I admit it: I dwell on stuff.
I spend too much time counting the sins of others instead of counting my own blessings.
I get angry about the wrong stuff sometimes, but I record every lesson and ask, “What can I do to stop this from happening again?” This has turned into three books already.
If you’re angry about a coach leaving; pissed at “the competition”; or just plain tired and fed up with the business, think about these things. Even better: read, then mop the floor while you think.
- Stop being “not them.”
You dislike the competition, so you make sure everyone knows how different you are. “We’re like CrossFit, but focused on functional movement” ensures the topic is about CrossFit. “We don’t push you to compete like those jerks over there” makes me think about “those jerks over there.” If you’re writing about a topic because someone ELSE did, or trying to “clear up misconceptions” spread by your competition…stop.
Stop thinking about them. They’re not thinking about you (if they are, you’re already winning.)
2. Use it.
Sometimes I DO wake up fightin’ mad. When I get a call from a gym owner saying, “These guys are stealing your stuff, bloke!” I don’t take it as a compliment. I use it to find a vein. When my stuff is copied, I write new stuff. When another gym says mine is “too competitive,” I write a lot of happy blog posts. When my neighbor complains about the noise, I deal with it and then write about it to help others.
3. Get perspective.
When your competition undercuts your prices, or an exiting coach bashes you on social media, ask yourself: “Will I even remember this a year from now?” If the answer is no, it’s easy to flush the stressor.
But when the answer is “yes,” ask yourself: could something worse be happening?
A few years ago, my concussion-testing idea was duplicated by a local gym. They undercut our testing price by $5 and installed someone to do the tests. I fumed. But Tyler (my co-founder of Ignitegym) said, “Look at it this way: if you have to compete with someone, you want it to be this guy.” He meant I should be happy to not have a competitor with his own unique ideas. And he was right. I fall back on this often.
4. Say it out loud.
If you’ve never watched “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets About Themselves,” you should. Hearing criticism aloud puts it in the right perspective.
A few months ago, I was seething over an internet comment from a “gym expert.” Though his own gym was mediocre at best, he had “serious concerns” about the 4/9 model or something…I really can’t recall.
Robin and I were driving to a polling station to vote. I was telling her the story and reading some of his comments to her. We both started laughing about it. Within five minutes, I was wondering why I’d even given the character a second thought. But I’d wasted hours of my morning thinking about my response to a critic who couldn’t even spell “Catalyst” correctly.
I’m a LOT better than I was. Reading the Stoics has helped; age and experience have probably helped more. These four strategies have helped a lot.