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This episode on belief and philosophy is for all the humans in any area of life.
Nate and I had been talking about this phenomenon in religion and then I started to see it happening among professionals in the health and wellness field.
So, I figured it would be worth bringing up here, on the podcast.
That is, that there are stages to building your philosophy around things you value in life. Whether it be your profession or your belief system.
I don’t have all these stages mapped out and maybe there are ACTUAL stages within psychology that I just have zero knowledge of.
This is highly likely.
Nonetheless, I am covering belief system and profession because that is where I see it and have experienced it most prominently.
It all started with Nate and I observing young believers (Christians). There seems to be this trend, and there certainly was for both of us, where you go hard in the paint.
Your beliefs are based in a black and white thinking process. Everything is right or wrong, there is no grey, everyone must love Jesus or they are condemned to hell and alcohol is from the devil, right?
Well, as time goes on, and one gains a little more life experience, has some conflicting conversations, perhaps some struggles of their own, that black and white thinking tends to fade
Again, this is our experience and something we have witness enough to notice a common trend. It is certainly not everyone’s story and it would be ignorant to think so.
So we have this transition from black and white, extreme sort of legalism into a more…mature state, if you will.
You now have your non-negotiables – your beliefs that you stand firm with. But everything outside of that is not a deal breaker for you. right? Like my faith doesn’t rest on whether or not Noahs’s ark actually happened, okay?
Perhaps you used to view a pastor having a beer as sinful and you judged him for it, or you thought all gay people were condemned to hell.
And now you have a beer with that pastor and realize that people of homosexual orientation can in fact love Jesus too.
So, this is not a talk about Jesus, I promise. But it is to demonstrate that youthfulness in a belief system or values system to perhaps a more mature state within that same belief system.
And I point it out because I think it is necessary. That’s to say I think that EXTREME phase is necessary for those finding their path in beliefs, whatever they may be or their career path if they hope to be an expert.
This is kind of the transition into how I’ve seen this play out in the world of health and fitness or strength and conditioning.
I was the BIGGEST example of this in my early years as a strength coach. And to be fair I tend towards black and white thinking anyway, so I fall into this phenomenon to tenth degree. To be honest world travel has helped a lot with that. I would say I see a lot more grey these days.
I know you’ve seen this…
The newer coach, maybe they are still in school, and they have VERY STRONG opinions about everything.
>> There is one way to squat, or foam rolling is 100% a complete waste of time, or there’s absolutely no need for upright rows, that’s a compromised position for the shoulder. Whatever it may be.
And if you read my foam rolling post and thought I was saying it’s a complete and utter waste of time, you didn’t read all my words, you saw what you wanted to see.
Now, I believe this extreme stage is necessary for young coaches.
Because they are simply trying to form their philosophy right? They (maybe you) are trying to build SOME KIND of foundation to their thoughts and beliefs around training and programming.
That means they have to stand for something or they will stand for nothing.
This allows them, over time, to then chip off and rework some of that foundation. Like beliefs and values, they will discover what is a firm, non-negotiable within their training philosophy and thoughts, and what is less important to them.
I was FAR more rigid when I started out as a strength coach almost eight years ago, than I am now.
I have my non-negotiables, the foundation of my philosophy, and then my answer for most everything else is, “it depends” “sure that could work, what’s the context?” Now I believe almost no movement is inherently bad for humans. It all comes down to experience, injury history, goals, purpose, load and capacity.
Even five years ago I was complete against any loaded spinal flexion or extension. Silly me. I dive wayyyy deeper into that and other topics of the sort next week.
But for now, that is really what I wanted to discuss.
I find most great thought leaders or professionals, stand firm in few things, and are rather open to discussion and debate when it comes to everything outside of those non-negotiables.
And I don’t think that happens overnight.
I think that stage of black and white extremes might be a prerequisite to building a strong foundation of belief – whether in life or your profession.
Now when I see young coaches making bold, one sided claims, while I might think they are a bit ridiculous, I just see the process unfolding and I am excited to see where they will be in five to ten years from now.
Let me know what you think over on the gram. I will be posting there and would love to know if you’ve witness or experienced this phenomenon yourself. I certainly know I have in many areas of my own life.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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