Today's guest post comes from Thom Lamb.
Thom has been coaching clients for well over a decade, and coaching other trainers for 7 years.
While he is an accomplished powerlifter, having trained in some of the best gyms in North America, his passion is in helping everyday people become stronger and more confident.
This article tackles an issue we all face at one point or another, and Thom offers you a very powerful shift in perspective that will help you look at yourself in a new light.
This is one of my favorite articles ever by Thom. I hope you enjoy it.
Enter Thom with 'Chasing Rainbows.'
You can’t touch a rainbow.
You can’t touch a rainbow, because its a phenomenon without tangible manifestation.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t really ever get close to a rainbow. As much as you try to approach it, it will always be far off in the distance. But you can still see it, and this is an important idea for us to really consider, that seeing isn’t always believing.
It reminds me of the women we see on most magazine covers and on TV and movies. They are also rainbows; they simply don’t exist.
I don’t mean to get all ‘Dove Beauty’ on you, but by the time the photographer, the graphics guys and the makeup artists are done with most models, the image on the page is no more physically tangible than a rainbow.
Even though most people realize that there is no ‘pot of gold’ at the end of a rainbow, these same people think they should look like the image on a magazine cover.
Looking in the mirror and hating yourself for not being as beautiful as the image you see in the media is just as foolish. Because just like a rainbow, although you can see that the image exists, you have to understand there was never anyone who looked like that.
I’ve created this analogy to help you see that chasing a rainbow is a recipe for sadness.
A client today asked me when she would be happy; I guess she thinks I’m smart or something …
The client had lost five pounds, and still wasn’t happy. She wasn’t happy because in her mind success was looking the way the models look, which is hard to pull off when even the models don’t look like that.
It’s tough, too, because a great number of trainers and nutritionists get into this business because of their own obsessions with appearance. They subconsciously reinforce the beliefs their clients have about perfection.
Because that’s really what we are talking about here. Attaining perfection.
As soon as I say that we can all recognize that it's ridiculous. But every time we achieve something it’s very common to compare ourselves to others and say “well I still don’t look like her”.
Truth is, you’re never going to; she’s 20 years younger than you, is one of the most physically perfect people on earth and has a team tweaking every aspect of every picture to make her look perfect.
And the truth is … she hates that picture … it makes her look fat.
Yeah, I’m not even joking.
Because when you place beauty above everything else you can’t win.
Beauty is not a physical quality. Its an abstract quality that manifests itself from other actions.
When we pursue it above all other things we turn the whole physical universe on its head. We play a game we can’t win.
Ironically those that pursue beauty become ugly; full of self loathing, they become envious of others, and they become petty. What was once a passion for something turns into a sickness, enslaves the mind of the person chasing beauty and leaves nothing real.
Beauty must come from something. Beauty is a new born baby, it’s the look of exhilaration on the face of a woman that has just finished her first marathon, it’s the mystery of a sky full of stars, the quiet desperation of a great musician sharing his pain with the world. Beauty is a harbinger of creation, hope, passion and inspiration. It’s much more than a face; it’s the spark behind the face.
Instead of choosing to chase a rainbow, I ask you this: What do you want to do with your body? What do you want to experience before you die ? How do you want to live ?
Do you want to be strong – and see how strong you really can be?
Do you want to play with your kids for hours and laugh every minute?
Do you want to climb a mountain?
Do you want to go to work smiling because your back doesn’t hurt anymore and you finally feel like your old self.
Do you want to run and like it?
Aren’t all these things … beautiful?
What does that make you :)?
Beauty is everywhere, in all of us. It’s a choice. Don’t waste another second comparing yourself to something that doesn’t even exist. Embrace your own hopes, chase them mercilessly and you will find yourself surrounded by people who think you are beautiful.
And you will know they are right.
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