I’d like to start today by congratulating all of the new college graduates that are reading this blog, thanks for your support and good luck in all of your future endeavors. May you cultivate all of the knowledge and experiences you gained in college into a fruitful career and if you need any help on your job search, please check out my “Get the Job!” blog if you haven’t already.
Alright, so! I don’t know about any of you, but I struggle constantly with wondering if I am actually good enough. For example, early in the week I was talking to a client about nutrition and exercise. She was asking me all sorts of questions and I was answering them with detailed answers as best I could. I’ll be the first to tell anyone that I do not know a lot about nutrition, and I feel it is a weakness for me as a personal trainer. However, in this conversation, the client told me that I knew so much and should really think about teaching a class.
You see, I read journals and books all the time about nutrition and exercise. I feel pretty strong when it comes to exercise, but I struggle with my own nutrition, and therefore don’t think I know a lot about it, but it’s because I have trouble giving myself any credit.
It makes me think back to middle school and high school. Looking back on it now, I was a pretty cool kid. I had lots of friends, I didn’t really have any drama to speak of, I got to go on a lot of dates with a lot of attractive girls and what not, but for whatever reason, I still managed to think I was a loser. I thought, therefore I was. I could have been the cool kid if I wanted to be, but instead, I just thought no one liked me and this that or the other. I thought, therefore, I was. Maybe if I THOUGHT I was a cool kid, I would have been treated more like one. But who knows, I might be a little more arrogant and full of myself if I grew up thinking I was the cool kid. I wouldn’t be who I am today.
But back to that conversation with my client. I was being very honest with her. I told her that I wasn’t going to give her advice that I wasn’t sure about in some way. If I hadn’t read it in a science journal or at least tried out myself. Which still allowed me to have quite a fruitful conversation. It made me wonder that maybe I do know more about nutrition than maybe I’m letting on? Sure, I don’t know everything there is to know, but maybe I can provide a bit more advice. Just be sure to only provide advice that I am sure about, and avoid commenting in areas I am unsure about.
The danger here is I feel you can either be one of two things. You can be the person that knows it all, and even when you don’t, you BS your way through a conversation to get some validation like, “Hey if I make myself sound smart, then they will think that I am!” But be cautious of people that know everything. A fool that knows everything, knows nothing.
But if you aren’t a know it all, then you might be on the opposite side of the spectrum. You sell yourself short. You think that you aren’t, so you aren’t, like high school D. Banks.
I once believed that I was not smart enough, or didn’t have what it takes to start a podcast. I didn’t think I would ever be able to make any money having a cool job that I loved doing because why me? Why do I deserve that?
There are so many people out there that feel they can’t accomplish something if it hasn’t been done before. The safe path is the one that has already been cleared. The path of mediocrity. There are a lot of people out there that think that just because something has not been done before, or because they have not been able to achieve something, then it can’t be done. They think that there is no way they could start their own business, or become a manager at the place they work at, or maybe they’ve tried and it didn’t work and them actually doing something with themselves just isn’t possible given their resources. They start to tell other people that it can’t be done.
Then they jump into the blame game. I blame the government for my inability to make the money to support my family. I blame my teacher for failing my class. It’s my dog’s fault I am late for work today. Traffic was terrible, it’s not my fault. You couldn’t make the sale today because the client was just impossible. Blame this and that, the world is just out to get you.
Guys, what if I told you that the world will always be out to get you and everyone else? What if I told you that the world will never be fair? Things would still be terrible if your car didn’t break down. You would still be late for work if your dog didn’t drop a load on the carpet this morning. You still would have failed to make the sale even if the person was a little easier to work with.
What if I told you that YOU can make things better for yourself? You, and only you. The world doesn’t owe you anything. No one is going to give you what you want. The successfully happy people on the planet weren’t given their happiness. They had to fight for it. Somewhere down the road, there was a lot of hard work. I’m much more interested in the work than the luck.
So, if I told you that you could live your dream, would you make an effort to get up and go get it?
As Rocky said, “It’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
This quote doesn’t just relate to boxing. It is absolutely relatable to life. When something doesn’t work, it’s not always someone else’s fault. If you had woken up a little earlier, you could have taken your dog out before the accident, or at least had time to clean it up without being late. You could have made that sale if you had presented it a little better. Articulated your sentences a bit better. Actually cared about what you were trying to sell. Built a relationship with the person and gotten on a more personal level.
Don’t allow yourself to think that you can’t help the situation you are in. Sometimes, life takes you through the ringer. You really do get dealt a bad hand. But you gotta stay focused on where you want to go, not where you’re headed.
The point I am trying to get at is stop asking yourself, “Why me?” Why did I have to be dealt a bad hand today, or why should I get the opportunity to make something of myself? My life changed when I started asking myself a slightly different question.
You need to start asking yourself, “Why NOT me?”
I remember the first time I had this revelation. I was surrounded by super-successful people. Some of them were completely helpless. If I shined the flashlight too far ahead of them on the early morning hike, they would lose their mind. I saw how these people were, and I began to wonder, “Why in the world would I be incapable of reaching their success? Why NOT me?” What could those people possibly be doing that I can’t?
No one is perfect, and don’t ever plan to be perfect. Be comfortable in your imperfections. Augment your strengths instead of trying to cover all of your weaknesses. Be really good at a couple of things rather than being mediocre at everything. Perfection means that there is nothing you can do to get better. I personally take great comfort in knowing that I will never know everything there is to know about anything and I will always be able to get better. I am not saying you should ever give up trying to learn everything there is to learn, but just be willing to accept that you will make mistakes, but there is always room for improvement, no matter what, and you should always be trying to get better.
On the flip side, when you are saying “Why me?” when bad things happen, start thinking why not you? Why aren’t you capable of making the best of crappy situations and becoming a better person because of them? What makes you so entitled to not have to face your own hardships?
Everyone has problems. Everyone has experiences and everyone has to make hard choices. But these experiences are what make us who we are. There is not a single person out there that has been through the exact same thing as you, and has responded to it the exact same way and received the exact same outcome. That’s actually one of the things that encouraged me to start this podcast. I am not even close to the only person to wants to create a podcast to help motivate people to become a more successful version of themselves, but I am the only me, and I think I can be different enough to compete with the other hundreds of podcasts that are similar to mine.
When you start thinking, “Why not me?” instead of “Why me?” You stop responding to your problems as a victim. They become challenges that you have to overcome. Challenges that make that goal even sweeter. Even when a day comes and it really tests you and everything you are working towards, you have a plan and a goal to get back to. You keep your eye on the prize no matter how big of a detour you take. Don’t let the things that come on make you lose sight of the end goal. Acknowledge those things, resolve those things, but don’t let them stop you.
I had a really close friend of mine who is extremely talented in music. He has big plans of making it to Nashville and really being present in the music industry. I fully support of everything he plans on doing. However, during my time at the internship, while I would talk to him from time to time, I wasn’t really keeping up with him as much as I would like. He had just graduated from college and he had gotten a job as a bartender to make a little bit of money before he moved to Tennessee. After I got back, we went out for a run and had dinner afterwards, and while at dinner, I heard him say something like, “This time next year I will still be bartending.” This worried me. A day or two later I texted him asking him what happened to Nashville and everything, and luckily, our conversation got him thinking, and it sort of revived to drive he had to get where he was going. That is just one example of how easy it is to lose sight of the goal. In his case, making money was an issue because he has been struggling to afford the equipment he needs to start his career, but now he knows that there is nothing that is going to stop him, and he is going to make it work.
Don’t get in the dumps because of bad days. Everyone has bad days. Even the super successful people out there. Don’t compare your ‘behind the scenes’ to someone else’s highlight wheel. Just because you are going through hard times doesn’t mean it is over and that you should give up. Those hard times are the best time to prove yourself. The only time you can prove yourself. The only time you can be courageous is when you are scared.
Many of us are lucky enough to have people care about us, in some form or another, but don’t victimize yourself and expect pity from others. For one no one wants to be around that. I mean, think about the last time you were around someone who was just babbling on and on about their problems and no matter what anyone said they just kept being so negative. No one wants to be around that. That is mentally draining, and you probably shouldn’t be spending time around that person, but that is a discussion for another day. But so many people like to think their problems are worse than everyone else’s. They really believe that there is not a single person out there that is having a worse issue than them. But even if you have got it so bad, and there is nothing else that could possibly go wrong then think, “Welp, I’ve hit rock bottom, and the only way to go from here is up.”
There is always something to be grateful for. I try to find something everyday that is going well for me, and I write it down. I’m going to start putting these things in a jar. This can be called a Jar of Awesome. Even if it is something as little as, “I didn’t die today!” Staying positive is the overall theme to all of this, and on a really crappy day, the notes in this jar are going to make a huge difference.
So, guys, if you have dreams you want to make a reality, but you are someone that plays the victim, stop. Don’t be a victim. Be prepared to fail. Take responsibility for your failures and use them as learning opportunities to improve. Shift from a “Why me?” mentality to a “Why not me?” Way of thinking. Never lose sight of your dreams. Don’t let a bad day pull you down and stop your progress. And do what it takes to stop being negative. Find something that can help you be a positive person, and it will help change your whole outlook to a more driven mindset.
Get out there and get after it. If this episode inspired you in any way, please share it in the place you share things, be sure to check out my podcast at lafwdbanks.libsyn.com, follow me on Instagram @lifeandfitnesswithdbanks for daily inspirational and motivational stuff and thangs, and most importantly, thank you for reading! This has been Life and Fitness with D. Banks.
Signing off now. See you later!