Figuring Out My “New” Self
Written by Invictus Athlete Josh Littauer
This one is going to be a little more personal than usual but it is something I think has strong application to the ebbs and flows of life, to seeing yourself change and grow over time, and to continuing on the path to being your best self.
I was in the gym the other day and had a workout in front of me that really looked to be right up my alley. If you know me, then you know I like to strategize and try to come up with the best plan of action for completing the task ahead. So in my pregame strategy I set up an aggressive pace that had me doing each movement unbroken and finishing in a time I thought to be reasonable. So what happened? Nothing the way I planned, that’s for sure! My flaw in my strategy was that I picked paces and movement breaks for the old me. The old me was significantly more fit than I am now (and I know some of you will want to argue, but I know what I used to be capable of and what I am not currently capable now). Regardless, my plan fell apart, none of the movements went as planned, my time was about 30% off of what I thought it was going to be and I was dusted and dizzy for 15 minutes after.
As I sat in frustration at my performance and lack of ability to do what I thought was possible, I realized that regardless of stages in life, I have been treating myself with a mindset from several years ago. Despite not training hard, putting in tons of effort on diet, recovery, programming, and optimizing my performance; my mental state towards myself had not changed. My new self is more relaxed in training, frequently enjoys “cheat” food, and doesn’t really care about the outcome of most training sessions. However, I needed the reminder that my body has changed some, and my mind needs to adjust as well.
What does this mean?
Does that mean not pushing myself? Definitely not. Does it mean not caring about my health or fitness level? Not at all. What is does mean however, is that I need to revamp how I view my performance; not on an ultimate continuum but rather on a sliding scale relevant to my current situation.
In the world of constant changes, comparison amongst ourselves, and where result is more important than processes it can be very easy to lose sight of things that matter. Sometimes the thing that matters most is your ability to be present with yourself. See yourself for where you are, not get mad at the outcome of situations, and look for perfecting the process. This is way easier said than done. Being able to isolate yourself from the world around you and stay focused on your own path and journey is no easy task. It involves plenty of reflection, positive self-talk, and focus on how you are getting from point A to point B, rather than just on point B.
Here are my own takeaways from this thought.
1: Recognize the past but don’t dwell on it.
Recognizing your past self and where you have been is very important. It helps us to see the progress we have made, and to keep us grounded in foundation of our current state. But we also don’t need to stay in the past.
2: Your identity lies in HOW not WHAT.
This one can be really tough. Identity in who you are lies not in what you accomplish, but how you accomplish it. The focus on the end goal is short-term. It comes and goes, and it a constant moving target. Being able to identify yourself on how you do things will leave you far more grateful longterm.
3: Your new self will be different, but it will be better.
Looking forward in life and constantly pursuing your best will keep you growing, striving and becoming. In many cases, it is the recognition of growth along the way that is the most beneficial. So long as you stay on the path toward growth, you will be on your way to your better self.
I am with you on this pursuit. I will struggle and change with you. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
As always: Stay Humble, Stay Hungry.
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