A couple weeks ago, we talked about how easy it is to get overwhelmed with all the health and fitness info available in the palm of your hand these days and strategies for narrowing your focus. Today, we’re going to follow that up with a bit more specifics on what you should be listening to. One of the best indications that you are on the right track & following the resources that will help you level up is this:
The content should make you feel uncomfortable.
You thought I was going to say it should make you feel fuzzy, warm, and gooey inside, right? Well, at times it will, since the info should resonate with you on a deep, almost subconscious level. But here’s why it's a good sign that the resources you seek for self-development make you feel uncomfortable:
They don’t tell you what you want to hear. They tell you what you need to hear.
Think about it. If you let your mental demons run the show…they want to preserve the false reality they have you believing. They constantly search for justification to feed that reality. They want to keep your higher self (your thinking mind) dormant so you don’t question the “safety net” (a.k.a. suffocating trap) they are encasing you in to keep you small, protected, and unchanging. If they can just keep you on autopilot, believing the things they want you to believe and behaving the way they want you to behave, you’ll never question their existence or authority. As a result, they get to thrive and prosper as they take control of your life...while you remain stuck.
But the moment you hear something that shocks you out of your doldrums, something that resonates with you on a very deep level, you start to wake up. And usually that something somehow brings the responsibility of your life back to you. That’s why it’s uncomfortable to hear - because this responsibility can feel like a burden.
Here you are trudging through your normal existence blaming all your misfortunes and unhappiness on someone else –
- someone else not giving you the opportunity…
- someone else keeping you down…
- someone else not seeing your brilliance…
- someone else not telling you the “right” way to do/be/say/dance/live for success.
Then you start to hear this one little voice saying it’s not them…the burden of building your success is on YOU. And that's an uncomfortable thought to acknowledge, so much so that the majority of humans spend their whole lives pushing it down & covering it up with addictions to alcohol, food, and even social media content.
But why is this simple, uncomfortable notion absolutely essential for getting to your next level? Because owning your responsibility in the situation brings the POWER back to you. In order to find happiness and any kind of success in your dance career, with your body, in your life, you have to be the one in control.
This is not the easy way out. Your demons want someone or something to give you the easy fix - to tell you exactly what to do so you don’t have to think for yourself. That way you don’t have to bother with developing a relationship with yourself to find out what you actually want and need. You just follow along like a good little sheep without causing a stir or making a fuss.
But no, this responsibility, this power, requires work. And that can be scary, uncomfortable, and uncharted in terms of where your path is going and who you can become. The minute you stop following, the minute you break away from the pack, your future is unknown…but your possibilities are endless. All that starts with you taking control, taking responsibility for your happiness and the direction of your life.
That’s why it is very important that you censor who & what you listen to. Sure, it’s tempting to listen to the sources that give you the easy way out by telling you to add this random exercise or eat this magical superfood to get the body you want. But those voices only feed the demons that already have too strong of a hold over your life. You need to seek the sources that slap you in the face and wake you up out of your demon-induced coma. The sources that force you to think for yourself. The sources that put the power back in your hands.
And so, I leave you with these words from my guru who woke me up this morning. Yeah it was a tough pill to swallow at 5am as I sipped my strong coffee. Yeah it was hard to digest. Yeah it made me squirm. But it was one of those things that really rang true when I read it…and I knew it was exactly what I needed to hear.
"They say that a behavior stays alive because it serves you in some way...Because we do a lot of distressing shit, don’t we?
We stay in jobs we don’t like.
We say yes to things we aren’t excited about.
We don’t always try as hard as we could.
We work with clients we actually sorta kinda…despise?
We procrastinate starting the new website.
We spend our days doing things that are entirely forgettable.
We lose our lives to obligation.
We fail to make the change.
The common explanation is that we’re scared—wah, wah, wah, WAH. That we really want to try, but we’re crippled with fear—even though life could be better.
My theory is this: in some small, twisted way, these fuck magnets are making our lives better. They are serving us in some way, even if it’s not obvious, and even if it hurts us in other ways. What do you get out of doing this thumb-sucking work every day? You get to relax, for now, because life is frigging hard and you need a reprieve. What do you get out of doing the mundane client work you are SO over? You get to not have to really apply yourself. What do you get from letting other people tell you how to live your life? You get to not be responsible if things turn out badly. What do you get from not really trying as hard as you could? You get to maintain illusions about your own performance, never really finding out if you royally suck.
Contrary to appearances, we aren’t scared: we’re self-serving. Everybody does everything for selfish reasons, even if those things don’t appear to be helping...
So what are the things that you hate, actually giving you?
And, more importantly, how can you get that from another source, instead?" ~ Ash Ambirge, The Middle Finger Project
Thanks, Ash! I needed that jolt of uncomfortable this morning;)
Photo credit: Rachel Neville Photography