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b-LOG: The Voice In Your Head is Full of S__T

b-LOG: The Voice In Your Head is Full of S__T
Date Posted: 18/02/2020

Here’s why.

Regardless of your current station in life, we all face situations that may be viewed as challenging. The degree of challenging is generally a multi-sided coin. There are real, not-likely-to-happen challenges where you get in there and do your best. But quite often, the perceived challenge is well within our ability to tackle and even succeed at.

Whether it is making that presentation at work, giving a speech at school, going on video on Instagram, hitting your 5 iron over a pond or holding that pose an extra 15 seconds at the gym, it is all within your abilities. The spanner in the works is quite likely going to be the voice in your head. And guess what? That voice is full of s_ _ t.

It is the voice that tells you to fight or flight. It reacts quick and wants to keep you safe at all times. This voice sees a perceived challenge or difficulty and would like to suggest that you in fact shouldn’t go on that stage. Go on a video on social media? But you look ridiculous and will probably sound stupid. You know in your backswing that you’ll prooobbbably duff this shot and it’ll go in the pond. Just like last time. Right? *insert splash here*

So, this brings me to a more recent example of the power of the voice in our brain. At a gym session (Energy Fitness with the relentlessly motivating Bryan Allanigue), I was introduced to the concept of a Superset. Basically, it is somewhat of a pain sandwich where you do 2 exercises back-to-back, with the 2nd one incrementally more difficult than the 1st simply due to compounded fatigue.

Helping others experience compound fatigue happens to be one of Bryan’s favourite things in life. In this case, right after finishing a set at the squat rack (picture weights on your shoulder and you squat down and stand up a bunch of times while making grunting noises), I was asked to go into a stance where one foot is out front of my body, while the other is tucked back with that knee brought down to be an inch above the ground (Bryan is demonstrating in the photo above).

With my hands in front of me against my chest, I was to hold that pose for 15 seconds. Once with the left leg out front and another time with the right leg out. Bryan was kind enough to count at 5 seconds, then 10 seconds and then count down to 1 at which point I typically would swear and fall over. It was unpleasant.

Enter the voice.

You can’t do that again.

Holy crap...

This is terrible. it really necessary?

Ok. Let’s get it over with. Oh man. My legs are already dead before I start.

Quick! Run for it!

So, the 2nd round begins on a wobbly footing. After the squat rack set is done, I am requested to get into the ‘one foot out front, one foot behind me’ pose.

“Don’t say anything until there are only 5 seconds left” I instructed.

I get grumpy when I’m in pain. And off we went. I get in the appropriate pose. My feet are both wobbling back and forth, trying to find a way to stabilize my frame as my inner voice is shouting for mercy. I push through. It can’t be that long. Holy crap. This is an eternity. Leg Wobble Syndrome™ is getting worse.

I’m staring at my angry face in the mirror as time drags on. 5…4…..3….2….1. Falling & swearing happens.

“That was the longest 15 seconds ever!”

“That’s because it was 30 seconds.”    {insert evil Bryan laugh here}

Fact is, I never said to keep it at 15. I just said don’t say anything until there is 5 seconds left. A few moments earlier I was convincing myself that doing that for 15 seconds each side again was essentially impossible. It was going to hurt too much. My legs were overcooked spaghetti. No chance.

But without hearing that countdown, the voice didn’t really know what was in store. With no countdown to let me know when it would be over, the voice wasn’t able to tell me to quit early. I couldn’t talk myself out of pushing through to the end because I wasn’t sure when the end was.

Doing quick math, 30 seconds is double the time I was afraid of. Suddenly my voice quieted and I realized that 30 seconds was completely doable. A time frame deemed inconceivable only 5 minutes earlier.

How did the 3rd superset go? It also hurt but this time I was able to manage the pain and expectations because I had already proven the voice was wrong.

That it was full of s_ _t. And I was completely able to handle it.

So yes, you can give that presentation or speech. The 5 iron shot over the water is well within your reach. And you will absolutely be going on those Instagram or YouTube videos thank-you very much.

The voice is there. But the more you acknowledge it and as Seth Godin says, dance with it, it tends to shut up and let me give that speech, hit that green or hold that pose at the gym. And maybe even for 45 seconds next time