Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fear of Success or Fear of Change?

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.


Lisa A said...

Make Change a bigger part of your life. Wonderful advice Tom !

I just wanted to say that I have stepped out of my comfort zone in the past year and 1/2 and it's directly related to the confidence I got from using the BodyRev, and all the advice from you guys.

With each new achieved physical challenge comes a feeling of success, and a feeling of I can do it! It kind snowballs on and on, at least it has for me. I can definitely incorporate more change, so I'll be working on that.

I recently walked 1/2 marathon, until that decision I hadn't walked more than six miles in years, as 5 years ago I had a serious foot injury that made it difficult to walk more than 1/4 mile. I had recovered physically but mentally was stuck at that six mile mark, thinking why push it. Well I completed the 1/2 marathon in an average of 15 mins per mile. It did wonders for my self- confidence. Now I don't question the strength of my foot, oh, and when my legs were exhausted I knew it was those BODYREV abs workouts that made my core strong enough to keep going at that 15 min mile pace. Thanks Alden, and Tom for all the advice and encouragement.

I have a question on the Perfect Pullup. My goal to start is one Pullup ... so how do I use the Perfect Pullup to my best advantage when my ONE SET MAX is zero ?

PSA said...

Thanks for the response Tom.

You've certainly given me plenty to think about. Until you pointed it out I hadn't realised how change had pretty much disappeared from my life. There was a time when change was a large part of it. My job description used to be 'go where the problem is and fix it' and doing new things was at least a monthly, if now weekly, occurrence.

Now the job is 'do the same as last month'. I talk about managing change all the time but don't actually make changes in my life.

Time to change that. I'm off do some work on that photography course I signed up for a month ago but haven't done anything with...another fear of change.

Thanks again Tom



Nancy B. said...

Thanks so much for this post. My middle child(second son with an older,achieving brother) has for the last few years been on the verge/brink of pushing ahead with his life and career path.Everytime he contemplates a change out of his comfort zone he steps back.However,recently he took on the "challenge" of a chemistry class in order to finally fulfill some prerequisites.
I showed him your post last night and watched his face as your words registered.The timing was perfect.
Thanks again,

Tracy D'Alessandro said...

I'm a user of your product and so are many of the Professional MMA Athletes I represent. I'd love to find ways we can create an endorsement opportunity.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"But he made a good point—If I succeed in getting in shape, then, I will have to stay in shape----forever!"

How do you do this and why do my posts keep getting deleted?

Alden Mills said...

Hi Lisa! As with everything, it is about the build up! The question here is, how to build up to one---easier than you might think. Okay so, first, the PPull-up is designed to help you get to vertical. I would recommend starting in the vertical row. No, it does not work the exact muscles, but it works some/many of the same muscles you are building to achieve pull-ups. Same goes for the Australian Pull-ups, not the same but will help get you to one.

The next thing I would recommend is placing a sturdy stool (or chair) under the PPull-up so that you can use it tostand with your chin over or at the bar. Take tension on your arms and hang as long a possible, slowly lowering yourself as you have to. Repeat that several times. The “negative” work will really help you get to one. The last exercise I would recommend requires a trusted friend/partner. Mount the bar in the vertical position and bend your knees to a 90 degree angle. Your partner can know grab your ankles from underneath and behind. Using your legs, you can know push down with your ankles to assist your arms in getting your chin over the bar (your partner can also lift but the more you do the better). Now, why must the partner be trusted? Make sure your partner lets go of your legs when you say and certainly BEFORE you release the bar---I have seen the result and it is not very pretty!

Okay, one more—go to a play ground—or mount the PPull-up so that you can stand and reach—and find a horizontal bar that you can grab and have your feet on the ground. Now, JUMP, PULL and LOWER SLOW—yes, I know that sounds like I just want you looking odd on a playground---but it will help---as long as there are no local ordinances against it! Good Luck!

A reply from guest blogger Tom Rancich.

Lisa A said...

Easier than I think, that's welcome news ! It's all in the buildup.. got it. I'll be sure and post back when I can do a pullup :)
Thanks Tom!