We human beings are a funny bunch. We want to draw attention to ourselves by fitting in with the “in-crowd.” Or we want to be different by not fitting in. We crave to be unique but at the same time we have a deep-seated need to be part of a community, however that may be defined. Today, I want to look at the power of community and how we rob ourselves of that power by going it alone.
In recent articles and blog posts, I’ve covered the perils of perfectionism. We’ve seen how being a perfectionist can rob those around us of opportunities for growth. By taking away the chance for failure, we take away the opportunity to learn and grow. We also covered how being a perfectionist can cause you undue stress. A perfectionist has a hard time trusting others to do it their way.
We fear that our way is the only way. But coming from a reformed (<– ok, reformING, but that book is amazing!) perfectionist, somebody else may achieve 90% of what you want. That 90% will save you hours of your life, possible days, that you’ll never get back.
Learn to control less and trust more.
Trust me, perfectionism is a problem. It’s NOT something to brag about. While it may feel like it, you’ll soon realize the prophetic sentences you’ve just read are filled with truth. Learn to delegate responsibilities. Come to grips with the fact that, while extremely awesome, you are not the best at everything known to man and understand that your time, above all else, is your most precious resource. Knowing your limitations allows your boundaries to blossom. Mind.Blown.
The family that sweats together.
I’ve learned a lot in my time as a health professional. Some of them include:
- A good workout can cure almost any bad day.
- People equate their coaches to psychologists (it’s not just you).
- Nobody has a perfect diet. (I’m almost too embarrassed to share that).
- Hard work and sweat have a way of bringing people together.
I present to you Exhibit A:
This is some of my usual group after a brutal Saturday morning workout. They may cuss me during – ok, they definitely cuss me during – but afterwards, it’s all love.
Well, at least while I take a picture.
But you can literally see the happiness flowing, even though not 5 minutes earlier those very faces were grimacing, huffing and puffing.
The 90-minute session brings out the endorphins. Science has shown that traumatic experiences can create bonds between those who endure them. While this isn’t a life-threatening environment, it’s tough, it’s challenging, and it sure as hell is a team-building experience.
I bring this all to your attention because we seem to want to avoid hard work. At best, we accept the task but we don’t dare bring our loved ones in on it. We couldn’t possibly. But think about it. Which one is better, you busting your butt through a difficult task – be it chores, a workout, errands, etc. – while your loved ones or coworkers (assuming they’re not one-in-the-same) direct you from afar…
Bringing them along for the ride so they can share in the experience? They may gripe during, but you’ll share the work and the growth. Could this possibly be one reason why our family units are drifting further apart? We all do our own things for fear of upsetting someone by asking them to help or for fear of it not being up to our perfectionistic standards.
I say grab their butt and make them help.
I’ve seen complete strangers become the best of friends from a single workout together. So why couldn’t a family or group of coworkers do the same? Those insane team-building exercises seem to work for a reason. Grab them, do the work, share the experience, and grow together.
There’s another great benefit that comes with embracing your community. One that makes your life a heckuvalot easier. It also allows the participants to feel appreciated because they’ve helped out…
Many hands lighten the load.
I’m always reminded of this one every weekend. I enjoy setting up the aforementioned torture sessions by methodically taking out the equipment. Hauling out heavy kettlebells, bumper plates, slam balls, barbells, and dumbbells as the usual fare. While I sometimes luck out and have a few helping hands setting up, I always manage to get that help after the workout, which is when I’m most thankful for it.
Trust me, hauling all that stuff back into the gym after your drenched in sweat and walking on wobbly legs is NOT fun. But my community lives to help each other. We all grab what we can carry and haul our share inside, even though they could just as easily throw two fingers up in the air (or one, after the workout I just put them through) and leave.
But they don’t.
They help out because we’re family. Even though none of us are related by blood, we’re all related by sweat. I’m thankful for them and I like to think they feel the same for me.
Look around. Ask yourself what your community looks like. Here’s a handy Support Network quiz I use with my online clients, courtesy of Precision Nutrition. See how you stack up.
Do you have a solid foundation under you? Or are you a lone wolf in need of a pack?
Take the quiz. Be honest with yourself. Do a real evaluation of your situation and take the appropriate steps.
If you have a solid base, appreciate it. If you don’t, develop it. And if you’re a lone wolf, find yourself a wolf pack.
But learn to embrace your community. The advantages, for you and them, far outweigh the discomfort of dropping the perfectionism or rebel mentality.
Thank you for SHARING these posts to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
And I’ll give my dog a treat for every LIKE I see. Gluten-free, of course!
Have a great rest of the day!