Your Ego Is Not Welcome In Here!
Leave Your Ego Behind! One of the best gym tactics I employ when I enter the gym, is to forget about what I think I can do and do what I know I can do. Yes, our thoughts become things (quote from the Legend Kai Greene), but what we think for the future, does not necessarily reflect on what we can do today.
The power of our ego is phenomenal, and if not controlled properly can lead to pain and regret later on.
I know! 3 slipped disks will confirm that.
Understanding Your Ego
Everyone has an ego. It is an essential part of our genetic makeup and something we use everyday without even realizing it. The ego is the part of the mind that most directly interacts with the external reality. When you start to lose control of your ego, you will start to develop problems. Read this article on the Pillar 3 – Mindset of the 4 Pillars of Success series. (LINK)
Regardless of which way you display your ego, it will reflect your personality to the outside world. This may have either a negative or positive impact on your surroundings and relationships with other people. The ability for us to be persuasive or understood by others is affected by our egos.
Our egos manifest themselves in, our actions. Such as our sense of self-importance, superiority, or entitlement. More often it is a sense of overbearing pride. There is a find line between proud of what you have accomplished and being arrogant.
For This You Will Pay! (A Short Story)
I understand that my view on arrogance may be somewhat contradictory or even hypocritical. I love people and learning from them. Everyone is different and that is what makes them fun. Arrogance is all around us, and for many it is a self-defence mechanism.
Over the years, I have learnt to understand the place for “guided arrogance”.
A few years back I took my wife to Paris for her 30th birthday. Now my birthday is the day after my wife, so this birthday was overshadowed by her birthday milestone. We are two years apart, so turning 32 was not much different than my 31st birthday.
However, she always wanted to go to Paris and visit iconic landmarks, so I took her.
Off To Paris (Short Story)
We spent her birthday roaming the streets of the worlds most “romantic city” and at night painted the town red.
I woke on my birthday and just wanted to go for a walk and have something to eat. Then visit the catacombs. Nothing like a bit of death on your birthday…
After a bit of walking, I came across the little quaint café tucked neatly away between some antique shops and markets. I decided this would be the place to relax and eat something.
I ordered “the burger special” and a pint of lager. All the fancy wining and dining was done the day before on my wife’s birthday, so the basics was all I was after today.
One might have thought, “It is just a burger”. But I can tell you hands down it was out of this world. The French cuisine has always been something I have been greatly fond of, so even a burger made at the hands of the French is going to be good (in my eyes anyway). And the service you get is brilliant.
The food was finished, the beer was where it should be, and it was time to get the check. My waiter appeared with the check and I opened it up. “Seriously!” 26 Euros. For a burger and beer?
This is how the dialogue went between us.
Waiter: Here is your check sir.
Me: Thank you. “Seriously!” 26 Euros. For a burger and beer?
Waiter: Did you enjoy your food?
Waiter: Did you enjoy your beer?
Waiter: Do you know which city you are in?
Me: Yes! Paris!
Waiter: Are you enjoying yourself in Paris
Me: Yes! What does that have to do with it?
Waiter: You are in the best city in the world (not biased at all). And you are enjoying good food. Good beer. You can see the Eifel Tower. For This you will pay!
He ended up getting a 10-euro tip. That was it. Case closed. Everything he said was right and to the mark. He knew where he was, the quality of the food that was being served and the level of service that he was delivering. His arrogance was guided.
To be Arrogant or Assertive?
Arrogance is a funny trait to have in my eyes. I believe we need a certain degree of arrogance (hence my view on guided arrogance), but we also need to be in control of ourselves. Being assertive is not the same as being arrogant, but the two can often be confused.
Successful businesspeople are assertive. To become successful, you need to assert yourself in your market. Know your field of expertise and assert yourself. Don’t falter on your beliefs or methods, this shows weakness and uncertainty. But be open to opinions and suggestions and acknowledge that they are present in other people.
A good personal trainer will do this. He will assert himself into “his field of expertise” with weight loss, not “the field of weight loss”. They are two fundamentally different things. Being arrogant is assuming you are the expert in everything. Being assertive is knowing “your” set of skills in a given market or sector. Do not confuse the two.
This may sound like a strange concept but assert yourself to yourself. Know what you can do, based on the knowledge you have learnt and work on that. Don’t let others dictate how your session will go by succumbing to arrogance.
Why Your Ego Can Hurt You in The Gym?
Our inherent desire to assert our dominance or inflate our ego by showing others we are better than them, is what will cause you problems.
By having an inflated ego, you shut out the opportunities to learn and realise potential problems that are arising.
Think of the “ego lift” that many of us go or have gone through in the gym. Our desire to show how strong we are, or how dominating we can be, leads to problems. Those of you, who have been around the gym long enough and are accustomed to the “lingo”, would have heard the expression “Form is King”.
When your ego takes over, all sense of control and discipline goes out the window. You like to think you are still in control, but you aren’t. When we experience this overbearing desire to lift a weight, that we know we can’t do properly, all sense of control and discipline goes out the window.
The only thing we are interested in this moment, is lifting or pushing the weight. There is no more control over our body and our form. We just pick it up.
By going through this exact desire to prove something to people (that would not even notice if I came to gym the next day), I ended up with 3 slipped disks in my lower back.
I had not completely gained control of my dead lift form. However, I proceeded to lift a weight I knew I couldn’t.
How You Will Be Remembered?
People can be very fickle. We all know this. This is the part that those with an inflated ego don’t realize.
Nobody is going to remember the guy that lifted 500lbs. But the guy that tried to lift 500lbs and hurt is back will be.
This makes for more fun on Social Media and “Gym Fails” YouTube videos.
You are working for yourself on your body when you enter the gym. Remember that the next time you try to think of other people when lifting weights.
Don’t worry about what people will think of you if you lift light weights or aren’t strong enough to lift what others are lifting. I can tell you categorically, that everyone who is lifting heavy now, started out lifting small in the beginning.
Take your time. Develop a training mindset. Focus on your form and proper lifting techniques. Work on yourself. The rest will follow.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please feel free to leave your comments below and let me know what you think or any questions you may have.