Are you a listener or a superior?

Have you ever looked around your gym and noticed members who aren’t in shape?

Okay that sounded bad. I swear I’m not mean (nor am I a crazy stalker). I’m not referring to the people who purchased a membership last week, nor am I talking about those making progress week by week. I’m talking about the meatheads who have ripped arms, can bench 300 pounds, but still have a huge beer gut. Or the guys with a sculpted upper body, but have tiny legs. They seem incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to working on arms and chest,  yet appear to be neglecting other areas. It makes me wonder: How open are these guys to learning more about their workouts?

For me, I used to be very close minded at the gym. I had my workout plan and liked it. I didn’t want to switch it up, and I sure as hell didn’t want to listen to anyone try to tell me what I was doing wrong. Eventually, I switched things up because I made the decision to be a fitness coach and had some learning to do. I started a program called the 21 Day Fix to learn more about portion control. It also included workouts to do seven days a week from home. Home? Why the hell would I workout from home? I can’t do bench press from home. WHY IS EVERYTHING CHANGING?

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It didn’t help that I was extremely intimated by Autumn Calabrese, the woman with the perfect body who talks you through all the workouts. Oh boy, does she push you! 

 

I made it through the three weeks. Days 1-4 were rough. Days 5-21 were….actually, pretty fun! I was shocked to learn I enjoyed working out from home. I never would have listened to anyone try to tell me this. After finishing the program, I realized just how reluctant and close minded I was with my workouts.

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 I recently made a bet with my facebook friends involving pictures of me working out in my Pirate Socks. This was the result. (Pardon the “pirate face.”)

 

We have a tendency to be close minded in areas we’re passionate about and experienced with. The scary part is, we don’t always realize it. We assume that because we learned a lot in a particular area, it would be silly to take information and learn from someone else. This especially comes into play with people who are younger or less experienced than us. We miss out on growing as a person because we’re too reluctant to listen.

So how do we become more open? First off, recognize these areas where you’re most closed off. When someone gives you advice in an area you’re passionate about, do you listen to them? Or does that voice in your head go off saying, “THIS IS A TRAP. DO NOT LISTEN.” This pesky voice still chimes in my own head. (Mainly because saying, “It’s a trap!” can be fun. But I’ve had to tune him out. He can be a jerk sometimes.)

Next, consider the idea of “being a listener instead of a superior.” In Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, he talks about how “almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way.” The next time you’re in a situation where someone is sharing an idea or teaching you something, consider how you might learn from this person instead of feeling like a superior. If you’re anything like me, you might need to remind yourself of this several times before it starts to work. I tend to go into the “It’s a trap!” way of thinking. We might want to be cautious listening to those meatheads at the gym. But who knows? Maybe there’s something (even if it’s just one thing) we could learn from them. Something I personally like to do is try and be open minded and learn as much as I can. Then later on, I can keep what I like, and “throw away” the parts I don’t.

Here’s my challenge to you: Try this on for yourself. Find areas you’re closed off in and think about ways you can be more open. Then, let me know how it goes! Seriously. I like hearing from you guys.

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