There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self. – Ben Franklin
A counter intuitive way to unlock your extraordinary self lays dormant beneath a torrent of ever-increasing demands! You feel overwhelmed with your day-to-day, and there’s no surefire way to get caught up, and it seems like everyone else is getting ahead! Everywhere you look there are people with more money, better bodies, on vacation, and living the dream! It’s not fair! Life’s not fair!
Life isn’t Real
That’s the first thing you have to realize. At least life that’s portrayed on social media or on television. It’s a fantasy, and when we are continuously subjected to this hoax we are exposed to standards that aren’t really rooted in reality. How can you compare yourself to something that doesn’t actually exist?
I know what you may be thinking, but it DOES exists, “I see it on my feed hundreds of times a day!” … That’s fine, but these people may be portraying a hyper-realized version of themselves to get more likes, followers, or subscribers. They are running a business, just like magazines and television shows. It’s not reality, it’s a product. A product that’s trying to hype you up and sell something to you.
If you compare yourself with advertising, you’re going to feel bad about yourself. There’s no difference between fitness magazines and your Instagram feed – except the people on your Insta feed are probably more amateur than the magazines – so it may be perceived as tangible, but don’t kid yourself, these people are working their ASS off to put their content out there and get you to buy in.
So if they have an agenda, don’t feel bad – you have a life to live. A REAL life, that’s so much more meaningful and empowering than any advertisement or picture that’s meant to make you feel insecure about yourself.
The real problem isn’t what’s being portrayed, it’s that it’s multi-faceted. So just as you may see figure models, you’ll come across movement gurus, powerlifters, Olympic lifters, and all other kinds of fitness people. If you’re not rooted in extraordinary self you may decide you want to have a 600 pound back squat. Then a week later you’ll feel badly that you’ve neglected your mobility so you take up a gymnastics routine. And … you’re feeling a little chubby too, so you go on a strict chicken and broccoli diet.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Like it or not you can’t have it all, and it’s time that you connect with your inner self, to find out what you truly want, what’s important, and understand what actually makes you special.
Being special in an overly special world is daunting; as explained above. Don’t despair, extraordinary self only requires a moment of connection to ordinary self – you. I know this may sound strange, but I assure you, connecting with yourself is the key to living a more fulfilled life. Only by accepting ourself as we are can we begin to appreciate where we’ve come from. We relish our successes and understand the milestones we’ve personally accomplished to get to where we are at. A powerful and different perspective.
How to Connect with Ordinary Self;
- Turn off the Media : No joke! Try this for a week; when you come home from work turn off all social media and television, and connect with immediate family, friends, or heaven forbid – yourself. No more comparison! If you want to shut if off and get some quiet time click here.
- Quality Time : aside from the media shunning you’ll need to take at least 20 minutes right when you get home to sit down quietly and reflect on your day. Meditate, then write in a journal about your day. What did you learn? love? or enjoy? What made your day great? You’ll quickly build up the insights that you need to uncover the truth.
- At the End of the Week : go over your week of journals and look for trends. What did you regularly enjoy? That’s a great place to start. Do more of that. You’re actually listening to YOU and beginning to understand what you want.
Take it from a former professional athlete who transitioned out. I had no idea who I was supposed to be, and I had lots of ideas to compare to. I didn’t find any of these pursuits fulfilling or rewarding. In fact they were quite shallow. The only way I was able to fill my cup was by listening to my true ordinary self. Here’s how I got better at learning about myself.
As you become more familiar with yourself by following a process like this, you’ll start to understand that the world out there may or may not resonate with you for your own reasons. You’ll have an informed opinion, one that can hold steadfast against the pulls of media and the expectations of society.
Connect with yourself and get in better touch with your gifts. Understanding your gifts will help you gain clarity on what it is you hope to gain from your fitness journey. Set some goals, and go from there!