What does it take?
To lose 10 lbs? 100 lbs?
To deadlift 500 lbs?
To beat cancer?
To succeed in a new career?
To achieve your dreams?
I’m seeing a pattern more and more. You start down the path, kudos! It is often the hardest part. But 3-2-1 go they say, so you go. You make some progress, achieve some initial success, make friends even! But then, after 12-18 months, progress slows down, the weights aren’t going up so easily. They feel downright glued to the floor, as does your body 20 burpees in.
6 months turns into 12, turns into 24… 2 years into middle school, 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. What fresh hell is this?
People are always working towards their goals, but they’re often not quite where they want to be. 6 months or 6 years in, something is still missing.
What is it? We’re asking the wrong questions.
What are the right questions? What does it take in general? What is it going to take for me? What are my blind spots? What information am I missing? What beliefs are holding me back? Here are some ideas:
- Number one is Vulnerability. Willingness to put yourself out there, commit to a process, and possibly come up short, in front of everyone. Vulnerability is by definition uncomfortable; it makes us fearful and afraid at times. So the only way to overpower it is by having a supportive environment (at Cypher we do, but not everyone has this), and a Why to give us courage that is even stronger than the fear. Why do you do what you do? Deep deep down, on an emotional level, there lies your base motivation. It’s not an intellectual thought. Adults have intellectual thoughts. It’s a feeling. Children have feelings. So do adults. Honor your inner-child and orient your goals around what it wants. You will progress as far as your Why is strong.
- Number two is Objectivity. Is it actually working, and do you have an objective, data-driven way to measure this? You might call this the scientific method, applied to your goals and life. The hallmark of the scientific method is falsifiability. Say what? This means there is a way to prove your theory wrong. That’s right, in order to be proven right, you have to be open to being proven wrong. We are often blinded by our biases, so it’s often important to have a 3rd party or person (like a Coach) helping check our biases by measuring things objectively. What does the data say?
- Number three is what you might call Mental or Spiritual Agility. I’ve also heard it referred to as willingness to slay Sacred Cows. Basically, reflect on some of your deeply held beliefs related to what you’re trying to accomplish. If what you believe keeps on running up against the truth of Objectivity (item #2 above) — that it isn’t working — are you willing to challenge some of those beliefs and, if necessary, discard them in favor of something else?
This might be hard to do, because our beliefs are often deeply rooted in the story we have told ourselves about who we are and what we are capable of becoming.
But if you really want something — like you want it deep down in your gut and in your bones — well, that’s a pretty strong belief too, and one that can spark a change. And it might be one more worth holding onto as long as it serves you, than the limiting belief that’s holding you back right now.
“Divorce your story and marry the truth. And when you find that truth, it’s going to be what moves you forward.” -Tony Robbins
To your continued growth,
Cypher Health & Fitness