Every morning when my alarm wakes me between 4.15am and 4.30am I need to make a conscious decision to get my butt out of bed, boil the kettle for tea, put my gear on and get out the door for my daily dose of exercise. Some days its easy, and some days it requires more effort. Over the past 24 years of doing this I’ve learnt that there is a secret ingredient to being successful at whatever it is that you’re working towards – fitness, wealth creation, relationships, world domination (ok, not yet). And that is consistency. Every day, every week, every month, for the rest of your life. I’ve also realized that there is one main obstacle that prevents consistency. And that’s fear. Fear is like pain. It is a subjective perception of a stimulus which evokes a response that is based on various aspects of personality, past experiences, age, culture, society, and current state of health (remember that health is a representation of physical, emotional, psychological and social wellbeing).
Fear avoidance is like burying your head in the sand and wishing time away. At some point you’ll have to face your “demons” by identifying and acknowledging your fears, rationalising them (i.e. making them real; more than your perception of reality) and either eliminating them, or developing coping mechanisms on how to best control them. So what fears are holding you back from being better than you were yesterday?
I love training with my son, Elijah. He’s recently had his 8th birthday, and he’s a fit, strong, happy kid. We always discuss the exercises that we’re putting in our routine for that session, and then agree on the number of rounds that we will complete. He’ll always say a ridiculous amount… “Let’s do a thousand rounds.” Then I’ll say, “No that’s too much – we’ll be here until next week.” “Ok, how about 75 rounds?” he might say. We usually settle on 5 to 10 rounds. I think part of his way too ambitious answer comes from the fact that he loves a joke. However, there is a part of that answer that may be a true belief in himself without any self imposed restrictions, boundaries and doubt that may arise from fear.
As adults we tend to slowly lose the ability to play, imagine and believe in ourselves. When I’m with my kids its always about games and having fun. As “grown-ups” it may not be socially acceptable to “behave like a kid,” however I think its still permissible to at least “think like a kid.”