I like to talk about the mental prisons we put ourselves in.
Never wanting to take the first step to better, leaving ourselves frozen. Today we’ll look a little more specifically about the dangerously mediocre middle mentality. We take a slight step forward, we don’t say I can’t, we say with all the conviction in the world “I will!”…. when I’m in a little better shape. When I have a bit more money. When the weather gets better. When I’ve got the time. I will. The danger here is that this moment in the future, this perfect time to start may never come. The reason this mentality can be so destructive is that we tell ourselves we are now on the way, our journey has begun, but in reality, we are simply allowing ourselves more time to not do the things we know we must. I don’t want to take too broad strokes here, there are definitely situations where “I will when,” is an entirely intelligent decision; coming off of injuries, moments where there are simply other priorities in life. It’s down to us to be honest with ourselves in our approach. Are we truly benefiting ourselves when saying “I will when,” or is this an excuse to another false start? You have to be honest with yourself to be at peace with your decisions. I don’t mean this to be too attacking, it’s not just “enough of your bullshit excuses, suck it up and let’s go.” it’s understanding what drives us and what freezes us, this coming from someone who has spent far too long frozen. Will the mentality of “I Will When,” slowly transform overtime to, “I wish I did when I had more time left?” Our time is finite. Our ends are inevitable.
I used “I will when,” constantly when it came to my own health. I will when I can afford a gym, I can’t possibly put that money aside. Did I spend the equivalent on things I didn’t need? Yup. I’ll do it when I have more free time. Could I have woken up earlier to workout if I wanted to? Absolutely. The most damaging of all, I’ll do it when I’m in better shape. This is an incredibly vicious circle – I told myself I’d focus on my health, when my health was better. I was frozen by the idea people would judge me, I would stand out like a beached whale amongst perfectly sculpted Gods that inhabit every gym. In my mind, everyone would look like Thor or Wonder Woman; perfection. No one else would possibly be at the same stage as me, taking charge to fix their health, they would all be perfect, and I would be a joke. I wouldn’t know what I was doing, everyone would find it hilarious, they would all stop what they were doing to watch me failing at things. Obviously this wasn’t even close to reality, but it was a reality I created for myself. It allowed me the freedom to not take action, because this reality wouldn’t be bearable. I essentially froze myself by convincing myself of a non existent reality, a non existent excuse.
Of course this wasn’t even close to the truth – the surroundings I finally found myself in were not even close to the judgement filled God filled Mecca’s I had imagined, instead a place where people were far more likely to help and offer advice than I had assumed. It’s one of the main reasons community and unity are such a massive part of what it means to be NORSE.
This self induced taking action later mindset was not limited just to the gym and health; being aware of this defence mechanism has led me to notice its presence in numerous situations. The other key one for me was actually the conception and actualisation of NORSE Life. I’ll start when we have our t-shirts printed. I’ll do the t shirts when we have the logo done. I’ll get the logo done when I find the perfect designer. The list goes on, the results remain the same. A smaller feeling of guilt with the same amount achieved. I realised there were so many other things I could work on whilst waiting for other parts to come to fruition. The “I’ll do it when,” was an excuse to delay doing what I knew I had to. Writing this now, our logo is yet to be finalised. Our website isn’t finished. But that’s ok. Figure out what you can do and get moving in the right direction, whatever your goal is. They say the best time to start is yesterday. The second best is today. Cliche as hell right, but as an entirely unskilled writer with a vaguely passable vocabulary, I couldn’t possibly put it better. Stay strong everyone.
For The Pack,