While it’s true that everyone is unique in biochemistry, arthropometry, and every other "–try" we could list, it can really throw up some walls when we’re automatically given a “that doesn’t apply to me” defense. Simply invoking the Uniqueness card can create barriers that will impede your progress in myriad ways. Try adding some "right now" to your thoughts: a simple qualifier that opens up a world of possibilities.
I can’t squat like that.
Well, no. Not right now you can’t. But that’s because your body isn’t yet in a place to squat like that. That doesn't mean you can't (or shouldn't) get there.
Squatting hurts my knees.
Squatting hurts your knees right now. But that’s not to say that squatting hurts your unique, individual knees because they, specifically, aren’t meant to squat. There are myriad reasons why squatting might hurt your knees: improper squatting movement patterns, poor daily movements outside of the gym (walking, jogging, standing, sitting habits; muscular imbalances at the knee joint or even other areas that then deflect the imbalance down…). But there is no good reason why you can’t get to the point where squatting no longer hurts your knees.
I function fine on 4 hours of sleep a night.
First of all, we have to define our terms here. What exactly does it mean to “function fine”? And second, the truth of the matter is that, however you define it, you only function fine right now. It’s the simple truth. Are you able to make it through your day without any major catastrophes happening? Most likely. But are you functioning optimally? Absolutely not.
Our bodies are wired for survival, so if conditions aren’t optimal for us to maintain peak health, then so be it: we’ll just maintain the immediately necessary functions (heart beat, breathing, digestion, etc.) and to hell with all the rest (cellular cleanup, tissue repair, menstruation, testosterone production, etc.). The truth is, it will catch up with you. There’s no way to know when or how, but it will. It may not be as dramatic as falling asleep at the wheel (though it could be), but that extra body fat and diabetes? Well, they’re sneaky little buggers.
I can’t dance (or sing or play guitar or…).
By now, you know the answer: you can’t do those things right now. And if all you’re thinking is how those have nothing to do with health and fitness, then you’re missing the point. We’re talking about mindset here, and the same mindset that says “I can’t” in the gym is the same one that says “I can’t” in all other areas of your life. The truth is, though, that the majority of these roadblocks are all in our heads. So add some right now. Right now! It may not be the end of all your troubles, but it’s a wonderful transition into the next step: “But one day…”