Is Your Mind Playing Tricks on You?

Read More: Discipline  |  Personal Development

Yesterday while I was at the gym riding a recumbant bike as part of my daily workout, I found myself in the middle of a back and forth struggle.

No, it wasn't because I was riding between two other people arguing while they worked out,
but an internal struggle between my conscious and subconscious minds.

You see, I set the pedal resistance on the bike unusually high after about a 2 minute warm up and set the digital timer for 30 minutes.

My goal was to pedal for 28 minutes at a level that I'd normally only reach for about 3 minutes during the peak of my ride, right before I cut back to cool down.

In other words, I was severly challenging myself in a way I'd never done before by riding for 28 minutes at a level that I'd normally ride for only 3.

It was truly a test of my own will, just to see how far I could push myself.

I knew that when I set this goal for myself, (and set the timer) that I was in for a major test.

So as my legs were churnin' & burnin' in just the first minute of this super high intensity portion of my ride, already my mind was coming up with reasons why I should just get off the bike and go lift some weights.

Yep, just one minute into my workout and already my subconscious mind is doing a job on me!

Excuse #1 - I was tired. (I wasn't at all)

Excuse #2 - I can just do it tomorrow. (Yeah right - don't fall for this one - most people do)

Excuse #3 - I don't want to burn myself out for my weight training. (just another lame excuse not to leave it all on the table)

Yes, I was being challenged by myself and it was pretty interesting. I was actually laughing at myself during this back and forth battle.

My conscious mind had to come up with some reasons for me not to quit on myself and not to quit on my goals.

I ran through every single reason I was at the gym in the first place. All the reasons I train every day and what my goals are for putting my body through this type of test.

In the meantime, my legs were doing just fine. A little pain from lactic acid build up, but nonetheless, they were still moving and I was about 5 or 6 minutes into my workout!

Does this happen to you too?

Do you ever attempt to justify and give yourself permission to quit something you've started only to find yourself right in the middle of the undaunting task, making progress despite your attempts to sabotage your success?

If you are human, it probably happens often.

It does for me.

But like me, you overcome.

You press on.

You practice discipline.

I did and continued on my ride.

I listened to music, typed my thoughts and ideas into my iPhone Notepad and just visualized passing my 2nd Degree Black Belt test in Tae Kwon Do late next spring. (Yes, I'm beginning to prepare now; not waiting until a few months before my test when I have to cram to remember every single kick, punch, block & throw...a lesson inside a lesson, hmmmmm!)

At 30 minutes of my ride, I finished.

And let me tell was AWESOME!

My legs didn't fall off, my heart didn't explode and my mind was at ease. No more squabbling.

It was the best feeling I had after a workout in months, mainly because I kept on going, when all forces tried to stop me.

Do outside forces do this to you too?

Do you feel resistance from people or situations around you that attempt to shelve your plans on your way to the top?

If so, embrace them. Allow them to happen. You cannot control the "uncontrollable".

Allow them to challenge you but stand tall in the face of adversity and keep moving your legs.

Because if you don't keep moving, continuing on and making small incremental progress despite what people say to you, about you or behind your back, you lose.




But this can only happen if you are not working on yourself and practicing the disciplines that you know you must master in order to succeed.

You see, your body will do what your mind tells it to.

And its small people who give small problems, big energy.

And it's no different while working out than building your business.

What makes it challenging is that the "logic" in justifying why it is ok if you quit sounds so good, that you can almost believe it every time.

But you must not take that advice. It's not coming from a place of empowerment, trust or inspiration.

It's coming from a man made fear manufactured inside your deepest thoughts that if you succeed, you will be different, won't be liked, loved or accepted.

Perhaps by people who feel intimidated by you and your success or who feel uncomfortable with themselves for their lack of production - but not by other successful people who are in the process to take themelves, their lives and everyone they touch (both directly and indirectly), straight to the top.

So continue on, keep on moving forward and keep your eyes on the end result. A life of complete and total freedom. Being surrounded by other like minded leaders who have led thousands of others as well.

Stay committed to the process and know that every day that you move forward, every step, every pedal, every solution of every moment of challenge that you overcome, that you are that much closer to success and creating an exceptional life for yourself.

Remember, the bigger the test, the better your testimonial and without some darn war to fight, the warrior may as well be dead.

Be a warrior.

Keep on fighting for your freedom.

Keep on fighting for your family.

Keep on fighting for your life.

Take a stand for what you believe.

Lead others who look to you for support.

Don't let your mind play tricks on you.

A lot of people are counting on you to show them the way.

You can be, do and have everything you've ever wanted.

Just never quit and never, never, never stop moving your legs!



Aaron Rashkin is an MLM Expert whose 14 years experience being self employed in Free Enterprise has allowed him to earn a high multiple six figure yearly income since 2004 and currently his team reaches almost 10,000 people in 14 countries doing millions of dollars in business every year. Visit to subscribe to his To the Top Newsletter, Top 10 Success Principles, HOT Leadership Tips & Best of the Best Prospecting Training.


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About the Author: Aaron Rashkin


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Member Since: 08/06/2007

Company: Lifestyle Marketing Group, LLC

Industry: Marketing and Advertising

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Dear Sir,


I am Nakobu U. Kobshie Asana Iddris , am a Ghanaian  completed high school and i need a job ,i am single and 24yrs of age .

please Sir, i really need your help . that is why am here today . please help me. i hope to hear frm you soon .

thank you.


iddris asana — Sat, 08/30/2008 - 6:03am

Great post Aaron

Awesome message Aaron, and glad to hear your legs didn't fall off!

It's true that we are our own worst enemies. There is always a reason 'not' to do something right now. But the right time just never arrives - it's like tomorrow. Always out there on the horizon, but never quite within reach.

I can attest to the power of doing something you truly don't want to do, when you really don't want to do it! Put myself through it yesterday making a video for the BetterNetworker Motivation group.

And like you, once it was done, the 'buzz' was more than worth the effort!

Thanks for this


susan coils — Sat, 08/30/2008 - 9:11am

Mind Tricks

Aaron, thank you. This is where I'm at right now and I needed to read it from someone else. The piece of inspiration I needed.

Simone Hardy — Mon, 09/01/2008 - 1:10pm

Internal vs. External

Thank you for this GREAT article Aaron!  You really painted a clear picture on going into yourself...which is where it has to start.  We have to be willing to get our drive from the internal rather than the external.  Many people would rather look outside of themselves for something to keep going...but it has to come from within!!


Pamela Glowski — Tue, 09/02/2008 - 7:14am

Hit the Nail on the Head!

This was a great example of how we can excuse our way back to a mediocre result. It is when we can honestly analyze ourselves that we can begin to get rid of that bad habit!

Thank you for the great post!

Live Great,


Mary Thayer — Mon, 09/08/2008 - 8:08pm

Aaron, Thank you for the insights.


I will see you at the top!  This is Chapter Two of MS. Our mind plays tricks on us. We can trick our minds too.  Never catch your dreams. The opportunity for personal growth exists in having larger goals to come from and live into.

Thank you.

Michael Eisbrener — Fri, 09/12/2008 - 1:37pm

I have that battle

I have that battle everyday... Sometimes I lose and give in but more often that n not I win and that always feels great and gives me strength.  I think wnning that battle consistently has to do with the ability to focus on your outcome.  Something many people including myself need to focus on.


Erik Shear — Mon, 09/15/2008 - 10:24am


Right ON, Aaron - my favourite takes from what you wrote:

On resistance from others on your way to the top:
"If so, embrace them. Allow them to happen. You cannot control the "uncontrollable"."

And, "Perhaps by people who feel intimidated by you and your success or who feel uncomfortable with themselves for their lack of production - but not by other successful people who are in the process to take themelves, their lives and everyone they touch (both directly and indirectly), straight to the top."

I love the metaphor of the gym - as an avid fitness enthusiast (and former personal trainer) I love the self-talk that goes on in the mind. I realize that just as I can prepare myself for a heavy deadlift, I can do the same with my business.

Be well and thank you for the fantastic article!


Darren Stehle — Fri, 09/19/2008 - 1:36pm

So True For So Many Of Us

Well said Aaron -

We are so afraid of pushing the limits and going onto a place that doesn't make us feel comfortable. It's time to get out of our comfort zone and try something new.

It is so true that we need to push the limit in order to sustain massive personal growth. After all, it is us that is holding ourselves back. So, as Napoleon Hill once said, "keep on, keeping on."

Never give up.


Jerome Ratliff — Mon, 09/22/2008 - 7:05pm

Great Work Aaron

Fantastic article.

It is SO easy to fall victim to that "little voice" when tackling something challenging... be it a work out or just a list of To Do's.  Perseverance is such a necessity, not only in this industry but in life.

Thanks for the article. It really hit home!

Lynne and Chad

Lynne And Chad — Tue, 09/23/2008 - 4:46pm

Thanks Aaron

Thanks Aaron!

This article served its purpose!  We all have head chatter in all areas of our life.  We can all relate to the gym because there is physical pain involved!  We want to stop to avoid the pain yet as you shared its all about pushing beyond and having a BIG carrot on the other end! 

Thanks for sharing

Willy Nelson Jr


Willy Nelson — Thu, 09/25/2008 - 2:04pm

thanks aaron

that is so true....I have been there and said all what you said.,..

but know I can go all the way and still walk 6 blocks a night......

Thank you


Teresa GASPARRE — Fri, 09/26/2008 - 5:30pm

i need u help mum

Happy day mummy my name is michael i an citizen of south afica i an through with my high school so i need a help from u mummy please help me that is why i am here today.

michael John — Thu, 10/09/2008 - 8:37am

hello sir u will win what ever u desire just focus

Hi sir my name is michael i am a nigeria i saw u comment please just focus u will get it i will love to reply me back i will be inpress.that is why i am hers now.

michael John — Thu, 10/09/2008 - 8:42am

love is beautiful

Hi my name is michael i live at nigereia. i love u togerther.please just go on with it.

michael John — Thu, 10/09/2008 - 8:46am

Good article

Thanks for sharing a great article.  It seems true, for me, when I push myself more physically at the gym, it creates breakthroughs and clarity in all areas, especially thoughts.


Linda Krueger — Wed, 10/22/2008 - 10:07am

Yet Another Great Piece...

I think it's now my duty to read everything you've wrote on here. I subscribed to your page already, and read most of all your blog, but I need to catch up with you on here. I love reading your pieces, they give me inspiration. YOU actually gave me the idea to "give inspiration" out to subscribers. I'm working on a site that does just that! Minds do play tricks on people, and until they notice it.....they'll keep losing. But those of us who read and study about changing our mindset know that our mind is one of our greatest enemies. We are the only people that can stop ourselves. Keep up the good work.



Mike Morgan — Fri, 10/24/2008 - 9:21am

Man Made Fear

I must not have that gene.

It's coming from a man made fear manufactured inside your deepest thoughts that if you succeed, you will be different, won't be liked, loved or accepted.

Michelle Behney — Mon, 04/27/2009 - 3:46pm

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