Fear, Failure, and Forgetting

Many gyms have a PR bell or something to recognize that you performed better than your previous best.  You know it is out there.  It is there to begin the celebration of progress, of gaining strength, or getting faster.  For some, it is a motivator…something that pushes us to do our very best.  And some of us, do not even want to think about it.

We see that next weight on the bar, our new max, and we are afraid.  Our old best was heavy and it was hard.  What if I fail?  What if I just cannot pick it up today.  What does that mean?  I have been training for 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, to get stronger.  What if I am still standing on the same plateau after my next attempt.  The fear of failure gets into our heads and slowly starts to eat away at us.  So we ask ourselves again…

What if I fail?

I am going to tell you the truth about your fear.  You are not afraid of failure.  You are afraid of succeeding.  You are afraid of learning that by working hard, you can in fact grow and get better.  You ARE stronger…you ARE faster…and you ARE better.  That little voice you hear, is the one that says…if you succeed, you need to start expecting more of yourself.

If you pick up this bar and ring that PR bell, then you better start raising your expectations outside the gym as well.  You do have quality ideas that need to be shared in the office.  You are an amazing parent that your kids look up to and emulate.

So what happens if you fail now?

Nothing, you forget about it and re-focus.  Maybe you try again and maybe you re-focus your efforts.  You have to risk failure in order to get anywhere in this life.  Stop being afraid of your own ability to succeed.  It is not the failure that you are worried about, you are afraid of what comes after your succeed.  You are afraid to think of NEW goals and NEW ways to challenge yourself.  You enjoy the comfort of where you are at.

It’s time to get uncomfortable, forget the fear, forgot about failing and embrace the power of your own success!

Be awesome, be better and go ring that bell!


Tribes by Seth Godin – Book Review 3 of 2015

Alright, the third book that I have a review ready for this year is Tribes by Seth Godin.

If you know anything about Seth Godin, then you have probably already read this one and will be able to skip right past this review.  If you have only read his blog and never picked up one of his books, then this is a great one to start with.

I especially recommend this book for anyone that views themselves as a leader.  This does not have to mean that you lead a company or anything specific.  It simply means that if you want to be an instrument of change, then you are more than likely a leader.  If you are not afraid to step up and take charge of a group, then you are probably a leader.

I thought the book was a great and quick read.  I would not recommend reading it before you go to bed or your brain will be thinking about how to implement many of the strategies and ideas presented.  You will have a hard time sleeping due to all the lightbulbs that might have gone off as you were reading.

The primary reason that I recommend a book like this, is it encourage people to think about things differently.  It encourages you to think about being different and different models than what everyone else is doing.  If you read my last blog post, then you will be able to see where some of it came from.  A portion of this book talks about not trying to bring someone from another “tribe” into your “tribe”.  That is to say, if you are leading a group of people on a specific issue way of doing things, then do not try to convince someone who is entrenched in a different way of thinking or doing things into your tribe.  Spend more time attracting more like-minded people.

The power of any leader is in the tribe that he or she is leading.  They are the biggest advocates, so take care of them first and foremost.

Overall this is one of the better books I have read in a long time.  So far this year has gotten off to a solid start in the book selections.  Have any recommendations for me as I go through this year.

Up next is my review for “Think and Grow Rich”.

Be True To Yourself and Your Business

I love communicating with other people in my field.  That might mean that they are in the fitness world, or maybe it is a little bit broader…I enjoy talking with people who are business managers.  I enjoy speaking with people who are not afraid to put a load on their shoulders and try to carry it.

I admire those people who have made something out of nothing and made it look simple.  I also admire when they are willing to admit that it is not easy, but they keep on pushing and keep on grinding away to make something better for the rest of the world.

Now that all the pats on the backs have been handed out, I am going to say that the one thing that bothers me about anyone running a business is this notion of thinking you have to change who you are and what your business is because of someone else.  If you want to be successful you have to be true to yourself.  You have to remain true to your own identity and stop worrying about what everyone else in your field is doing.

I see all the comments and concerns about someone opening a similar business across the street, a block away, a mile away and they simply want to be mad.  Why?  What good does it do?  Will your anger with them get them to move?  No!

Be true to yourself and look at it as an opportunity.  While, I would not welcome someone to open the same business a mile from me, I am not going to get uptight.  I am going to look at them and say “Good Luck” and then see how I can use it to my advantage.  They are going to have to advertise and advertise hard as the new kid in town.  So they are going to increase traffic to my area, so how can I capitalize on that new traffic.

Simply put, I am going to highlight my strengths and remain true to myself.  I am going to focus on what I do better than anyone else and what I offer that no one can touch.  I am going to remain true to myself.  And some times, that means emphasizing what I do not do.  There is something to be said about knowing what you are good at and what you are not so good at and removing the not so good items.

In the fitness world, especially the growing market of CrossFit, it seems like every weekend someone is starting an olympic lifting program.  Good luck…I hope you have a quality coach on staff and are not just looking to add one more thing to your ever growing list of programs.  I hope that you are able to keep your customers from drowning in the long list of programs that you offer as you try to offer more than the next guy.

My recommendation for everyone is not to try and one-up everyone but try being the best at a few things so that people seek you out for those items.  Please avoid having a laundry list of classes that people can attend that all have a different focus and make people’s head spin.  Be an expert in the area and emphasize that.

If you have an Olympic medal winning coach on your staff, then emphasize that you have that and use it to your advantage, but then do you really need to also be trying to run separate classes on endurance, gymnastics, strongman, and mobility.  Would it not serve you better to learn how to fold these items into your area of expertise so that the value of that class goes up?  Would you not rather see reviews of your class emphasize the extra topics they got to learn as opposed to a bunch of reviews that said class x was lacking.

As I look at the landscape out there, I do not spend a lot of time worrying about what everyone else is doing.  I do not waste my time looking over my shoulder for everyone else…for two reasons.

1) Why look behind me, there is nothing back there for me?  My focus has to be on moving forward.

2)  Looking back is for the scared and weak.  Looking back is for someone who is afraid they are going to lose their place or someone who doubts their training and methods.

Looking around at everyone else and trying to emulate how they are successful only works when you are the same type of person as they are.  Your success will come to you through being yourself and owning who you are.  That is it.

So, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is keep focused moving forward and look at how to keep building your business so that it is true to who you are and represents you.  Stop worrying about everyone else and what they are doing.  Make a genuine product that represents the genuine you.  Then get out there and share it with the world.

The rest will take care of itself.