“Too weak to change”: Self-development starting from zero

It seems like a big obstacle to self-development for many people, an obstacle to getting started, is some idea of just not being ready, of being too weak, too lacking in willpower, unable to get things started.
So I think it’s very helpful to always remember that it’s OK to start from zero, from absolute nothing, absolute beginner, absolute nobody.
It’s perfectly good to start from this bottom.
And not only is it OK, but it seems like in some ways it can even be an advantage.
It seems like a big reason why it’s hard to do this is that it really is embarrassing.
It’s embarrassing to be a zero, a nobody, to have embarrassingly bad skills It’s hard to face people with pride and dignity while being completely incompetent.
So, because we don’t want to appear incompetent, you know, we don’t want to appear like a nobody, we want to preserve the image of at least avoiding the worst, at least we can try to hide in being average.
Hide in the average, because at least that doesn’t stand out.
Somebody who’s really, really bad at something would stand out.
Someone who was average, well, they might just get ignored.
And when we’re trying to hide, well, being ignored is exactly what you want if you’re trying to hide.
If you have a weakness you don’t want others to see, then being ignored is the solution.
That’s what hiding is.
You are ignored, because you are not seen.
And yet, if we hide in this kind of average world, it’s so difficult to actually make any progress and get any better.
Because, for one thing, if we’re pretending to be average, but we actually suck, then we’re just gonna keep sucking, and we don’t really have a chance to get better.
And we can just kind of pretend that everything’s OK, and pretend that we’re average.
It seems like a recipe for not getting anywhere.
And I know I’ve certainly done that myself, just hiding behind this idea of being average.
“Oh, I’m within normal parameters, within normal range for these things, so I can just ignore them and pretend that there’s no issue.” But when I was able to, just by the feeling of not having enough, of things not being enough, of my life being incomplete: that feeling really was growing on me over a few years, and it reached the point where I was ready to take some drastic steps to restart, to reboot my life, to make changes, and really start this whole path of self-development.
This idea of zero, and starting from zero, at the bottom is very clear to me from a few years ago, when I started exercising again I had exercised many years ago, but then I stopped for many years, and I had become very weak from not exercising.
I came up with all the usual list of excuses why people don’t exercise, but I realized that in order to make my life better, I had to become stronger and that included physical exercise.
So I started to read about exercise.
That’s you know that’s that’s the way that I went to it, was this is physical exercise, you know, I was reading about it for a while before I even started it.
I realized that OK, I’m just gonna start with some absolute basics, and I’m just going to be at home, on the floor of my living room, and I will try some very basic exercises.
And my willpower was so weak, too, that I couldn’t even just concentrate on a workout.
It was just too boring for me.
I was unable to put that focus in.
So I wasn’t even having a concentrated workout time.
It was while watching TV, watching a show, a movie, videos, I would have my entertainment, and then rather than sitting and watching, I would attempt to “OK, I’m actually going to do some basic exercises.” So, starting with classic bodyweight exercises, one of the most classic exercises of all: the push-up.
I go to do a push-up, and I cannot do one push-up.
I found that my my elbows and my wrists were so weak from years of no exercise that I was straining them just by being in the push-up position, in the plank, the top push-up position, and attempting to move through the push-up movement, my elbows and wrists were so weak that they were being overly strained from doing a push-up, and I was unable to do even one push-up.
Now this is the kind of- this is the bottom.
This is being at the bottom when it comes to physical exercise: being unable to do even a single push-up.
I mean, this is embarrassing.
I’m embarrassed even now telling it.
The only thing that makes it less embarrassing is that now it becomes a good story that I can tell as part of my journey of self-development.
Whatever place we are now, there’s something very powerful in simply not trying to avoid embarrassment, not trying to be at a respectable level, but simply accepting, “Here I am, the bottom, level zero, and let’s move up from here.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *