It can be difficult to convince a D or F student to work up to a C, when her expectation is she should effortlessly be an A+ student. Health and fitness isn’t a breeze for anyone. And when you are a D or F student, you have a tough truth to confront. It will take you more work for a longer time than others to have a hope at a B. There is nothing to be gained by quitting. There is nothing to be gained by comparing yourself to an A student. Just work your process.
Years ago, I used to hear this from some clients, in part as a result of me not being clear enough about the expectation: health and fitness are processes. There’s no product. You don’t arrive. Some people are C- students even with great effort and patience. Whereas it might make sense to “take a break” from your language immersion course, however, there is no such thing as “taking a break” from caring for your health. It’s not going to magically improve without effort. And the notion of quitting just because you haven’t achieved the unrealistic product that made no sense to begin with, is flawed at every level.
What we the coaches hear is, “I need to stop seeing the tutor until I begin understanding the homework that I don’t understand.” If you struggle in a college class because the reading assignments and homework don’t make sense to you, the answer isn’t to quit attending the lectures and the tutoring until they make sense. You weren’t ever going to complete the self-study component of the textbook anyway; it definitely isn’t going to happen by abandoning the help of the instructors. For some people, it’s just going to take a very long time, and you may still be a C- student. But at least it’s not an F. You may have to retake and retake the course. But it’s ridiculous to stop practicing scales with your piano teacher simply because you’re messy with them when you try at home. Not every skill and aptitude clicks for everyone. And, when it does click, it certainly is not at the same rate.
Clients have seen me gain 70lbs of muscle and lose 70lbs of fat. That was work, not aptitude. They’ve seen me live this. They’ve seen me work with clients who lose 150lbs. They’ve seen me work with clients who have every possible health challenge imaginable. They’ve seen me drag my butt in to work when I’ve been at the hospital all night, nearly losing my son, REPEATEDLY. They’ve seen me drag my butt in to work when I had left side paralysis, Lyme disease, muscle tears, surgery, or a business loss in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not one success I've had or superhuman outcome came easily or effortlessly. Frankly, based on the trajectory of how a lot of my life played out, I should be disabled and homeless. It's almost nonsense how I ever set all the records I did or had the business success I do. Innate ability was against me. Funding was against me. Market trends were against me. Popularity was against me. People who know me know that whatever BS excuse they have, I or another client of mine have oneS 100X that we aren’t using as an excuse. I KNOW what it means to work harder AND smarter than everyone else and NOT get the reward I “should’ve.” That is no justification for giving up. A lot of success factors are outside of our control. All we can do is keep working our process. I, too, am NOT enthused by the amount of effort it takes me to receive LESS than someone else. Yes. It sucks. But that’s all the more reason we can’t afford to stop trying.
No matter how good an excuse sounds, YOU make the CHOICE to quit. No one makes that choice for you. That is YOUR choice to be below YOUR average. I know it’s not exciting to slave for a C; but at least you get the honor and dignity of having put in the sweat equity, and knowing you did everything WITHIN your control, including having the patience to let something take the amount of time it will require.
Don’t give up. Don’t give in. And sure as hell don’t catch yourself saying, “I give up until I’m good at this.” It’s a process; and, insomuch as it is possible, forget the grades and delete product-thinking from your brain. Just work your process.
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