If someone were to describe you in a word or a phrase what would they say?
How would YOU describe yourself in a word or a phrase?
I believe the bigger the gap between who we want to be and how other people perceive us is what causes inner conflict. Acknowledging that gap takes an immense amount of authenticity, humility, and self-awareness. Many won’t stop for a second and even ask in the first place. Not me.
For example, I would describe myself as “consistent” and “upbeat”. I would bet that other people would describe me in a similar manner. I actually know that for a fact because I asked friends on Facebook and Instagram to comment a word or a phrase to describe me and here is what they said.
Danielle and Kelly both said I was a “passionate” person.
Brett called me the “executioner”.
Carrie said I was “inspirational”.
Joe considered me “grounded”.
Judie used the word “dynamic” to describe me.
I would argue that many of these words are just synonyms or derivatives of how I describe myself.
I didn’t do this experiment to boost my ego, I wanted to see if how people perceive me is the same way I perceive myself. That’s a good thing.
Self Inflicted Injury
Sometimes when I’m not being the consistent and upbeat person that people know me to be it upsets me. I work hard to personify certain characteristics and when I believe I’m not acting that way I feel like I’m letting other people down. Nobody places that pressure on me. I do it myself but it still doesn’t change the fact that it affects me negatively when I feel this way.
I’m also a realist in the sense that I recognize I can’t be that person all the time. It’s not easy though. At the very least I want to feel like I’m not going backward and falling to a level of mediocrity that I feel is not worth living. It was instilled by many great coaches in my life that anything worth doing is worth doing 100%.
Sometimes in an attempt to move in the right direction, I do things to try and make those feelings go away but inevitably only sabotage myself in the end. For instance, when I was on my weight loss journey, I took an extra day off of training because I was really sore. A day later I felt so guilty that I wasn’t training that I exercised for seven days straight. That only made things worse. I was 10x more sore than if I would have rested for a few more days.
Some Days Feel Like Ground Hogs Day
The very things that make me who I am (consistent, upbeat) also make me feel like Bill Murray in the movie Ground Hogs Days. It’s the same stuff every day. Although being consistent has allowed me to elevate myself to a level I would have never imagined and being upbeat has attracted people in my life I would have never met otherwise. It gets old sometimes. So what do I do about that?
Get off The Treadmill
It’s in these moments I have to step away from the rat race to help gather my thoughts without all the noise. There are so many external forces that pull us in many directions, that if we don’t STOP for a second we are going to get crushed. Which is why I encourage people to step away from the routine once in a while and do something completely different. Just last week I tried float therapy for the first time, not because I was looking to improve performance, but because I needed to break the monotony of my routine.
My Challenge To You
As difficult as it is to live this way I’m not complaining. The pressure I place on myself when balanced appropriately has made me the person I am today. Its pushed me out of my comfort zone which propelled me back to college when I thought I was too dumb, start a business when I thought I didn’t have enough money, and become a father when I didn’t think I was good enough.