Thursday, January 13, 2011

SUCCESS: The Overlooked Obstacle

I recently started writing an health and fitness column for our local paper. This the article that came out in the paper today.

Success: The Overlooked Obstacle
Have you ever read those magazine covers as you stand in line at the grocery store? Well… maybe not our grocery store, but a grocery store, somewhere. They say things like: “Burn 600 calories without trying”, “Get back in shape, see results in 9 days”, “More energy NOW”, “Discover a healthier, happier you.”

Every magazine boasts that it will transform you. You will be a different better version of yourself – it will be simple, and you will LOVE the new you. Just reading the cover of the magazine can feel inspiring. You think, “YES, I WANT THAT!”, “I CAN BE BETTER, I WILL BE BETTER, I’LL DO IT THIS TIME, I’LL FOLLOW YOUR PLAN!” … and we fork over $4.99. Or maybe the line is just too long and you buy the magazine out of boredom. Either way, at some point you realize that these promises of an EASY get better QUICK plan are not as glossy as that magazine cover. That’s why there are 12 more covers, with similar stories coming right behind the one you just bought.

I have no bone to pick with health magazines; I subscribe to lots of them myself. But, there must be some glitch in this system; and that glitch I believe is this:

“The fear of failure is terrifying, and success is equally hard to face."

There is a common belief that improving, succeeding, and becoming a better you is easy and feels great. That is so NOT true though. Success is hard and scary. It means we must risk doing something new or different without any guarantee of the result.
We step out on a limb and hope that everything works out, fearing the whole time that it won't. And then on the opposite end we think, "What if it works? What then? Who will I become?” I might not know what to do with that either."

Success means that you have to change your belief system about who you are. The old script must be burned, and a new one written.

So what if you do succeed at following “that” plan and get back in shape? Succeeding is like opening Pandora’s Box, the possibilities are endless. You are no longer confined to the small life you’ve been living. But it will also feel big, uncomfortable, awkward, and terrifying.

So why face success? Why push yourself to be something you have never been?

That, I cannot answer for you. That is something you must find inside yourself. It’s different for everyone, the only defining characteristic of it, is that it is BIGGER than the fear of success! So discover what makes the road to success worth taking and then SUCCEED!

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