When we think of the words and phrases “fitness,” “working out,” and “getting in shape,” our minds almost automatically zoom to the idea of getting a better body, a body that we feel comfortable, confident, and “attractive” in.

Don’t get us wrong, feeling comfortable, confident and attractive in your skin is extremely important, but we’re missing the mark if a better body is all that we think we earn when we focus on our health and fitness.

Creating a better mindset and a better mental space is something that the majority of us would love to work towards just as much as a better body, but we so often fail to recognize that by choosing to increase our fitness, deciding to take the time to workout, and working to get in better shape, we actually are improving our state of mind!

When we make the decision to improve our health and obtain the body we want, we are essentially telling ourselves, “Hey, you’re special and important and you deserve to feel great.” Just that SINGLE initial decision already helps to boost our confidence levels before our bodies have even changed!

You see, the development of our bodies and minds go hand in hand – you can’t have one grow without the other. Our bodies won’t go where our minds won’t push them, so you can’t get your dream body without the mindset to back it up. Likewise, and as mentioned before, working towards that dream body and seeing progress helps to validate our minds and lets us know that we’re doing it right, we’re doing a great job, and we should keep going.

It isn’t necessarily the “good looking body” that makes us feel so great mentally. It’s the feeling we get from pouring so much love, power, respect and strength into ourselves that we are able to promote such positive changes in our outward appearance. This is why when you feel like you look good, you also just really feel good. Not because you look good, but because you put yourself first and proved to yourself that you are absolutely worthy of your own time and effort.

That right there is a HUGE personal win.

And you know what, that love, power, respect and strength doesn’t just stay isolated to our improved health and appearance. Nope, it slowly but surely starts to take over every dang aspect of our lives! Our relationships with friends, family and significant others, our work life, our ability to make and trust our decisions, you name it, our positive mindset will begin to seep into it.

So, if you find yourself thinking about how unhappy you are with yourself the next time you’re looking in the mirror or trying on clothes in the dressing room, use that moment to take a hard look back and ask yourself where you are struggling mentally.

What is stopping you from living your happiest, healthiest, most fulfilled life?

What is stopping you from putting yourself first, and how can you start?