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July 25, 2019

I think I can, I think I can…

by Michael Hughes

I have a nightly ritual with my two and a half year old daughter where we read books and sing songs before bed together. It’s one of my favorite times of the day. Now with two kids, I play a much larger role with her and it’s been incredible to see our relationship grow in the last month.

One of my favorite things is reading her a children’s book before bed. I always love the life lessons the authors want to instill in their young readers and many times feel as if the lesson was intended for me. The other night, she picked the “Little Engine that Could.” It was exactly the book I needed to read and I’ll tell you why… 

A couple months ago, I shared a story about growing up with a stutter and how it wrecked my confidence growing up. The truth is that my lack of confidence is not in the rear view mirror as much as I wish it were. It plagues me almost daily. So many of you are incredibly gracious in your comments to me and even fitness competitors of mine have commented on our success. But I brush it off too many times. It comes off as humility, but it’s honestly just deep seeded doubt.

I came across this quote and it really shook me up: “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” 

If you know me, you know I dream big. I want to change the industry, to train trainers how to re-think movement and restoration and blend it with performance. I want to train the masses to feel the difference and benefits of three dimensional movement and then incorporate it into their lives. 

To do this, I’ve been focusing so much more on safeguarding things like our programming intellectual property, coach education, business best practices etc. But the one area I’ve neglected recently, because it felt less mission-critical, was protecting my mindset, my confidence, my belief. 

I’m afraid to end up a dreamer who never did what I intended to do. Truly, it would be up there in my greatest fears. The one thing I can do about that is to shore up my mindset, invest in my belief in a better future, and believe that I can do it. 

I know I’m not the only one who struggles to feel confident, who worries what others will think of me and who compares where I am with those further along than me. Almost weekly, we hear that someone felt they had to get into shape before coming to Gymnazo, or that guests may not join because they feel self-conscious doing the “weird” movements. Quite honestly, my reaction to these comments is simply empathy. I get it. It’s a huge reason why we strive to be so welcoming to everyone. Self-doubt is a joy stealer. 

In thinking about how to get a hold of my self-doubt and start protecting my confidence, I asked my mentor to grab lunch with me last week. He has been hugely formative in my life, someone who encouraged me with Gymnazo and even nudged me to ask Paden out on our first date. When I shared with him about my struggles, he suggested that I focus on serving the people in front of me. Stop thinking about myself, how I would be perceived, who would take offense about our less traditional methodology… but instead, simply think about showing up to serve the people I care about. It was such a good wake up call for me. 

When we lose sight of our “why”, we get lost, we get depressed, we get doubtful and we play small. But when we reconnect to WHY the dream or goal matters to us, all of our concerns seem to fade in significance. My biggest WHY isn’t to become famous or rich… honestly, it’s to help more people. It’s to add value to more trainers looking for ways to keep training their clients without injuring them. 

When I get too self-absorbed in my doubts and fears, I lose sight of the only thing that really matters: YOU! 

So to any of you out there with a goal to get into shape, to compete at a certain level and to conquer an area of your life, my hope is you protect your confidence and tell yourself again and again…. “I think I can.” 

Always cheering for you!

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