What up, what up, what up [fname]!
Battlegrounds Mud Run:
Sign up on our team here: https://bgsept2017.eventbrite.com?team_token=1902167-o809q
September 23, 2017 at 8:00 AM
Wright City, Missouri 63390
We’re doing the 5k at the Noon-3pm time slot.
The “CJ Confessions”… What I Fear…
Ok gang… it’s about to get real up in here…
Warning: This one may get a little heavy. But there are some things I gotta get off my chest before they fester inside and continue to poison my spirit.
I tried to write you all a weekly post last week that had to do with Pauly Shore and avoiding regret. After three hours of writing and editing and adding cute pictures, that post got erased, never to be seen again.
Exasperated, I yelled a particular four-letter word, punched at the air, proceeded to the refrigerator, grabbed a beer, and posted up in front of the TV for the rest of the night… angry at myself, angry at my life, just plain angry.
It was a good post. Good story. Good moral. Good advice. Good comedic relief. But it wasn’t the post I wanted to write.
The post I wanted to write was the one I’m writing today.
The reason you didn’t get it last week or the week before that was because of fear.
I’m not afraid of spiders, or snakes, or the number 13 (fun fact, that’s called: Triskaidekaphobia).
But I am afraid of what other people think of me.
Mind you, this is breaking news for me, too. I had to ask myself a lot of questions and look deep inside to figure out what’s been bothering me so much the past few weeks.
In fact, even a week ago, if you had asked me point blank whether I had any fear or anxiety over what others thought of me, I would have told you without hesitation, “No.” And I would have come up with a list of reasons why I’m not influenced by the opinions of others.
But upon further review, my recent actions and reactions would indicate otherwise.
Some of you have noticed over the past few weeks that I haven’t quite been 100% of my usual self. Part of me is ashamed that I’m not doing a better job of hiding it. Part of me recognizes that hiding and bottling up my frustration is part of the issue at its core.
It’s not a physical sickness that’s ailed me, but rather one of the mind.
As of late…
It’s been harder than ever to write.
It’s been harder than ever to put myself in front of the camera.
It’s been harder than ever to get up to my morning alarm (and I continually feel exhausted throughout the day.)
It’s been harder than ever to go to social events… so I usually don’t. (If you don’t like yourself, you’re probably going to be bad company for others.)
It’s been harder mentally… I’ve been stuck, blocked, lacking for energy, focus, drive, and determination. (So I nap, eat, and watch TV… all drugs I use to achieve avoidance.)
It’s been harder physically… workouts have been harder. And I’ve had some gastrointestinal issues I’m realizing may well be a manifestation of emotional distress. (Oh, pardon me, was that TMI?… I warned you it was gonna get real in this one.)
I’ve been slogging along, hoping it would just pass with time. But I’ve been ignoring the bigger issue. I’ve been ignoring the fact that my life is being stalled by un-confronted fears.
How did I arrive at that conclusion?
I asked myself what my ultimate dream/goal was?
Answer: To become a major influencer in the health and fitness field.
Bearing that in mind, what’s my greatest fear?
Answer: To become a major influencer in the health and fitness field.
Seeing any problem or potential source of inner conflict here?
So… new question… why am I afraid of my own success?
Answer: Because I’m afraid of what people will think of me.
This one has been months in the making.
As I’ve posted more videos, more blogs, more thoughts, more findings, more content, more of myself… I’ve gotten more feedback. A lot of it good. And some of it bad.
In my desire to share some of my “controversial” health and nutritional findings with the masses… I’ve offended certain Bootcamp members to the point that they’ve quit my program. I’ve attracted increasing ridicule and personal attacks on social media. And, most recently, had what started out as a promising date that went terribly bad when my female counterpart took exception to my life’s mission.
My takes on organic food, backyard chickens, and non-conventional approaches to cancer treatment and prevention raised some major red flags for my once jovial dinner date who sat only a few feet away from me across the table but was suddenly shut down and seemed miles away.
She paused carefully for what seemed like a full minute to come up with her next statement that has haunted me since that moment:
“I have a real problem with people who just read books and think they understand a topic.”
(Never mind the irony that this gal makes a living interviewing people for their opinions on a given topic. And books are merely a compilation of an individual’s in depth research on a given topic. But I digress…)
Sadly, this deal-breaker moment took place before our entrees were served which meant we spent the next 45 painfully long minutes trying to exchange pleasantries knowing full well we’d never see each other again.
But her comment opened a wound… an insecurity that had been festering for a while.
While I’ve lost clients, lost money, lost followers, and had my credentials questioned many times before, I’d never considered that it might cost me love too. (Although the loss of love is probably the bigger fear at my core.)
To be clear, no, I didn’t love this girl. It was only a second date. And we were worlds apart in our values, so it would never have worked out anyway. But this event exposed an insecurity in me that I’d been trying to ignore for a long time.
Every time I get a “YouTube Commenter” email anymore, I get immediate anxiety that it will be another troll trying to discredit me and tear me down. I know it shouldn’t matter to me. But it does.
So, logically, it becomes easier to just hide.
Maybe I don’t want the attention. Maybe I don’t want to tell you what not to eat on Wednesday. Who wants to be around Captain Buzzkill anyway?
And if I can’t handle the heat in the fledgling stages my ascent towards my “big dream”… than I might as well wave the white flag right now.
All the experts I look up to and aspire to be like take a HELLUVA LOT more heat than I’m taking right now.
Maybe my critics are right… Maybe I am a fraud. Maybe I don’t have a doctorate. Maybe I really am a nut job and no amount of book reading will ever make me worthy of making recommendations… worthy of respect… worthy of love.
Or maybe I’m trying to be something I’m not… i.e. Perfect.
When I announced my blog post fail last week, many people told me jokingly, “Well at least we know you’re not perfect now.”
And if that’s the impression that I’ve been giving you, then I’ve been incredibly deceitful for quite some time. (Although if you’ve read this far, you’re starting to get the picture that I’m a little more messed up in the head than I’ve previously let on.)
Having reached a fork in the road, I’ve now got two options:
1) Abandon this quest to become a leading nutrition nerd…. Stay “in my lane”, stick to talking about exercise, and be grateful anybody even listens to me about that.
2) Or charge forward with a couple of critical adjustments to my approach.
More specifically: Stop trying to be so perfect. Stop caring so much what others think. And stop sabotaging my own success.
Trying to get everyone to like you is an exercise in futility anyway.
I understand that intellectually. But it hasn’t stopped me from trying.
So stop trying to appeal to the masses. And start being the 100% authentic Ceej.
One that can admit that he was weak last Saturday night after the blog post debacle and wolfed down an entire Domino’s pizza in search of comfort.
I’ve been eating more lately because food seems to be the only reliable source of dopamine I can get outside of my interactions with quality people in my morning classes. (Thank God for my Bootcamp family.)
Even if most of that excessive food intake is quality (Dominoe’s not included), I recognize that I’ve been using it as a crutch. Because it’s easier than facing my deeper problems head on.
No matter how much I eat, or how “full” I get, it doesn’t satisfy my deeper craving for “ful-fillment”.
So it’s time to take Goggins’ advice to read my own story, see where my character has been falling short, and face some uncomfortable truths. (Here’s the Goggins post if you don’t know what I’m talking about: https://stlfitnessbootcamp.com/skedge-81417-re-defining-the-cookie-jar/)
It’s time to face my fears.
If you’re afraid of heights… go to the top of a building. If you’re afraid of bugs… get a bug. If you’re afraid of what other people think of you… purge all your secrets for everybody to see and become completely vulnerable.
Publishing this one will not be easy. But I believe it’s necessary for me to escape this cycle of stagnation and fear.
Will people think less of me?
Will it matter?
No. But it may free up some of my the energy I’ve been exerting to keep these thoughts private in an attempt to live two different lives.
Many of you have trusted me deeply with some of your deepest secrets and innermost feelings. I cherish the opportunity to be that kind of sounding board for you. What kind of hypocrite am I if I won’t share back when I’m feeling challenged? (Forgive me if it’s a little verbose!)
What am I hoping to get out of this post?
A clearer mind. A cleaner conscience. A conquering of a fear. And maybe to help trigger some inner reflection for some of you whom I know have been struggling a bit as of late as well.
What am I not looking for?
Your pity. You don’t need to ask me this week if I’m ok at class. I’m fine. I’m better than fine now that I’m getting this all out on the table.
I’m a perfectly imperfect man who has doubts and fears like everybody else.
But I’m also resilient and refuse to let those doubts and fears rule me.
That’s what the devil wants. To stifle me in my progress. To keep me from rising to my potential and positively influencing more lives.
He wants to lure me into perceived safety where I’ll drift along aimlessly for the next 30 years. And be forced to live with regret for the next 30 years after that. (Although it’s hard to imagine living that long if I allow my spirit to curl up and die tomorrow.)
It doesn’t matter whether you think the devil is real or not. Either way, there are two sides to everything. Each of us has darkness and light inside of us. We imagine it would be nice to eliminate all the darkness, but truthfully we need both.
You need the challenge to create the change.
You need the adversity to overcome.
Without the problem, what are you solving?
We need the darkness. And we should be grateful for it. We just can’t let it rule us.
Learn to harness that darkness for your intended good.
Our fears aren’t there to stop us. They’re there to guide us on towards where we need work. They show us how we can jump to the next level. Then it’s up to us to find the courage to jump.
Here’s a quick video I watched by Gary V. explaing why caring what others think is just a poor strategy.
There’s a scene in the movie, “8 mile,” where Eminem faces Papa Doc for the rap battle championship. Eminem raps about every single one of his own weaknesses and embarrassments. And by becoming completely vulnerable he leaves his opponent with absolutely nothing to say.
My theory is that exposing my weaknesses will utlimately make me stronger too.
Here’s hoping we can continue to grow stronger together.
Much more to come… 😉
CJ’s Book of the Week: “The Breakthrought Experience” by Dr. John Demartini
“Skedge” for 9/18/17-9/23/17
Manchester (Class Times: Mon-Fri @ 5:30/7:00/8:30am & Satuday @ 7am)
Monday: Lower (CJ)
Tuesday: Upper (CJ)
Wednesday: Core (CJ)
Thursday: Lower (CJ)
Friday: Upper (CJ)
Saturday: Core (CJ)
St. Peters (Class Times: Mon-Fri @ 5:30am ONLY & Satuday @ 8am)
Monday: Lower (Derek)
Tuesday: Upper (Derek)
Wednesday: Core (Derek)
Thursday: Lower (Derek)
Friday: Upper (Derek)
Saturday: Core (Derek)
Get Bootcamp Xero HERE:
Owner, Operator, & “CeejEO”
St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp