Even if you don’t always want to walk into to the fitness studio, you most likely walk out feeling like a million bucks. And while endorphins have something to do with it, there’s probably another reason you’re riding an emotional high: your instructor.
Of course, personalities and coaching styles vary from trainer to trainer, but more often than not, an upbeat, inspirational instructor can give you the personal push you need to tackle any challenge. A pro’s guidance and positivity should help you feel accomplished by the final stretch, and that confidence boost can easily transcend the studio, too.
To take your sense of achievement from the classroom to everyday life, we found out the exact words body- and ability-positive fit pros use to motivate and build morale. So, the next time you’re doubting yourself or lacking inspiration, repeat one of these confidence-building mantras below.
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7 Motivational Mantras for an Instant Confidence Kick
1. “Your workout, your body, your time, your life.”
With demanding schedules and seemingly never-ending to-do lists, fitting in fitness can sometimes seem like a chore. But if you’re not 100 percent into your workout, your performance can certainly suffer — and then your confidence plummets, too. Sadie Kurzban, founder of the dance cardio craze 305 Fitness, loves this mantra to get your head in the game. “It empowers clients to remember that they have the choice,” she says. “So it both takes the pressure off and encourages them to take ownership over their time.” No matter what, always give yourself credit for showing up.
2. “Take a second and acknowledge where you’re at right now.”
At times, the expectations we create for ourselves are not in sync with reality. Though it’s important to push hard and set big goals, we occasionally set sights outside of our reach and end up disappointed and discouraged. Kat Ellis, head instructor of Uplift Studios, uses this quote when the going gets tough and success seems impossible. Pause for a moment to reflect on your current condition and how far you’ve come. Then, just make an effort to do the best you can in the current moment. “Control is yours for the taking,” she says.
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3. “If you can face yourself, you can face anyone or anything.”
“How you face challenges in this room reflects how you handle adversity outside the walls,” says Gerren Liles, a fitness instructor at Equinox, who knows a thing or two about challenges. His workouts are notoriously tough (and effective!). Especially relevant in a sweat-drenched room with floor-to-ceiling mirrors, taking a long, hard look at how you react to difficult situations can be very enlightening. So the next time you’re confronted with an obstacle — be it a burpee or a tough conversation — step outside yourself and take a second to assess if your response is serving your progress.
4. “When you really want it, you are unstoppable.”
The intenSati method, founded by Patricia Moreno, is all about using your words (and workout) to make positive changes in your daily life. If you consistently find yourself uninspired to work toward a goal, you might want to reassess how bad you actually want it — and the reason you started going for it in the first place. It’s freeing to let go of what we’re “supposed” to do, and therefore create room to focus on what really matters to you. Once you identify your driving force, you just might find ease in the process.
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5. “Does it hurt, or is it really hard? Because it’s OK for things to be hard.”
When faced with a particularly tough situation (whether physical or emotional) it can be tempting to shy away from it. But as Anula Maiberg, co-owner of Sixth Street Pilates, advises clients, it’s important to decipher a truly painful experience from a difficult challenge. Most of the time, it’s the latter. And in that case, remind yourself that the discomfort is only temporary. It will help propel you to victory.
6. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change youⓇ.”
You may have heard Core Fusion co-creator and Barre Fitness co-author Fred DeVito’s succinct message in other classes. (It’s so popular, it’s trademarked!) But it’s one that serves as a solid mantra. Very simply: If you want to make a change, it won’t happen magically. You have to work for it. Focus on the positive outcome and it just might help you find the extra push you need to keep going.
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7. “Ask yourself for more.”
When you’re gritting your teeth through a tough move like jump squats or plyometric lunges, it’s easy to want to quit. That’s why Daily Burn 365 trainer, Dara Theodore repeats this mantra. “It’s just a matter of reminding yourself that you do have more in the tank, you just have to summon it,” she says. It’s also a good life mantra, too. Putting in the extra effort and doing more than what’s asked can go a long way in terms of career success and overall kindness and happiness.