Anatomy of Belief – In Fitness (Part 3)

To continue this 4 part series on the anatomy of belief in fitness, I’d like to talk about the second moving part of a belief. But before I do, a quick recap.

In Part 1 I broke down the 3 moving parts of a belief and touched on;

Part A) References: These are the pillars that hold up a belief

Pat B) Filters: These are what determines what we perceive based on the references accumulated and the emotions that arise from those references.

Part C) Incentive and punishment: What lies at the core of every belief is the question,

“Will this situation, person or thing hurt or benefit me?”

Then in Part 2, I went into references and pointed out how each one of them are birthed by either a memory, an experience or a learning. I also expanded on the implications of identifying yourself as those references.

Now, for part 3.


A filter is a lens that dictates and determines exactly what information, interpretation and conclusion we are open to receiving.

Once there’s a build up of references to draw from about what you believe, that tends to be the guidebook by which you use to determine how to process what you see, hear and feel.

You may have heard of the impact in the mindset of many runners after Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile. No one had ever ran a mile in under 4 minutes before, therefore due to the lack of reference to support the possibility, the potential to run a mile under 4 minutes was filtered out of people’s minds.

Bannister created that reference of possibility for all runners after. 46 days later, Bannister’s time of 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds was beaten by John Landy at 3 minutes and 57.9 seconds. Landy was just the first of a flood of runners since to have beaten the 4 minute mile.

What’s interesting is the emotional charge that comes from the references you form towards our beliefs. In fact, it’s the emotions that you have about something that determine your filters. Once you feel strongly about something, you are more likely to perceive it and conversely, if you feel strongly against something, you are more likely to block it out.

Furthermore, you may even use past reference of what you know or have experienced to justify how you feel about something.

In fact, there are a lot of techniques to address your emotional charges that keep you stuck in any area of life and its amazing how just releasing some negative emotions can dramatically change how you perceive things.

In your fitness, performance or physical activity, what might be some things that YOU feel strongly for or against?

How is that feeling effecting your view of what’s possible for you?

Is it keeping you from performing at a higher level or putting in the commitment or intensity that could bring about greater results in your fitness or weight loss goals?

Or do you have something working for you in how strongly you feel for it that’s giving you an edge over yourself?

Next time, I’ll be going into Part 4. Incentive and punishment: the core of all belief.

‘Til then, remember, what you think is possible and what you think isn’t has more to do with what you feel based on the references that have accumulated in your experiences, memories or learning.

Inspired by fitness,

Clinton Boucheix