and feel like they are giving out. This is the most you have ever lifted. All of a sudden that voice inside your head starts to creep in...

"Just stop. There is no way you can do 2 more."

You want to lift that X-Wing out of the swamp but it's just "too darn big"... 

You have 20 seconds left in a high intensity interval and that same voice is back telling you to quit...

Middle Earth is counting on you to destroy the one ring but you feel like its just getting too heavy a burden. You are not up to the task. You just.... can't.... go on.

Oh wait, some of those are just heroes from a movie right?

Those are epic stories of good vs. evil. Merely all just tales of fiction. Sure they are, but guess what? On a different scale we are no different than our favorite heroes of the big screen. That is why we connect so strongly to their stories of triumph over evil. They strike a chord with our very being, because deep down inside we all want to be that hero. The next time you are pushed right to the edge or facing some sort of doubts in your life, I want you to realize that doubting voice is not your truth. 

I want you to start thinking of your mind as having both a hero and a villain. The "inner villain" is the Voldemort of your mind telling you all the things that you hate about yourself. Its the voice keeping you from having the courage to make change and become what you are meant to be. Its the one that keeps telling you, you are too fat, too slow, too dumb, or too weak. Its the voice that beats you up when you feel like you failed at anything in life.

On the other side of your mind is the hero. The pure silent consciousness filled with calm and positivity. Your inner hero is your true authentic self that is filled with only thoughts of love. Sadly for so many, this voice has become silent. It is as if the hero has been trapped inside the villain's lair and can't escape. The villain has made you believe that you can't and never will be a hero. This voice has created insecurity in you to the point where even signs of the villain appear externally. We criticize others, put others down or even judge how they choose to live. We hurt others because we have been hurt.

And how exactly did that happen? 

It most likely started at an early age. Through all of life's experiences we have been told by our parents, teachers and close friends what is right and wrong about ourselves. Things that we have experienced have discouraged us and filled us with fear and doubt. We have been slowly molded over the years into the combination of what we think we are and what others think we should be. 

Over the past 8 years as a personal trainer I have been witness to the power of thoughts and internal belief systems. I have seen the 'inner villain' at work. So many times during one of my client's training sessions (sometimes still even in my own) I can see and feel that internal self doubt monologue creeping in. The body is completely capable of hammering out those last reps or last seconds of an interval,  however the mind is already reaching for the myriad of excuses to quit or not push past comfort levels.

In the very beginning, it is my job as a trainer to help you replace that inner villain. To verbally override your negative thought patterns and cultivate your own true hero. It's amazing the self doubting stories we tell ourselves.  "I will never be able to do 20 pushups, I can't even walk up that hill, let alone sprint up" So don't sprint. But jog. Jog until you can run, and run until you can sprint. The key here is-- Don't believe the fairy tale!!! 

The villain has been lying to you, and it's never too late to fight back. Break your hero out! Vanquish the villain in your mind and set yourself free from all the worry and doubt which has clouded your life's path. Sure, it wont be easy. It will take time, and discipline to cultivate your inner hero. For every little battle the hero wins, the villain will be there to try to thwart all of his efforts. 

But gradually, with great perseverance and diligent self awareness, the true spirit of your inner hero will shine it's way to victory. So the next time you find yourself getting caught in the villains' trap of "I can't" , free yourself with the words of your hero.

" I will kill those last two reps, I will raise that ship from the swamp, I will destroy that last interval & I will rid my inner world of darkness."