Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shawn Phillips - Success Lesson #6: Strength is Knowing When to Take a Knee

Great post from Shawn on knowing when to say "when."

Success Lesson #6: Strength is Knowing When to Take a Knee

Mon, Aug 24, 2009


In last week’s SSM, we talked about how to move into and beyond the pain—and why it’s so absolutely essential for growth.

This entry prompted many people to question: “Should you always move through the pain?” “Isn’t there a time when we really listen to the pain?”

That’s what makes this week’s SSM so ideally timed. (No, it wasn’t an accident. You’re right.)

This week’s Challenge Wisdom is about trusting yourself and having the Strength to stop and take a knee or perhaps a seat of some sort.

While at a glance it may seem to contradict last week’s message about moving through pain, it’s actually very much in concert with it. For this is about having the awareness, the ruthless sense to know the difference between wanting to stop and needing to stop.

When you’re pushing the limits your mind will be the first to send a limiting message, to exaggerate the hurt, to entice you to slow it down or take a break. If you’ve been training hard or pushing it, you might start justifying taking it easy. The first clue here is the inner message, “because I deserve it.”

“Because I deserve it,” is common trap in Transformation Challenges too. You’ve been making some strides, eating right and training strong. Just as you’re feeling good about your progress out pops the “because I deserve it” excuse. Maybe you’re out with friends or in a social environment of some sort, let this one loose and you’ll regret it.

When I Took a Knee
In my first post in this series, 10 Lessons in Success I Learned from the Triple Bypass, I gave the vivid details of the first place I “took a knee” during this bike ride.

I was nearing the half-way point towards the end of a long, tortuous stretch of road where the pain in my ass, my left little toe, my right big toe, my left shoulder and my lower back all reached threshold at the same time. I’ve been told by many bikers that you can ride through just about anything; cramping, fatigue, dehydration but pain is the beginning to the end. It will stop the strongest riders.

And when I say “pain,” this isn’t the pain one has from pushing themselves. It’s not the burn of a biceps on the 20th rep but more the sort of pain of having something broken. It starts as an ache and grows. I could feel it reaching a threshold where I was certain that it would no longer be a decision if I went forward. Where the pain would literally stop me in my tracks.

Wisely, I stopped, glancing left as a rider in his 60’s moved swiftly by—probably in a dance with his own pain.

Read the rest of this great article.

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