Guest blogger: Tom Rancich
Charlie Mike reader LG had a question relating to my last month's blog, "Identifying the Enemy".
"Fear of success. Sounds stupid I know but being overweight/ unfit is a handy excuse for certain things that can be seen to be 'wrong' in my life. If I get healthy and these other 'issues' are still there then what am I going to blame? The potential to have to deal with thornier issues than getting healthy can make finding excuses to put off exercise pretty attractive. I get fit and I'm going to have to deal with that low self esteem/shyness issue that I have (some people would lol at the thought of me being shy..but I am...honest). I know getting healthy would actually help but the fear is still there. Does any of that make sense?” [LG]
This makes perfect sense and I see it frequently. In fact, I would say that fear of success, or certain derivitives of fear of success, is what keeps most of us from achieving well beyond our current station in life/health/fitness. I had a swim coach, Coach Skeehan, who told a group of 14-15 year olds, “You don’t know it, but you have already made a life long commitment to fitness—as young as you are, your bodies have already been conditioned to be active, and if you don’t stay active you will wind up overweight, miserable and dead.” Okay, it was the seventies, all love was tough! But he made a good point—If I succeed in getting in shape, then, I will have to stay in shape----forever! Well that sounds a bit daunting!
But let’s digress just a bit. Why would someone fear success? Anyone? Bueller? People fear success because it represents—no, it directly results in—change. Change is always uncomfortable, because with change comes a whole new set of expectations, variables and requirements. “I succeed in getting my MBA.” Great for me, but now when I am talking about significance with regard to a training death, not only do I have to use the term correctly, BUT I HAVE to make the boss use it correctly, and those guys are not always so happy to be corrected (Actual exchange—Him, “Oh and would you like to tell the widow that her husband’s death was statistically insignificant?” Me, “No, but I will if it will stop you from dismantling an extremely safe training system. We complete, without incident, hundreds of thousands of critically dangerous training operations every year. One anomaly does not mean we need a complete overhaul.”)
Now, one of the derivatives I was talking about is the “I know what is going to happen if I do it the same way”, which is comforting on many levels. I think that when an alcoholic pours his first drink of the day it is because—in part—he has reached a point where he needs to know how the day is going to end. Similarly, a person skipping the gym or avoiding the BodyRev or Perfect line, knows how the day is going to end…comfortable on the couch, no sore muscles, no staring or ogling—just exactly the same. Ever wonder why “that” overweight , sedentary person smokes so much? Could it be that they want to remove the one big unknown—how we are going to die?
So here is the thing, the way to stop worrying about succeeding—and the subsequent changes involved, is to make change a bigger part of your day to day life. Sure, you need a routine, but make part of your routine growth/change. Take a fencing class, work on the heavy bag etc., but look for ways to keep yourself in a state of change, then it will only make sense to one that change will lead to better things for yourself—also known as success.
Lt. Commander Thomas Rancich, US Navy SEAL (Ret.) is the co-founder of VRHabilis, a disabled veteran-owned small business with the broad vision of increasing career opportunities for disabled veterans in construction and related fields. Rancich and co-founder Elliott Adler are pioneering the concept of using adaptive technology to bridge the gap between industrial and medical technology ... because the highly trained, motivated and adaptable veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are not looking for hand outs but rather the opportunity to reintegrate into the work force. On a very serious note---to all the people who have seen the worst of this conflict---knowing the hollowness and lack of joy some returning veterans experience daily, Tom has said, "If things aren't going well, contact me at Off-Shore Consulting or visit the Veterans Hotline".
Through his consulting firm, Off-Shore Consulting, Tom provides professional advice on leadership, team building, program development and strategic vision, in addition to being a writer and motivational speaker.
Alden Mills and Tom Rancich served together in the Teams. Tom has been a guest blogger and “on-line” coach for the Perfect Pushup team many times over the past few years: he blogs monthly on Charlie Mike.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Guest blogger: Tom Rancich