Trust Change | The willPower Method®

The other day I was asked if I would be posting progress pics along my journey to Nationals. 

In my head, I mentally ran into the gym locker room with my cell phone to expose my midsection and take a pic, but then…I felt myself cringe. If I went with that feeling, it deepened into the pit of my stomach like a pang of sadness. If I let the sadness simmer, an image of Miley Cyrus flashed across my mind and I began to feel nauseous. I shook myself back to reality and became curious about this adverse reaction…
“What’s the big deal? Everyone does it,” I rationalized.
Then, I felt this: Don’t go there. You will diminish everything you have been creating.
Aha. At that point, the reasons started rolling in…
For progress sake, I don’t post progress pics. Here’s why:
  1. They reverse the humility and reverence gains.
    • The biggest changes that occur when I compete (or set any BHAG – “big hairy audacious hairy goal”) – are the changes that happen to me as a person.
    • Humility…coming face to face with myself, my weaknesses, my struggle; accepting help: connecting more deeply to life
    • Reverence…for the process, for what I’m eating, for all the little things that mean more when they arrive in precise and precious quantities
  2. I am so much more than a body part.
    • We are living, breathing beings with unique expressions, not a set of abs to compare. If progress is more than skin-deep, it needs to be recognized as such, or…
  3. I limit what I can receive.
    • Like saying “thank you” for the wrapping paper and not the gift inside, I send a signal to the Universe that I am happy with just the wrapping paper!
    • Gratitude opens us up to receive more. 
  4. My inner self-critic takes over and, trust me, life is better without “her”!
    • Yesterday, I was in the locker room with one of my favorite IFBB Pro Bikini competitors. She was doing a shoot for Muscle & Fitness Hers and putting on the shorts and top provided. As she walks over to the full-length mirror, I hear her sigh, “Ugh. I hate shorts! I never wear them.” We laughed and I said, “You really need to get over that!” The point is no matter who you are, the inner self-critic never goes away and “she” can be a dangerous voice in our heads.
    • When you look at yourself in the mirror, where do you look first? Is it your most flattering feature? Yeah, mine neither…next!
  5. I need to step out of my own way throughout this process. 
    • What keeps us most from our goals is ourselves, our fears of inadequacy, lack, unworthiness. 
    • “Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds…including one’s own.” ~A Hero’s Journey
  6. I need to let go of the how and focus on the outcome. 
    • In reaching a goal, we need to balance the ying and the yang, the masculine energy of doing and the feminine energy of allowing.
    • When I am in the driver’s seat clutching the steering wheel, so much less is possible.  
    • If I surrender to let things happen in the best possible way, they do…because I am going with the flow, rather than struggling against it.
  7. Progress is not linear. 
    • Therefore, I should remove practices that suggest it is so.
    • Progress pics inject a sense of, “this is how things should be by now. I ought to see progress.” 
  8. Creates stickiness to the present state.
    • Emphasizing how far I’ve come…drawing attention to the past and present state…and likely to how far I have yet to go. 
    • En route to a destination, I am better served if my focus is on the destination. Anything else is an…
  9. Energy waste. Unnecessary distraction. 
    • Not only by fixating on past/present state, but also by exposing my incubated vision to the world for their feedback and how they perceive or validate where I am today.
    • Do you want to reach a consensus with what everyone else agrees is possible? Or do you want to see what is truly possible?
    • “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” ~Steve Jobs
    • There is wisdom inside. Trust it.
  10. Not serving myself (or anyone else) by inviting comparison. Emulating is a losing battle that creates distance.
    • Last year, I worked with vision boards to unwind limiting beliefs. Having cleared those, my trainer told me to stop. Stop looking out. Recalibrate what’s inside. Let go of body-envy for self-love and respect because I now know it is all there…within.
    • This journey is about bringing oneself to the fullest. No body is the same. So, we shouldn’t try to look the same, move the same, or in any other way, be the same. 
    • There is beauty in authenticity. Refine your unique gifts and expression. When you do, you will find they are more than enough…they are spectacular!
    • “Our greatest fear is not that we’re not enough, it is that we are powerful beyond measure.” ~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
It is is a slippery slope between self-love and external validation…between self-worth and no-worth. When people around you do something, there is a temptation…and pressure to follow suit. Social media exacerbates this and fosters feelings of insecurity. If posting progress pics works for you, I am not here to judge or say “don’t!” I am here to softly ask whose interests are you serving? Because, I know (from plenty of experience…) how unconscious acts have a way of self-sabotaging our best intentions and limiting our greatness.
As you’ve contemplated “change” a few weeks ago, I encourage you to use your other senses…your deeper senses…to trust change, to feel change. Not needing a scale or a progress pic to show you what you know to be true…not to devalue your worth or belittle your unique greatness. Fuel your goals and your vision…whatever they may be by making them yours. Choose to operate in your Zone of Genius.
Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit


  1. Angela Tripp
    Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 at 7:27 am ·

    Thank you, Sarah. This is wonderful.

  2. Casey Dawson
    Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 at 5:21 am ·

    Wow. This resonates. I am going to bookmark to re-read and I’m going to share it! Negative self talk and negative self image are undeniably detrimental to our journey.

    I was in a circuit class the other day and I noticed as we stood in front of the mirror the woman behind me wouldn’t lift her eyes. She was so unsure of herself and so uncomfortable in her own skin that would not even look up at herself. I wanted to stop and tell her she was strong and awesome just for being IN the class and working hard.

    It’s easy to see it in others, it’s easy to lift others up- but I’ve been that lady. And those negative feelings are bound to show up again, but your words will be a reminder! Thank you.

  3. Kim
    Thursday, October 10th, 2013 at 10:27 pm ·

    Absolute spot on fantastic!
    Thank you

    • Sarah Ingmanson
      Friday, October 11th, 2013 at 11:07 am ·

      Thanks, Kim :)

  4. Tracy
    Thursday, October 10th, 2013 at 8:16 pm ·

    Amazing!!!! Thank you!

    • Sarah Ingmanson
      Friday, October 11th, 2013 at 11:06 am ·

      Thanks, Tracy!