I’m a failure sometimes.
Like today… I wanted to work out. So, I went to CrossFit only to remember that the class I was planning on joining changed to an advanced session. For ADVANCED CrossFit athletes. No…let me rephrase that. For ADVANCED ninjas that can somehow lift 300 lbs and make it seem ridiculously easy… just to warm-up.
Now, I am NOT a ninja. I just wanted to work out, so I can keep eating all the time. Eating makes me happy and I like being happy. So, I decided to join in on the class despite the fact that I was obviously the LEAST advanced person in the room.
I mean, one of the coaches came up to me and asked me, “You’re doing this class?” To which I responded… “Ummm…yea…unless you kick me out.” He’s nice and I like him so he didn’t kick me out.
I started the workout. The workout was harder than anything I’ve done in a really long time and it was embarrassing, because while everyone was easily lifting 150+ lbs. I was lifting like, 75 lbs.
It sucked, because I wasn’t the best and I really like being the best. At everything.
I mean, I really thought about leaving more than once. I knew this class was way out of my league and I hated feeling like the weakest one in the group. I was super intimidated, but then we attempted back squats. Since we had to partner up, I just tried to keep up with the weight that my partners were using.
Normally, I would have stopped at 100 lbs, because that’s the most weight I’ve ever successfully back squatted. But today, I wanted to push myself, because everyone else was doing so awesome.
By the end of the movement, I had reached my personal back squat record of 125 lbs. and it felt amazing. I felt so accomplished.
Driving home, I thought about how happy I was that I didn’t leave the class early. I was glad that I pushed through. Even though I wasn’t the best in the class today, being surrounded by athletes who are much better than I am made me strive to be better. And I WAS better. Better than I’ve been in a long time.
In life…in our jobs…in our careers…we have a tendency to want to be the best. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But sometimes, we tend to put ourselves in positions where we’re the “big fish in the little pond”, so to say. We’re comfortable in our environment, it’s familiar, and we’re the best at what we do. There’s no longer any competition. We’ve reached the top and it’s time to move on to the next level.
Only, sometimes, we don’t go to the next level. We stay where we are because we know that going to the next level means that we’ll be at the BOTTOM of the next level. And that’s uncomfortable. Because we’ll be out of our comfort zone and we’ll have to work harder to be the best.
It won’t be easy. I PROMISE you, it won’t be easy. We’ll be surrounded by ninjas who can lift 300 lbs just warming up.We’ll be surrounded by people who are better than us, but that shouldn’t scare you. It should excite you, actually.
Because being around those people will motivate you. Being around those people will give you a reason to push yourself harder. And ultimately, you’ll be better. At least, I really think so.
There’s a famous quote that I love that goes like this:
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” -Unknown
But wait…if we’re the smartest person, isn’t that a good thing? Why should you look for another room?
Because you should ALWAYS be looking for rooms with people who are smarter, brighter, more experienced, or in my case today, much stronger. Because in those rooms, you’ll grow. And in those rooms, you’ll learn. And in those rooms you’ll challenge yourself and push yourself harder than you ever have before, and you’ll come out better than you were entering them.
Don’t be afraid to be the little fish sometimes. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Be the little fish in the huge pond and swim against the current as if the quality of your life depends on it.
Because it does.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Gen Y Girl!
About the Author: Kayla Cruz graduated college at the age of 20 with a degree in Health Services Administration. She is currently working as a Regulatory Coordinator in Clinical Research while pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration specializing in Human Resources. She has found she’s most passionate about helping young professionals navigate through their first few years as GenYers in the workforce. Follow Kayla on Twitter!