This is going to seem like it’s totally out of left field, but go with me. Do you know who Cus D’Amato is? Don’t go Googling him just yet, I’ll tell you the little bit that I know and why he fascinates me. He was a boxing trainer and boxing manager who trained heavy weight champion Mike Tyson as well as Olympic gold medalist Floyd Patterson. Side note, one of his methods of training was hypnosis.
Anyways, D’Amato was known not just for his unorthodox training methods but also for his quotes, one in particular (it’s super famous and I put the full quote below for your reading pleasure) that speaks about fear and how fear can work to your advantage if you understand it.
I think fear is a predominate force that holds people back, myself included. I remember the first time my PT said I could walk again (without assistance), took my boot and told me to walk. I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared in my life. I thought my whole foot would crumble, I thought I was going to fall, I thought I would FAIL. But I took that first step because I had the support of my PT beside me and I told her what was scaring me.
I think fear is what holds people back from losing weight or incorporating healthy living as a way of life and not just a pipe dream. The actual reasons behind the fear are different depending on the person, but it’s fear nonetheless.
Ultimately it’s fear of the unknown. Unhealthy living is still living after all, not to your fullest potential, but it’s something you become comfortable with like you would an old friend. We get used to feeling like shit, being sluggish and tired, having that roll of fat that pooches over your pants and then we make up excuses for it. Trust me, I’ve heard every excuse under the sun. Everything from “I can’t do it”, to “my body won’t lose weight”, to “I’m just a thick girl”.
I know that what’s really behind those excuses is the fact that changing is scary. That anticipation of what could be is terrifying, you don’t know what will happen on the other side of things so it’s easier to just stay where you are.
So it’s easier to just stay where you’re at and continue complaining. But here’s the thing: if you can understand what’s holding you back, if you can understand where those excuses are coming from, then you can use that fear to propel you past the excuses and into a healthy life.
Harness your fear and what’s holding you back and turn it into a strength, then all of a sudden the excuses that used to work won’t work and you’ll be well on your way to your healthiest and happiest existence.
Here’s D’Amato’s full quote:
“You must understand fear so you can manipulate it. Fear is like fire. You can make it work for you; it can warm you in the winter, cook your food when you’re hungry, give you light when you’re in the dark and produce energy. Let it go out of control and it can hurt you, even kill you…fear is a friend of exceptional people.” – Cus D’Amato