Tune into Episode 12 – You can’t do what everyone else is doing (and here’s why) right here in your browser, find it on your favourite platform (head here for the links) or keep reading for a transcript.
Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of The Rules Are Made Up.
This week I wanted to expand a little bit on a topic that I shared in a reel over on Instagram a little bit earlier at the time of recording this anyway, and I feel like the topic is important enough to give it some airtime here on the podcast too and I think it’s sort of actually related to a lot of the stuff that I talk about or that we talk about when it comes to the rules and making up arbitrary shit in our heads.
The topic in question it’s the good old rhetoric of and I’m quoting here, “If it worked for me, it’ll work for you” or “if I can do it so can you”. It’s just as bad as “we all have the same 24 hours in the day”.
No, we fucking don’t!
Anyway, I mean I get the intent of the statement, right like I get that it’s meant to help illustrate that anyone can do awesome shit right?
That that anything is possible or nothing is impossible, or you know, like all of those slogan-y things but what’s often missed, and especially by the people that make those statements, but also by us when we hear them or read them, is the point that there’s nuance here. And a whole truckload of privilege that impacts or influences how possible something actually is, or whether or not someone can actually do something that someone else can do as well, right?
Let’s take working out going to the gym for an example, personally we were able to build our own little home gym last year, right both my husband and I have steady incomes, we own our own property and we were in a position financially and physically to build what’s essentially a big shed, but we’ve turned it into, it’s a, we’ve made it a gym, it could be whatever but we’ve…
First of all we’ve built a home gym, right, so on the face of it ‘going to the gym’ is a lot easier or straightforward for me considering it takes me 10 seconds to walk there, than it would be for someone who has to drive or take the bus or walk to a globo gym, or, you know, a 24 hour type situation or whatever gym really.
Right then on top of that we just have Chewie, our little furry fluff ball to take care of, we’re not parents yet anyway. And that situation adds a whole other dimension to this overall conversation, right?
For me, if I was to say “just go to the gym for an hour like it’s fine, like why aren’t you going?” I can say that ’cause I and not that you know it’s an excuse or anything, but it’s a lot easier for me to go to the gym because it literally takes me 10 seconds of opening one door in my house and then opening the gym door and walking up some steps, right? That is literally all it takes for me I don’t have to drive anywhere I walk anywhere, take the bus or anything, I have literally almost no barrier to go to the gym.
Right most people don’t have that, and I’m aware of that so I wouldn’t be sitting here going “you have to go, like why aren’t you going to the gym? But that’s unfortunately, still a lot of the messaging out there, right that people should be doing these things and if they don’t or if they aren’t doing them, they’re not wanting it hard enough or whatever.
What the fuck is with that? Like, honestly, like take someone who’s working two jobs just to put food on the table and as much as I personally I’m going to admit, I’m often oblivious to this ’cause I’m not struggling right, and that’s a fuck ton of privilege on my part.
That’s a reality for way too many people and so telling them that they need to spend hours in the gym or work on their business as much as they can, and when they don’t do those things that they don’t want that shit hard enough.
That is so fucking ignorant and it’s such utter bullshit, it is clearly making me fucking angry.
Right, let’s not even go, like i don’t want to not talk about people of color or members of the queer community, or other marginalized communities who face obstacles we have, I can’t even I can never imagine what that is like. But there are people that face obstacles simply because of who they are.
And so telling someone where you’re not wanting it hard enough or you just have to figure it out, ’cause I did it so why can’t you do it?
Fucking bullshit, ok?
Now you might be wondering, “cool Neens, you’ve just gone on like a massive rant. What, why are you talking about this, where are you going here?”
And the take home really is that I want you to practice thinking critically when you notice someone telling you, or you know, spouting it in an Instagram post or an email or wherever you see it, “here’s what I did, and so you need to do the same thing” or “if I can do it, of course you can as well” or “you will just need to find a way and then you’re golden”…
Think critically when you notice those things, or equally when you find yourself thinking that you should be in the same place as someone else, when you see their journey online or could even be like someone you actually know in real life like a friend or a coworker or someone in your gym.
You know, if you think “ I should be where they’re at” – ask yourself:
Why am I thinking this?
But also what could have led them to where they are and does the same hold true for me?
Right, because you actually don’t know how someone else achieved where they are today, what privileges allowed them to get there (if they hold privilege) or how long it actually took them to really get there.
Right, and I’m going to keep it in the movement and health space for now, but there’s so many people that are trying to sell 30 days shortcuts or you know 21 day fixes to whatever.
That is fucking bullshit because no way in hell would it take them that little amount of time.
Yes, there is something to be said about working with someone to speed up your learning curve, to help you figure shit out faster, right? Obviously, I’m going to say that because I’m one of those people there is truth in that, but change takes time, right?
You’re not going to change the way you think the way you act, your habits, your environment – all the things that impact how you can go about achieving your goal. You’re not going to change those things in your 30 day challenge or 21 day this or a seven day that or even six week things, or whatever you’re seeing out there these days.
That shit takes time.
And the second piece that I want you to take away from this little rant-y episode it seems, is that your circumstances aren’t the same as what you’re seeing someone else! Are they similar? Maybe, sure.
But I’m going to repeat this because that’s the part I really want to hammer home with you:
Your circumstances, your life is not exactly the same as what you’re seeing online, or even in your workplace, wherever is not the same!!
So why are you trying to recreate something that won’t fit ‘cause your life is different, your lifestyle’s different, your values and probably your goals are different.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use other people and their journeys, and those people could be friends it could be people you follow on social media, you know it could be your colleagues or even you know other people in your organization wherever.
Doesn’t mean you can’t use them as inspiration, and you can’t aspire to enact similar behaviors or to get to a similar place, there is nothing wrong with that.
But please next time you wonder about why you might not be in the same place where they are right now, or why you can’t do it in exactly the same way.
Take a breather and remind yourself that you are not on exactly the same journey, the steps you need to take and the tools and support that you need should take your circumstances into account so you can actually achieve your goal.
This is where I’ll tell you that I still have two coaching spots open this cord out and I’d love to help you with that so hit to the show notes, click on the link, get to my website, check out the packages that I offer and apply if you are in a position where you’re like, you know what, actually, I do want some help, I do want to achieve some shit and I want to learn how to do that while being less of a dick to myself.
On that note, folks, I’m going to end it here.
Thank you for listening.
I would love to know if this resonated and helped you and connect with you on the platforms that we’re connected on (that was a horrible way to put that).
Anyway – thank you for tuning in again, and I’ll chat to you next time!