The path to health and hotness is often a crooked and frustrating journey. Those new to the fitness game start their training from many different head spaces; confident and enthusiastic, horrified and nervous, timid and measured.
Regardless of where we start, we all inevitably run into some bumps in the road. Shit we took for granted turns out to be totally off base. Turns out eating sweet potatoes and only sweet potatoes isn’t the wonder diet after all. Apparently those Jillian Michaels DVDs are the reason our back is so fucked up. We’ve been working out for years only to discover our technique is crummy at best, surgery-inducing at worst. And to make matters worse, those toning shoes didn’t work at all. Dammit!
I think one of the reasons it’s hard for folks to ask for outside help when pursuing a fitness (or life) goal is that it requires us to admit we’re not perfect. The more we care about a given subject, the more we hope our secret dream is true. We may know in our heads we’re not perfect. But in our hearts, we often hope that maybe, just maybe…we’re EXCEPTIONAL.
Unfortunately, this fear and/or aversion to external feedback limits our ability to realize our potential. But when we do burst through this wall, when in a moment of courage and lucidity we have the self-awareness to say “Motherfucker! I need HELP!”, we plant the seeds of self-actualization.
When we let go of BEING PERFECT, we can start the important work of GETTING BETTER.
I love me some Salvador Dali. Brotha was crrrrray-cray.
It’s fucking SCARY to open yourself up to an outside eye and ask for help. We’re admitting we don’t have it all figured out. The more proficiency one develops in any realm of human achievement, the harder it is for the ego to admit the need for help. And ironically, the more crucial this external feedback becomes; the more susceptible we become to buying into the myth of Expert Infallibility.
This is an ongoing battle for all humans. To me, intellectual integrity can be boiled down to having conviction in what you’ve learned to this point, but remaining ever open to new ideas and challenging evidence. As George Orwell said, “To see what is front of one’s nose takes a constant struggle.” Constant vigilance is required of those who would do battle with the human tendency toward dogma.
As a fitness pro/Ninja Maker, I can tell you the easiest folks to train are often those with NO experience. They’ve watched some infomercials, they’re friends have told them some weird nutritional shit, but generally speaking, they’re a moldable piece of clay.
When someone comes in with years of training experience, particularly if they carry an emotional attachment to a former fitness professional, it can be a challenging experience. Occasionally folks come in certain that they’re about to be lauded for their kettlebell swing, and it can be a delicate negotation to gently improve their spine-threatening technique (or lack thereof). All the more upsetting when it’s someone who’s spent years and thousands of dollars with a professional who is also their personal friend, only to find that what they’re doing has them on the fast path to debilitating back pain.
Getting better is hard my friends. It’s hard to admit we don’t have it all figured out. But as they say, no guts, no glory. The work of self improvement never ends.
So ask yourself this: are you TRULY happy with your body? Are you satisfied with the results of your current fitness regime? Is your current state of health and hotness negatively affecting your career, your love life, or your confidence that you can be your best self?
The first step is admitting the harsh reality that none of us are special. The rules apply to us all. If your fear of being exposed as imperfect is holding you back from getting the coaching you need to be successful in your life, there’s a clear path ahead:
Let go of being perfect. Seriously. It’s NEVER gonna happen.
If you let go of being perfect, you can get to the important work of GETTING BETTER.
No one is perfect. EVER. There’s always room for expansion, for growth, for learning, for refinement. It never ends. And you never want it to! It’s fun to GET BETTER. The universe constantly craves expansion and this craving is infinite. It’s admirable that you want to be perfect. It’s because you CARE. And that’s awesome. But it’s just not gonna fucking happen. So let’s move forward and GET BETTER.
There is no realm of human achievement not improved by the use of feedback. Positive constructive feedback is the very FOUNDATION of high achievement. Feedback is crucial to GETTING BETTER.
I want to get fucking better. And I know you do too. That’s why you’re reading this. Well, either that or you’re suuuuper fucking bored at work. Option 3 is you’re my mom. Hi mom!
So do what you need to do kids. Yes, I think you should come to MFF if you think there’s room for improvement in your health and hotness. Dzuh. But don’t be shy about applying this to other realms of life. Start taking the voice lessons. Make an appointment with a life coach or a therapist. Join Toastmasters. DO IT!
You’ve got to let go of Being Perfect,
If you want to get to the important work
Of Getting Better.