“If everybody was satisfied with himself there would be no heroes.” – Mark Twain
I need to confess something, for a long time, I held a double standard – but I’m seeing things differently in the past few years.
It aggravates me when people base their live’s on what their life means to other people.
I too found myself concerned with gaining acceptance and approval. All to often I measured my progress by comparing myself to others, and in a sense idolizing others. However, my successes and failures did not affect these people; they only affected me.
Furthermore, my picture of success was skewed. It was not drawn by me, but in the reflection of what others had done or were doing. I could not give myself a sense of worthiness, I needed it to come from the mouth or actions of another. In acting this way I was never fulfilled. I was constantly moving towards something that did not exist. As a result my many successes had no positive impact on my life, or my self esteem.
Stop looking for approval from others.
If you need to show yourself off to garner attention, you’re weak. Instead, impress yourself, and let others be drawn to your energy and confidence.
If you need to perform lifts at the gym in front of people who will tell you how strong you are, you’re weak. Train for you, and you only. If you’re an athlete train to support the team, and set an example.
If you can’t complete a task to the highest caliber knowing that only you will know the work and time that was put towards it, you’re weak. The spotlight will shine on those who go unnoticed long enough that their craft becomes a consistent example of excellence.
“Hero-worship in the sense of expressing our unbound admiration is one thing. To obey the hero is a totally different kind of worship. There is nothing wrong in the former while the latter is no doubt a most pernicious thing. The former is man’s respect for which is noble and of which the great men are only an embodiment. The latter is the serf’s fealty to his lord. The former is consistent with respect, but the latter is a sign of debasement. The former does not take away one’s intelligence to think and independence to act. The latter makes one a perfect fool…” – B.R. Ambedkar
I’ve learned this lesson, and I am continually defining who I am. I no longer strive to be like anybody else. I only push to be the strongest version of myself. I respect many individuals, and yet I do not concern myself with trying to mirror their lives or their accomplishments.
How many times have you been asked who your heroes are? You probably scanned through a list of people in your head who have accomplished great things, and who overcame great obstacles.
Why aren’t you on that list? Have you not achieved anything or overcome any adversity? Do you not embody the same qualities of character that these men and women do? If it’s the latter then make the change.
Respect an individual but never try to be them. If you measure your successes against someone elses you are weak. Your constant habit of comparison is stealing from you the ability to embrace who you are, and who you can become.
If you cannot celebrate your own victories, you are weak. You take home small victories every damn day, acknowledge them and you will build upon them.
If you cannot recognize your own heroism, you are weak. Be your own hero.
Control that which you can control. Your character, your choices, and your actions. Take pride in everything that you do. Accept yourself, impress yourself, and continually work on becoming the strongest version of yourself.
Train with a purpose. Live with a purpose.
Greg Robins is a Strength and Conditioning Specialist at Cressey Performance in Hudson, MA. Greg has worked with clientele ranging from general population to professional athletes. His unique experience in many different aspects of fitness, strength training, and athletic preparation have helped him become an unbiased authority on all things fitness and performance related. Outside of coaching Greg is a former collegiate baseball player, active member of the MA ARMY National Guard, and enjoys power lifting.Website, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter