Power in Your Body, Power in Your Business
Our society seriously undervalues the feeling of power in our physical bodies (specifically for women).
And the entrepreneur world underestimates the success effects of building your physical strength alongside running your business.
I chatted with a woman the other day who goes to a personal trainer, and when I asked her about her routine, she said she rarely lifts weights. And when she does, it’s always very light weights because she doesn’t like the way she looks when her muscles get big. She said, “We are women, we don’t need big muscles.”
The culture in general encourages women to go to the gym or exercise so they can change the way they look in one way or another. Gain weight, lose weight, get skinner, get toned…blah blah blah.
My life has always revolved pretty heavily around exercise and building strength. For my first job when I was 15, I cycled 6 miles one way to get to my job at a farm, and then cycled back every day. Coworkers would offer me rides but I always refused because I loved the feeling I got when my legs carried me up a big hill (on my dad’s old cruiser bike no less).
Many years ago, I sold my car and decided I’d commute by bicycle everywhere I needed to go, rain or shine. I didn’t buy a car again until this year, probably 6 years later.
I didn’t make the change because I wanted to change the way I looked. I did it because I love to feel powerful.
I always have some major physical goal on my horizon that I work towards. Whether that be running a marathon, hiking a through-trail, or doing a long cycling trip, it’s vital to my happiness and fulfillment in life to have a big physical goal that I work towards.
Now, my current goal is to cycle across Croatia. So I go to the gym and I lift weights to build up muscle strength for the big ride. And when I struggle to get up in the morning (NOT a morning person, by any means), I don’t tell myself, “Oh I’m gonna look so good if I stay consistent at the gym.”
Not a chance. Because that doesn’t matter. (Even though others – and even YOU – will tell you otherwise.)
The Critical Shift from Wanting to Change How You Look to Wanting to Get Stronger
Instead of thinking about wanting to change my appearance, I tell myself, “I’m going to cycle across Croatia. I’m going to feel powerful.” And that gets me out of bed and into the gym.
This morning, I had ‘leg day’ at the gym – by far the strongest part of my body. And that feeling of using my muscles to the point of pain, endurance even when it burns, sweat running down my face and body…it’s power.
It’s a feeling of pride in my accomplishments.
It’s a feeling of persevering through difficulties to get what I want.
It’s a feeling of putting this physical body to use and helping it become all that it can be.
And after the gym, my head is clear. My intuition is on fire. I’m full of ideas, motivation. I’m ready to create.
Because physical power is important.
Feeling the physical and mental effects of building strength can give you a GIANT leap toward loving your own body. (This is literally how I overcame an eating disorder I suffered from for many years.)
Aside from that, it’s a great mindset booster for business.
In those moments when sales are down or you’ve got a case of imposter syndrome, it helps to remind yourself of those times when you felt powerful. (I’m so grateful to have learned this technique from Claudia Mangeac in her mindset portion of a business course.)
When I’m in those moments of hardship or self doubt, I literally picture myself climbing Mt. Negoiu in Romania or Mt. Etna in Sicily. I remember how much I loved the feeling of using my legs to their maximum strength and how glorious the view was at the top.
And I say to myself, “If I could climb those physical mountains and love every minute of it, then I can climb this business mountain and feel powerful while I’m doing it.”
Overcoming the ‘Need’ for a Man to Keep You Safe
A friend recently told me about an outdoor adventure she wanted to take, and we chatted about who would be going. She said she would just feel better if a guy were there to make her feel safe.
And I’m not judging anyone for wanting to feel safe. As women, we have been the underlings of society for a long time. Most, if not all of us have experienced some kind of violence or threat to our bodies and/or mental wellbeing. So wanting to feel safe is not only justified, but necessary.
But why do you think a guy needs to keep you physically safe?
You are fully capable of developing muscle strength in your body. Practicing self defense. Learning wilderness survival skills. Whatever it is that fits the situation you’re thinking of, you can do it.
Being a woman doesn’t mean you need to be weak physically.
But the cultural conditioning goes deep.
It says women should stick to things like pilates, yoga, or Zumba.
Weight lifting is for men, they say. Big muscles are for men. Women should have muscle definition, but they are unattractive if they develop big muscles (Bullshit).
The culture dictates diets for women that are all about losing weight rather than building strength.
That girl I mentioned in the beginning of this post, she told me, “Mia, you don’t have enough testosterone in your body to build big muscles.” Well, having more testosterone in your body doesn’t make it a given that you’ll have more strength than someone with less of the hormone.
Strength is ultimately built through nurturing our body with adequate levels of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats so that our bodies can produce energy in an efficient way to propel us.
Strength is ultimately built by endurance, slowly progressing to more and more weight, consistently showing up and being dedicated. Sleeping enough. Drinking enough water. Not slogging our energy down with excess processed sugars.
But Aren’t Men Just Naturally Stronger Than Women?
A lot of people like to put out the argument, “Well if a man and a woman are doing the same exercises at the same time and the same amount of dedication, the man will get stronger.”
And that can be true…but is not true across the board. Because of something called muscle memory. This happens when your brain remembers the ‘moves’ over many years. That’s why some people are able to just run a marathon willy-nilly without training – because they’ve run many marathons in the past.
I used to go to the gym with my ex-boyfriend.
I had spent my whole life doing leg-focused sports: cycling, running, hiking, etc. So I have very strong muscle memory in my quads, glutes, hamstrings, etc.
He hadn’t done much in the leg arena at all in his life. But he had done a lot of strength building in his arms, so he had that muscle memory.
So when he and I would work out together, I lifted 3 times the amount of weight for leg exercises than he could lift. And it was pretty much vice versa when it came to arms.
Neither of these were because he’s a man and I’m a woman. They had to do primarily with our muscle memory.
And if he and I had continued to lift the same way together for years going forward, he would never catch up to the amount of weight I was lifting in my legs.
1. Because I ate nutritious foods and he didn’t. So over time, my muscles would continue to be nourished and develop in a healthy way, and his wouldn’t be able to withstand heavier weights due to the lack of nourishment he was (or wasn’t) fueling them with.
2. Because I spent my developing years (teen through early adult) establishing strength in my leg muscles and he didn’t. So I have a lifelong foundation to build on, whereas he started from scratch in his thirties.
The lesson? You’re capable of more than you think you are.
Don’t let your gender or your past lifestyle limit you.
Also, if you’re subscribing to the patriarchal idea of needing a man to save you physically, you may well be subscribing to the patriarchal idea that you need a coach, program, or strategy to save your BUSINESS and make you successful.
More about this towards the bottom of the page.
I’m NOT Saying All Women Need to Start Weight Lifting
There are plenty of ways to build muscle strength without getting a gym membership.
- You can do bodyweight exercises.
- You cycle up hills.
- You can run up hills.
- You can push your baby uphill in a stroller (if you have one).
- I’ve seen moms holding their babies while they did squats.
- I’ve used my cat as extra weight when I didn’t have access to the gym.😂
- You can build muscle while dancing or doing certain types of yoga.
- Go kayaking to build full body strength.
But by all means, make it a priority to do something (and stick with it) that makes your body feel powerful. It’s going to improve your overall mindset, your creativity, AND your ability to take more risks and go on more adventures.
(Trust me, that feeling of I CAN DO THIS can’t be replaced by any other high!)
How to Become Braver and Make Your Adventurous Dreams a Reality
Over the past several years, other women will hear about me doing long cycling and camping adventures, spending multiple days in a row alone in the mountains, and doing this and that physical adventure, and they’ll say, “I could never go and do that alone!”
Yes, you could.
I wasn’t born strong and brave.
It took me realizing that this is something I love to do. This is something that fuels my creativity. This is something that gives me supreme joy. So I’m gonna fucking do it.
I’ve built (and am always building) the strength.
I’ve learned the survival skills.
I’ve done the research on the necessary gear, finding routes, best techniques, and methods. I’ve practiced with shorter, less intense trips to train myself for the bigger ones.
And that’s why I’ve been able to hike and cycle and camp (often for multiple days in a row) in Italy, Spain, Serbia, Bosnia, Albania, Romania, Greece, and probably other countries too but I can’t think of them at the moment.
And I’ve done it alone. Without feeling the need to find a guy to protect me or motivate me.
And maybe you don’t dream of doing a multi-day hiking trip.
Maybe you don’t like cycling.
But I hope this blog challenges you to challenge yourself physically. To see where you’re limiting yourself because you’re waiting for the right person to come along that you can do it with.
Want to take a road trip across the US or Europe? Don’t wait until you find an adventurous guy who can do it with you.
Want to leave home and try the digital nomad life? Don’t wait until you can find a friend or a guy to go with you.
That doesn’t mean you have to go from 0 to 100 all in one go. I meannnn, I’m not saying you need to go sign up for Naked and Afraid or anything.
You can always hire a guide or a coach who can show you the ropes. Then go on your own the next time. If you’re afraid of something, you can ease yourself into it one step at a time. Read my post on overcoming fears right here.
For example, cycling Croatia isn’t my end goal. I want to cycle across South America. But I’m not ready for that, and I’m still pretty darn intimidated by the idea. So instead, I’ll cycle just one country this summer to ease myself into the bigger adventure I want to take.
So How Does Physical Strength Directly Affect Your Success in Business?
Because as an entrepreneur, the way you feel in your everyday life affects the way you run your business. It’s just a fact. When you’re healthy mentally and physically, your business becomes healthier. (This study reviews the importance of physical fitness for productivity and performance in the workplace.)
When you’re healthy mentally and physically, your creativity and intuition become stronger. Hence, better ideas for growing your business, more creativity in your content and offer creation.
Not only that, but when you are limiting yourself in one area of your life, you’re really limiting yourself in all areas of your life.
Are you looking for someone to come and rescue you in your life, to give you the kick-in-the-pants to do that physical adventure you have an inner longing to do?
Are you looking for someone to come and rescue you in your business, to give you the income boost or visibility boost you want to achieve?
There’s nothing wrong with getting support when you need it.
But the ultimate goal should not be to get others to “save you” so you can finally have a better wellbeing or business growth. Whether you hire a weightlifting coach, an adventure guide, a business coach, or a copywriter…
This person’s job is not to empower you.
Their job is to support you as you empower yourself – and you merely take the opportunity to allow that person to help you become more able to empower yourself – both physically AND in your business.
If you feel the need for some support to become more adventurous in your copywriting and marketing, to really show your power and make waves in your industry…
I’m now booking Aligned Copy Coaching sessions. Not only do I coach and mentor you through writing more effective copy, but we’ll make sure it’s fully aligned with your authentic self and your business vision.