Breaking through Plateaus
By Charles Hopkins
Published 11/27/2007 | Fitness
So, you are on a plateau. Congratulations for making it to this level.
You started out and made big strides. Pretty exciting going from peak
to peak huh? That upward progress is very exhilarating, especially when
improvement comes so fast. It gets you to thinking you are going to
have this thing down and licked in no time flat. Yeah, how about that!
Then, your constant rise peters put and the ascent turns flat. Well
what do you know about that!
It is something everyone should expect as the natural course of
things. You have a sharp learning curve when starting out in anything
new. After a while, when you have got some of the simpler basics under
your belt you might be saying "where do I go from here" or "I know what
I should be able to do next, but I just cannot get the knack of it."
Growth comes in stages. From the moment of conception we grow
exponentially as our cells split and multiply. Still, it will take 9
months until we are born, another year before we are able to walk, and
another 15 years before we are able to drive a car on the road. If we
kept growing in size at the rate we did when in the womb we would be
able to swallow that car!
Take dieting as an example. You lose a lot of pounds on the first
week, so you expect to lose the same amount the next week and the week
after that, but that is not the way it works. As time goes on you do
not lose as much as fast. The important thing is, you are going in the
right direction and that you do not gain back what you lost. Rather
than being drastic about dieting, strive for lasting benefit through a
lifestyle change of more exercise and healthier eating.
No doubt you have thought and maybe even said out loud as a kid
that you cannot wait until you grow up. Problem is that it seems to
take forever. You think you are in a plateau but fact is that growth is
happening, just not as fast as you want it.
Do not worry about it. Just have fun, get the proper education,
listen to and emulate those who have successfully traveled your path,
do what you need to do to have what you want to have, and enjoy the
place you are at right now. Often times we are progressing and do not
even know it, and even when we see no results on the outside, there may
be plenty of incubation going on inside. Hurrying things along faster
than their normal course may do more harm than good, like when you rip
a cocoon off a butterfly, it will die.
Imagination is one way to break through your plateau before you
even break through your plateau. Visualize and feel with vivid emotion
the ideal you want to accomplish just as if you have actually
accomplished it, and do it as a daily meditation until the actual
outcome is obtained. That is a very good habit that will lay the mental
paving ground for you. Mindset, clarity, attitude, and motivation are
what will break you through your plateau posthaste.
The thing to remember is not to give up, that perfect practice
makes perfect, and every stage that that practice brings us to is
perfect. Development often unfolds when we least expect it, thus making
it a cause for celebration. Surprise! You have broken through your
What happens after that, will be another plateau. That should be no
surprise. With discipline and maybe a little obsession, you go from one
plateau to another. Sometimes in order to reach the next plateau you
need to be innovative and try new things. That oftentimes is how
records are broken. But warning: if you are an athlete do not take
steroids - it has bad consequences for both your health and your
career. Your goal should be to master the game, not cheat at it.