Thursday, October 2, 2008

Feeling Uncomfortable

After the post "9 week from today", I got several emails from people who didn't want to publicly post goals, but wanted to share them with me anyway. That's really cool, and I am thankful that you trust me to share and help you.

On the other hand, it is always interesting to me that whenever I send out a "challenge" of any sort, I get a mass of "un-subscribes" from my newsletter.
The first few times it happened I found it puzzling, thinking I had somehow done something wrong and pissed off the people who were bailing on me. Now I realize what is really happening.

I know from my own experience that when I purposefully look deeper into myself, past my excuses and beyond my limitations, to see what is really going on, it is uncomfortable. I don't always like what I see. Obviously this is true for others as well. Sometimes this discomfort results in running some people off. They sign up for some free workout info, not realizing that I am going to call them out on their BS excuses. I even get the "how dare you" emails, like I have somehow been spying on someone in California or Vegas, studying their habits in order to anonymously embarrass them online. HUH? You place far too much importance on yourself.

Here's the thing: If you feel uncomfortable or inspired by anything I write, it is because we are alike on a very base level. When I do something publically like post goals and challenges I have set for myself, I am forcing myself to look inside and while at the same time asking you to do so for yourself. It helps me to stay on track, to Walk the Talk so to speak.

If I say "I think I might like to do that" it most likely ain't gonna happen.

If I tell YOU that I am going to do something, then I have upped the stakes quite a bit, putting myself on the line publically.

If I ask you to join me, then we get to take advantage of our collective character, flaws and all, toward our greater good.

Let's rock this thing from now until Thanksgiving.


Sandy Sommer said...


As you are so aware, language is a powerful thing. If someone writes to me or verbalizes to me that they are going to "try" to do such and such, it ain't happening. I use my eyes and ears to predict action or lack thereof with amazing precision.


Coach RJ said...

Interesting points Iron Dave. Here's some feedback. I did my MS thesis project on sport and exercise psychology. As a Corporate Wellcoach, I have more education in behavioral psychology, so here's my "psych spin" for the day: From a goal setting standpoint, making a "public declaration" about what you WILL DO is a valid strategy. And as SS replied, there is a BIG difference between saying "I'll try" and saying "I will." The difference? BS vs. NO BS! To declare to your peers that you WILL do something is a much higher level of buy in that more than likely will turn goal "setting" into goal reality--or at least get much closer to the long term goal at the very least! Soft goals are not very motivating--people don't respect them. Over the top goals can implode people from too much too fast, but challenging goals create intrinsic motivation. Many people like to REACH. There is a different sense of accomplishment as in, "Wow--I really did something significant and it feels damn good!" Fitness is power. Let's get it on Comrades!

NoPantsJim said...

"If I ask you to join me, then we get to take advantage of our collective character, flaws and all, toward our greater good."

Maybe you should do a weekly post every Thursday til Thanksgiving telling us how your progress has been towards your goals, and we'll post our progress in the comments. Just a suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I admit that I spend much of my time as a lurker. Gleaning information and experience from my bolder brothers and sisters and holding back my own. This is a form of selfishness and egoism I am going to correct.

In this light I offer up my goals for Thanksgiving. Like you David, I'm not as strong in my pullups as I'd like to be. At 230 I'm stuck with sets of five or six. By Thanksgiving I will achieve three consecutive sets of ten pullups. My diet I feel is quite solid, I stick to whole foods, using only processed whey protein as a supplement. However, my body composition is not where I'd like. My work capacity is good but I still carry more body fat than I would like. I will use this time to continue to assess my diet and workout regimen and find where my shortcomings lie. Too many calories? Too few? Not enough rest? I will also use this time to find out why this particular goal both plagues and elludes me. As a trainer I am very concious of my professional image but I also know that the root cause for this desire is far deeper than "looking the part" for my job. In my work I promote healthy living over a desire for a preconceived sense of asthetics, yet in myself I see a desire that verges on pushing the healthy living limit.

gonetilt said...


I have been reading your blog and e-newsletters for several months now and was shocked to read there was a mass "un-subscribe" by making this challenge. I guess my shock turned into curiosity. Next thing you know I started a public blog to put my goals on the line. I look forward to reading some progress reports on how you are doing. Good Luck and thanks for laying out the challenge.

james.doolen809 said...

Keep it up Dave, I need someone to light a fire under my butt sometimes.

Laura said...

Sometimes people need assistance in getting pushed to that place of discomfort. Even if they do unsubscribe after being faced with something uncomfortable, you know you've planted a seed that's going to eventually have to sprout out somehow.

You rock. =D

Frank said...

Dave, I've been read numerous posts of yours ever since I first found out about KBs, 5 or so years ago.
I've always found your input timely and worthwhile.
keep it up!
I didn't set a goal for Thanksgiving, but had recently set one for Jan. 1, 2009.
That was to get one rep each of
48kg pistol
48kg pullup
I started about two weeks ago, and have a lot of work to do by then!
I am definitely a believer in goals!

coachben said...

Hi Dave,
Awesome post. To put yourself out there shows you are human just like the rest of us (until I see you rip a freakin Dallas phone book of course:)
Many people don't like who they are and are shocked when someone calls them out on those very same things that keep them up at night. I think it shows that you get very personal with your newsletters and challenges and you are to be commended for that. Because you care

Eric said...

Hey Dave
Speaking of goals and such you asked when I was going to attend the RKC cert which actually lit a fire in my belly. I wasn't prepared for the October chapter but I am now signed up for the February 22nd cert. I hope to see you there.
Thank you.

Eric Moss