04 May Your Best is Only an Illusion
Your best is an illusion
You see those motivational posters, memes, and videos all the time. We’re inundated with various forms of what would be extrinsic motivation. I’ve got a sign in my gym that says, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” It’s meant to inspire a good work ethic. It’s meant to say that if you work hard enough, there’s the possibility can you can still excel. Sorry to say but that’s bullshit, most of the time. Hard work will beat talent when talent doesn’t show up. Work hard and pay your dues, but that might not still be enough to overcome your competition.
Here’s the funny thing about trying to do your best, you don’t know what your best is. I love those Instagram hashtags of #onthegrind, #riseandgrind, #grinding. Really? Who you are you trying to convince, yourself or someone else? If you said you were coasting through, would you work harder? Get up 5 minutes earlier, add 10 more pounds to that last set. It seems like a grind because it’s uncomfortable, but just how much more uncomfortable could you be? My guess is a little bit more. Try to convince yourself that you’re not grinding but only doing the minimum. Then see how much more you can give. You’re grinding might be the next person’s cruise control. That’s the person who’ll beat you on the platform or on the stage.
Calvin asks Suzie about all the extra work she is doing. He just assumed that it came naturally to her. It’s funny how with social media we’ll just assume that what we see is what we get. Like people are really going to be openly honest all the time. Bwhahaha! Yeah, riiight. No, people might want you to think it’s easy, when in reality they’re putting in more work than you. “Well, I’m working harder than so and so. They just have good genetics.” Whatever helps you sleep at night and makes you think you’re working hard. When in reality, you can (and probably should be) working harder.
I’ve never met an athlete that had a perfect game, a perfect training session, or a perfect training cycle. When asked what they could have done better, they’ll always find something. That’s the nature of it. Your best is only an illusion of what you think you can do. It’s not what you are actually capable of doing. You’re capable of doing more, but what are you willing to do? Your best, you think? Ha.
Folks are quick to point out that we should be happy with what we can do, or who we are. Nope. Not a chance. I won’t be happy. I’m not disappointed with who I am or what I’ve done, but I’ll never be happy. Happiness builds complacency. Complacency builds mediocrity. Being mediocre is the exact opposite of happy. I want you to be pissed off and aggravated. That’s going to do more for your motivation than being happy with where you are. Get upset that you skipped a set. Don’t be happy with what little work you got done. Be agitated that you missed a meal. That’s okay. We can be hard ourselves. No one else should but we can. It’s nobody else’s business.
So now that I’ve totally demoralized you, what are you going to do about it? A true and honest introspective look is necessary unless you want to keep spinning your wheels. I know. I’ve been there. I’ve done this. Hell, I’m doing it right now. How do we look at this?
First things first, analyze what you’ve been doing, or should have been doing. What was your original plan? I hope you have it written out. I hope you’ve been keeping a log. This little bit is vital for reassessing where you are and where you need to go. I talk about keeping a training log in this article here:
Did you adhere to your plan? Did you complete every rep, every set, every session? Those things are easy to look for. Did you rest too long? Did adhere to the RPE? Was your technique where it needed to be? So many questions that you can look for answers to while going through your log.
Nutrition, sleep, stress. Are you managing all these well? Could you improve one meal? Could you get another half hour more of sleep? There is always room for improvement. You just have to know where to look. Sometimes, this isn’t easy to do by yourself. A coach can help with that. Sit down with them and discuss how you can potentially fill in the gaps. If you don’t have one feel free to talk to any of the guys/gals from TeamPRS:
When it’s all said, and done, don’t delude yourself into thinking you did your best. Your best can always be better. Don’t be disillusioned to think this is as good as it gets. Definitely not your best yet.
Low Country Strength
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