More and more, I’m noticing that when I am talking to an authority, a boss, or a coach, I get tongue-tied and say things that sound like fingernails on a chalkboard later on. So my hand goes to forehead and I think, “Why’d I say that?”.. “Ugh!”
When asked ‘why it was that I wanted to be a coach’, I gave this stupid ass answer – and I wish I could even call it academic – but it was just this dumb answer about helping others because it lifts me up. I mean, it’s not entirely untrue but my second-guesser was going into over-drive on that one and has been beating me up ever since. Of all the things I could have said, and there really were much better things I could have said, what did I come up with? That it’s ALL about me.. me..me.
And so much is happening right here.. sorry but Sidebar again:
That whole last paragraph up there is my negative talking. What we call the “Flippo”. It paints this picture of failure, disgust, shame, ‘stupid’, not-good-enough, not-worth-it and it hounds me and filters everything that happens into the worst-case possible scenario and says, “Damn! You really screwed the pooch on that one!”. So I’m going to need to respond to that with an emphatic, “No!”. I didn’t fuck up. I can’t help anyone if I’m a liar.. I can’t help anyone if I’m hiding from the hard stuff.. I can’t build you up if I’m dilappidated and broken down. If I’m going to coach anyone, it has to make me better because it IS ALL ABOUT ME. (“Fuck you Flippo!). And I’m ALL about YOU! Building up my team and my team-mates make me accountable on a whole new level – I have to bring it, everytime. I have to hold myself to a higher standard and start doing things I haven’t been doing.
And that’s not even as a coach.. that’s as a team-mate, a co-worker, a friend and most important of all, as a husband. When you build up those around you, you get lifted and when you get lifted, they get lifted some more.. spiralling out of control and upward.
That’s some Next Level shit, right there.
So my coach is probably one of the most direct people I’ve met, which is great and sad at the same time. I’m glad to know someone like him and I’m sad that I don’t know more people like him. It isn’t enough for him to just lay it out and say it, but he not only backs it up, he holds you accountable. The very first time I went to Browns Boot Camp, he texted me the day before and told me not to be late or the whole class would be doing pushups until I got there. That scared the hell out of me and while I’m not a fan of being late, I for damned sure wasn’t going to test those waters this time. So I get there and he does roll-call and when he gets to a name that doesn’t answer, “212 check!”, he whips out his phone.. I shit you not.. he gets his phone out and he calls that person on speaker phone. Accountability. New level.
So he’s interviewing me – pretty much every time he’s talking to me I feel like he’s interviewing me – and he’s this direct and peering into your eyes to see you and be on you. It’s a little unnerving because if you’re dwelling in Flippo-Land, you’re going to be shifty and averted. Like me.. trying to listen, trying to think of what I’m going to say, too consumed with how I’m coming across instead of just being present and in the moment. I’m totally meta.
So he asks me where I see myself in five years with this thing and damn! That’s such a good question, but it catches me off-balance because I’m not following that script. I’m off on my own little script, I’m not ready – which wouldn’t matter anyway if I were just being real, but I’m not.. I’m flippo right now and I’m gaming it – so I blurt out something about how much I would love to be doing this kind of thing in five years.
‘What’s wrong with that?’, you might be thinking. Well, honestly, NOTHING! But here I am bitching about how I could have had a better answer and therefore, the answer I gave sucked. It didn’t, but remember, I’m dwelling on Flippo-Street right now and everything I do is awful, I can’t trust myself to say whatever it is I need to say without massaging it somehow.. I just can’t trust myself to be smart enough, passionate enough, real enough. So I’m going to need to respond to that, again, with an emphatic, “No!”. I didn’t fuck up. I didn’t do anything wrong.
When my coach tells me that I do have the passion – my wizard nods in agreement and my flippo flips out. Gotta go with the Wizard on this one. When I get an inkling of the sacrifice and work I’ll have to put in and my flippo groans, my wizard winks and it’s time to go to work. You eat an elephant one bite at a time and that’s how it’s done.
This post is titled, “Why’d I say that?”. That’s the kind of second-guessing that sabotages every good thing I want out of life. It represents a deeply held self-doubt that I’ve been carrying for years – my own little prison with my own little bars. But I flipped the switch five years ago and I’ve done a pretty good job of facing myself and my fears since then. It’s been a process and as I keep moving out of my comfort zone, I keep meeting people and finding other souls who have the fire too. When something scares me and I do it anyway, I come away from it a little stronger, smarter and wise to myself and my own bullshit. It gives me the strength to say that I’m no better than my coach and I’m no better than anyone reading this – we’re all on the same path, just at different points along the way.
Nothing would be more rewarding to me than to help others come out of the prison of their minds with me and go on to achieve amazing things in their lives. That’s something I could do everyday, all day.
Time to get to work..