The blog title comes from the book “Principles” by Ray Dalio which I strongly recommend. It reminded me of a dream I had Friday night.
It was a coaching anxiety dream. In it, I was coaching the Saturday morning 8am group class but the gym was filling up with early arrivals for the 9am Community WOD. More newcomers than I could handle. As it was an anxiety dream there were not enough waivers for everyone and not enough coaches on hand to assist me and I felt totally and completely overwhelmed.
I woke nervous, wondering if it had been a mistake to let Sunghee hang posters all over the place advertising the Community WOD. I caught myself wishing we hadn’t advertised so much. Slow growth via word-of-mouth would have been more comfortable. Yes, that’s right, as a mentor of mine once warned me would happen, I was afraid of too much success!
Is that crazy? Not at all.
Ego resists change. Here I mean the psychoanalytic interpretation of ego as in your sense of personal identity. To change requires a growth of self and a corresponding change in your personal identity. You actually must become another person. This is tantamount to death for the ego.
Think back to your 7 year old self. You may have sympathy or empathy for that young soul but do you really still identify as that 7 year old or are you today a different person?
Each painful life transition has forced you to radically transform your identity and evolve: graduation, break up, marriage, divorce, child birth, etc.
Some of these events were the most joyous occasions in your life but you were nervous as you approached them, maybe even resistant, because as much as you wanted them, your ego knew that it would not survive the change and that you would be forced to transform into someone different and new.
In life you are either growing or dying. As much as your ego resists it, evolution is the driving force of all life. This is why seniors who are actively engaged in meaningful endeavours live longer and healthier lives, they have not stagnated and stopped evolving.
Back to my anxiety dream. Why did I fear success? A big turnout would require me to be a better coach as I would be forced to adapt to new athletes and new challenges. It would force me to grow.
And failure? If few people or no one turned up my ego could go right along the way it had been with no growth or change required. It makes me wonder how many businesses fail because of their owners’ desire to stay comfortable.
We had a great turnout to Saturday’s Community WOD, 12 athletes in all. My coaching team turned up to support me, we did not run out of waivers, we met a bunch of great new people and everyone had fun! Everyone was challenged a bit and forced to grow a bit, especially me.
I don’t know that much about business, but I do know a bit about fitness, and I see a world filled with people actively avoiding discomfort. People who are terrified of the different and the new. People clinging to routine even when it isn’t working for them anymore. They would rather stagnate and die with their comfortable, familiar routine than face the uncertainty of something different and new.
It is why ours is the only Vancouver CrossFit gym to follow CrossFit HQ programming. The constantly varied programming never allows us to get comfortable. It forces us constantly to grow as athletes and coaches. Every day we must learn and evolve.
It is this very effective programming that frightens off most people. People who are uncomfortable being pushed to the margins of their competency.
If you’re willing to embrace transformation and evolve into a fitter person than you have imagined possible, come join us Saturdays 9am for our Community WOD or contact me () to register for our Beginner classes starting next week.
CrossFit will force you to grow in unexpected ways. Except for some aches and pains the training will not hurt you but it will kill your ego.