Some people just don’t want to work at being great. And still others have been conditioned to think that greatness isn’t within their capabilities.
What I’ve found over the years coaching and mentoring people of all types and with literally thousands of different goals and dreams, is deep down we all have a need to feel special, to make a difference, to become successful, even though we might define success differently. The need to become “great” is still there, looming underneath and years of self-doubt, judgment, and the ever present need for other’s approval. Years of bullying from others and from ourselves continues to keep us hostage in our mediocrity, afraid that if we step up to the plate and actually hit a home run that somehow, in some way, we don’t deserve to feel proud or accomplished.
Additionally, from my own journey, appearing ungrateful and boastful is the line we’re taught never to cross for fear of losing our humbleness and graciousness. Who likes a braggart anyway? We are told even the best leaders and mentors put everyone else ahead of themselves and never accept the spotlight. That was the struggle I faced for so long in my own journey. I wanted to be proud of the 100 pound weight loss, but people made fun of the gym selfies, and when I talked about my journey, they simply rolled their eyes and told me just how horrible it must be to now be pretty and thin, while they moped about in their own misery.
But seriously…why do we let other’s opinions and judgments define our own greatness? Why can’t I boast about my weight loss? And today, why can’t I praise my hard work for the incredible business and lifestyle I have? Why must I hide my success behind someone else’s insecurity and self-loathing just to protect their sensitivities??
Well, actually, with one major shift in my thinking, everything changed!
“Someone else’s opinion of me is none of my business.”
Why am I giving someone else to power to feel great about my own journey? Why does someone else’s praise and opinion mean so much to me that I rely totally on their permission to be great?
Once I stopped caring what others thought of me, and quite honestly, made it very clear to people that I didn’t ask for or desired their judgment, those people simply went away. I no longer saw their posts. I no longer got silly private messages making fun of my latest gym selfie. Those people no longer showed up in my life because I simply didn’t allow their insecurities and judgments to dictate permission for me to accept my own success and greatness.
There is a very big difference between bragging and authentic greatness. Today, when I see someone bragging, it’s usually because they are just starting to find success, and at that stage, they need a little bit of validation and approval. So guess what? I give them that approval and validation because I know it will help them move past this part of their journey, and hopefully continue to grow in their authentic greatness. Once we go through that stage, humbleness and gratitude begin to manifest, and what was once a braggart is now someone with amazing greatness. So instead of rolling your eyes, validate someone else, and then work to improve our own greatness so that you no longer need someone else’s permission.
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