Whether you think you can or you can’t, either way you are right.  ~ Henry Ford
RunningOne of the things that I have learned is that business and life lessons are everywhere if you are willing to see them.  As you know, I regularly talk about the life lessons my daughter learns at the barn.  I share them because they also apply to business.  In the last few months, I have started learning some important business lessons from the Crossfit™ Gym.
At the beginning of July I started Crossfit™.  I went from not exercising at all and being out of breath walking upstairs in my house to starting one of the most challenging training programs in the market today.   I’m not really sure what I was thinking, but I like a good challenge so what the heck. 
In the beginning, my main goal for every workout was to finish without dying.  As dramatic as that sounds, it’s true.  There were (and still are) many workouts where I wasn’t sure how I was going to finish and the only thing that got me through was sheer will power, determination and encouragement from the coach and other athletes.  Every workout I finish reinforces the truth that I can do anything I decide to do. 
Here are some of the life/business lessons I have learned from Crossfit™:
1.  Work with a professional.  You may be able to do it by yourself, but it’s often easier, faster and more fun to have a coach.  I have played around with trying to exercise on my own for many years.  I’ve set goals to complete a 5k, joined gyms and had accountability partners.  Having someone who knows you . . . your strengths, weaknesses and goals  . . .  is essential to helping you stay accountable, engaged and moving forward.  A coach offers feedback, corrections and encouragement (whether a kick in the ass, supportive words or outright cheering and applause) to keep you focused and on track to where you want to go.  I don’t always like my coaches during the workout, but I love them when I see the results in the mirror, reach milestones in the gym and feel stronger every day.
2.  Success is 90% mental.  As I said earlier, I have finished many workouts only because I decided quitting wasn’t an option.  There are many times that I am the last to finish.  Not by a few seconds, by many minutes.  Other athletes are finished and have left and the next class is well into their warm-up while I am still going.  I can really jack myself up mentally by comparing myself to those around me.  Whether it’s speed or skill or ability, there are always people who are much farther ahead of where I am.  I can use them as an inspiration or a reason to beat myself up – it’s my choice. 
3.  The path to getting what you want is always outside your comfort zone.  I have faced a lot of fears and pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of doing in the gym.  The first time I had to get a weighted barbell off the ground and over my head in one movement (imagine Olympic lifting moves) or jump up on a box or do a handstand, I was terrified.  I seriously wanted to cry.  The only way to learn new skills, get stronger and reach my goals is to push myself through the fear, beyond who I think I am and what I think I can accomplish.  The more I push myself, the more comfortable I am with being uncomfortable.
4.  Surround yourself with people who believe in you and will celebrate your successes.  This is the first gym I’ve ever been to where the athletes encourage each other during a workout.  There have been many times I have been struggling, doubting if I can finish when a coach or another athlete has come over to be my personal cheering squad, pushing me to keep going and celebrating with me when I’m done.  When I doubt my ability and want to shrink away from what I am really capable of doing, the coaches and other athletes are right there to remind me of who I am and what I really can do.
5. There are no magic bullets.  You have to show up every day and keep pushing yourself to be better.  When I start comparing myself to others, beating myself up and entertaining the thought of quitting, I reach out for help.  What I have found is that many people started where I did.  They got to where they are by showing up and pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone.  That’s the only way they have been able to advance.  You can’t sit on the sidelines watching others do the work and expect to see results.  You have to get in the game, do the work, bag the excuses and give it all you got.  You can’t just do it once and expect a miracle.  Miracles happen when you show up every day and play all out.  That’s the only way to get better, go further and reach your goals.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article.  Please share your comments below.