What Stands in Your Way?
I read this list on the website Thought Catalog and immediately related to a number of items. Upon first read, I thought about my life in general. My daily interactions at work, relationships with my family, and the ways I might be making my life difficult. Then I read it again, solely thinking about how it applies to my mindset inside the gym. Different things stood out to me, and it provided a much needed look at things I do that make my lifting more harder than it has to be.
I have let myself fast forward to the apocalypse, and let a minor setback affect my outlook on future progress. No one lifts for years at a time without a minor injury, plateau, or disappointment. I don’t advocate ignoring these problems. I try to acknowledge the best and worst case scenario, then move forward. Some challenges are bigger than others, but making a mountain out of a molehill isn’t a good use of your energy. I love what the author (Tim Hoch) says here:
Negativity only breeds more negativity. It is a happiness riptide.
It will carry you away from shore and if you don’t swim away from it, it will pull you under.
I’m not sure why I think my friends and family can read my mind, but the reality is that I fall into this trap time and time again. For example, say I want to accomplish something in my next training cycle. I have my mind set on it. However, I tell no one (including my coach). I build it up in my head, and if it doesn’t go according to plan, I’m hard on myself. This negativity occurs simply because I didn’t take the time to let anyone know what I was thinking. Communicating my expectations does not guarantee they will be met, but it sure does improve my chances.
Comparing myself to others is another bad habit, and it rarely ends well. Not only do I feel bad about my abilities (or lack there of, according to my thoughts), but it can also steal joy from the person I’m comparing myself too. I don’t need to waste my time comparing myself to others. It’s time that I could be spending getting better, making progress, and enjoying the hobby I love so much. I believe other people sense you sizing them up, and it takes from their happiness too. It’s just rude, so I work hard not to do this.
Time is a precious commodity, both inside and outside the gym. I try to protect it by allocating time to the things I value most in my life. It just so happens that having the ability to lift and pursue my passion is something that I appreciate very much. However, that does not mean I shouldn’t be on task during training. Maybe I grab dinner with friends from the gym or hang out there a little longer than I planned, but those are things that make me happy. As I read the article, I was reminded to spend time doing things that make me happy. If there’s something I must do that I don’t enjoy, I do it quickly and efficiently…or I find a way to like it.
I’ve heard there is no such thing as a selfless good deed. (It was on a Friends episode. #lifelessons). While that may or may not be true, I don’t think it matters. So what if helping someone else make me feel good? The point is I helped someone else. In my experience taking time to encourage, congratulate, or lend a hand increases my happiness. Grand gestures are not necessary. Find a way to make someone’s day better and yours will likely get better by default.
I love thought-provoking articles like this one. It’s so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day worries and woes.
- I haven’t had a good lift in weeks
- I can’t lose weight
- My job is too stressful
From now on when life or lifting feels hard, I’m going to take a moment to reflect on the things that I am doing to make it even harder on myself…and then watch Friends.