self belief

Breaking the Cycle of Insecurity

Stardate: 21st August 2015

Hey all!
Sometimes, I find myself wondering what the conversation would be like… if the current me, met an older version of himself.

I experienced what I believe that would feel like, just a few minutes ago… when I received a message from a friend of mine letting me know that he’d read an article of mine on Barbados Today, today. He’d admitted that he’d read it a while ago… but that it had ‘just popped up’ in his feed last night… and it’d spoken to him.

I have to admit: It spoke to me as well.

Here it is:

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A few years ago, I had the pleasure of running into an old schoolmate of mine. He’s always been in ridiculous shape, having been a serious sprinter since high school. That night, however, I realized that he’d made the transition from fitness enthusiast to trainer. He was working with his client outdoors. His shirt was off, and he looked phenomenal.

Honestly, my first thought was: “If he and I were standing shirtless, side-by-side, and a chick was asked to pick one of us, based solely on our physiques, she would pick him without a second thought.” A minute of insecurity? Maybe. Maybe it was less than 10 seconds of it. But it was enough. Immediately, it made me think of some of the thought processes I’ve encountered with many of my clients.

Many of them see someone who, their minds tell them, is “better” than they are. And, immediately, they fall into a downward cycle: Why me? Is my girl/guy checking him/her out? Why is he/she with me? Why do I even bother coming to the gym? I’ll never look like that.

I’ve heard them all, and many more. Truthfully, I’ve never been able to relate fully. I’ll tell you why: I believe that comparison, self-evaluation, categorization, and self-quantifying are natural parts of the human psyche. Furthermore, acknowledging and embracing such (as opposed to denying, demonizing, and battling that moment of comparison) lends a person the ability to move past it.

For me, those couple of seconds of insecurity I felt, led to three distinct thought processes:

  1. An honest appraisal of my body-type.
    My buddy was always in shape (and will probably always be in shape). He doesn’t watch his diet, and has never needed to. He is pure ecto-meso. Me, on the other hand, I’ve always been ‘softer’, even when shredded. My body-type is closer to meso-endo. I have to watch what I eat, and I have to keep my activity level high. Standing next to him reaffirmed my life choices and diet choices for the past decade.
  2. An honest appraisal of where I was physically.
    I was carrying 20-30 lbs more muscle than my peer – possibly more, I was put together “better”. Then why would I feel self-conscious? I’ll tell you why:
  3. “I can be better.”
    For some, this thought exists in the back of the mind like poison: slowly seeping into unconscious thought, eroding self-perception, self-esteem, and self-worth. But, do you remember what I said about acknowledging it? Let’s bring it to the forefront. I did and, immediately, poison became a positive.

    I CAN be better, and will be.

    There will always be someone whose very existence challenges your sense of self. The truth of the matter is, you CAN be better. But, and this is the most important part, the person you need to be better than isn’t the phantom that you allow your mind to create.

    It isn’t the guy/girl your significant other thinks is attractive.

    It isn’t your subordinate, who happens to be more qualified than you on paper.

    The person you need to best is you.

    Every day, every week, every year, strive to be better than the person you were before.

    Life isn’t a competition. But if it were, past you would be the person to beat.

    Make it happen!

And, he’s right: The person you need to best, is you.

Today, I’ll aim to be a better me than I was yesterday.
Will you join me?

Yours in health, peace, and fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

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Some thoughts on forgiveness

Stardate: 19th August 2015

Hey all. I had an amazingly cathartic experience, that I’d like to share with you.

This isn’t a religious post, but it did stem from a counseling session I had with my pastor yesterday. So… there’s that disclaimer. 🙂

In the session, my pastor said to me:

“The greatest gift you can give a person, is forgiveness.”

To my pastor’s declaration, I’d replied:

“But, this [forgiveness] goes against everything that I’m feeling.”

Truthfully, in my heart of hearts, I could not conceptualise my lips verbalising “I forgive you”  in any shape or form. Even thinking about it felt like a slight to my intelligence. It felt… as if I were urinating on my self worth. Dramatic? Maybe. But that was exactly how I felt in that moment… like I’d need a shower afterward.

My pastor replied:

“I know. But… forgiveness isn’t about accepting what they’ve done, or condoning it. It’s about healing… for both of you. You let go, and allow an opportunity to heal. Because you can’t heal if you’re still holding on to hurt.”

Some hours later… I met up with a friend who’s a lot like me: doesn’t hold grudges; moves on from a situation quickly; goes from full rant to zero in seconds. But, based on the session I had with my pastor, I realised that not holding grudges and ‘moving on with life’ wasn’t the same as forgiveness… and, really, that one can’t wholly move on without forgiveness.

And, finally, the difference clicked for me.

“I forgive you.”

These were the hardest words I’ve vocalised in a long time. “I’m sorry” doesn’t nearly compare. “I love you” isn’t nearly as heavy.

“I forgive you.”

With those words, I released a burden that I hadn’t even realised I’d been carrying. With it, came tears. With them? Lightness.

Who will you release today?

Yours in health, peace, and fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

New Year, New…

Stardate: 2nd January 2015

Humans are creatures of extremes. When the new year rolls in, we polarize: One group makes insane resolutions, while the other group rolls its eyes at the resolutions made by others.

And, while the latter is understandable (as one simply does not suddenly grow wiser or dedicated between the 31st of December and the 1st of January), January 1st is truly a powerful catalyst for change. Small, quantifiable changes though… this is important. For example:

  • – Start the year with the people who matter. Don’t beg for friends. Reach out to those who have been there for you, and those who have taken the time to reach out to you. Don’t meander through pointless relationships. *You* matter.
  • – Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. Write up a schedule for your week, and dedicate two 30 minute slots of it to exercise… and stick to those slots. If you’re able to fit other random 15-20 minute slots in at any time, do so. But, those two 30-minute slots are the most important. Never deviate from them. They add up.
  • – If you feel as if you don’t fit somewhere, you don’t. Anyone who tells you this feeling is in your imagination, is someone who values your company over your feelings. Think about it.
  • – Dieting isn’t complicated. Humans are. Put equal amounts of protein, vegetables, and fruit on your plate. The end. Nothing complicated about that, at all. No, you won’t have low blood sugar. No, you don’t need to ‘reward’ yourself with cheesecake. No, you’re not going to get sickly-looking. No, to whatever your next made-up question is.
  • – Stop making excuses for yourselves. When you mess up, accept it. Failing is fine. Blaming the universe, your mother, your sister, and global warming isn’t however.
  • – Where possible, walk and climb stairs. If you have to be seated for extended periods of time, stretch at regular intervals. The work (or whatever it is that requires that you sit for hours at a time) isn’t going anywhere. Your back, and productivity thank you in advance.
  • – Worry less about what people think and say about you.
  • – “Worry less about what people think and say about you.” – I had to type that twice. Personally, I know that a lot of people believe that I’m an asshole. And, again personally, I acknowledge my streaks of asshole-ishness. Personally, I also acknowledge that people immediately discard the myriad of good that I have done, and continue to do from day to day. Those whom I’ve helped aren’t immune to that either. And, were I to concentrate on the negative that people have to say… I’d probably kill myself. And, I swear, I’ve thought about it more than a few times over the years… but then I get a message from a random stranger that reads something like: “Thank you for your posts. Thank you for sharing your struggles. Thank you for the free fitness challenges and feedback that you’ve hosted monthly. Thank you for always helping people who reach out to you… and some who don’t directly. You’ve changed my life”. And that post pulls me back up. I’ve digressed a bit, but that brings me to another point:
  • – Surround yourself with positive, smart(er), creative, similarly-minded people. Stagnation is the worst feeling in the world.
  • – Eat less sugar and processed shit. If you can quit both altogether, do so.
  • – Communicate with your family at least once per week. Put that in your daily calender. It’s important. Trust me. Also:
  • – Use your calender. Time is your most valuable resource. If you don’t control it to some degree, you’re wasting it. Lots of you claim to want to achieve things. But I’d fathom that 90% of you don’t have a real quantifiable plan. And, I don’t say this to be patronising. I say this, because it’s the truth. If you have a schedule, you can free up more time for new experiences, for family, for fitness and for yourself… The things that matter.
  • – Travel if you can. It’s a big world. Plenty to experience… and experiences tends to stretch our mind and perspective.
  • – Learn to cook at least one new thing.
  • – Read at least one book.
  • – Learn a new skill. Burpees are a great one to have. But pottery isn’t bad either.
  • – Say ‘thank you’, more.
  • – Laugh more. Cry when you feel the need to.

If you add only one of these for 2015… I think it’ll be a more productive year.

new year

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

Confidence is a Bumpy Road

Stardate: 21st September 2014

Hi.

I have a confession.

I… I struggle with self confidence.

Many don’t realise this, because of the level of persistence, detail, and work I put in to anything I want in life.

I am confident in the things I have achieved and learned… But never confident during the process.

low-self-esteem

But, despite doubts… I keep my head down and work until I achieve what I desire. Insanity? Maybe. My cognitive processes are anything but normal, and I’m fine with that.

One thing I’ve always doubted, but worked insanely hard at is my artistry.

I’ve heard comments on both sides of the coin: “he’s a gimmick”; “he’s brilliant.”

Many times I’m not sure which side I fall on. But then they are nights like tonight when, full of doubt, I touch the mic…and get lost in the art… And sometimes I fall out of the zone for a second and realise that people around are also caught up.

Those are the moments that I live and work for… In all areas of my life.

I’ve babbled.

All of this to say: look for those moments.

Doesn’t matter if it’s in your job or relationship, or hobby, or a new skill you’re looking to learn.

Look for those moments when everything around you melts away, and you find yourself immersed in the purity of your pursuit.

…That moment when you smile from your very soul.

Confidence is a bumpy road.
Use those sparks to keep it well-lit.

Àṣẹ,
-Corey “Narkissos” Springer

http://www.getnarked.net
www.facebook.com/NarkSide

People who post Motivational Posters…

…are usually unhappy, social vampires.

Social Vampire in Training

 

I apologise in advance if I’m unveiling your scam to the world… but, i see through you: Posting quotes from authors you’ve never read; stuff you think people will like.

‘Cus if they like it: they’ll click ‘like’ on the post. Maybe they’ll comment. Maybe they’ll share. Maybe they’ll thank you for your positivity, and laud you for your depth… and maybe the mist generated, will elevate you above the darkness and doubt inside that you choose to hide from yourself.

But you’ll still be unhappy. And tomorrow you’ll do it all over again.

/end rant

Stardate: 5th September 2014

To access a positive outcome, a person needs to be able to think in (and quantify) negatives. This is where the omni-positive-everything-will-work-out crowd ends up spinning its wheels, posting ‘inspirational’ pics, while failing.

‘Cus everything does *not* work out: life isn’t unicorns farts and rainbows. With light comes dark, dirty begets clean… Likewise, failure and success are opposing sides of the same coin.

Focusing on one, without formulating contingencies for the other, won’t make the preferred outcome the automatic one.

There is nothing wrong with fear, for example.

Fear makes us aware of our surroundings, our limits, potential threats, and pitfalls.

I’m afraid.

I’m afraid daily.

I acknowledge this.

But, do you know what happens next? I quantify it. I measure the risks (if any), the threats (if any)… and I come up with a plan. Then: One foot in front of the other.

Left. Right. Left.

I doubt.

Left. Right. Left.

I doubt daily.

But, I also trust… and persevere.

Left. Right. Left.

 

Every emotion we have,  ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ alike, is valid… and purposed.

Don’t be afraid to be afraid.

Don’t be ‘that guy’.

Àṣẹ,
-Corey “Narkissos” Springer

http://www.getnarked.net
www.facebook.com/NarkSide