A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was a guy named Julian who was thoughtful, smart, kind, and nerdy with a dry sense of humor and a curious spirit.
He had a crush on this girl and one day he finally meets her in person, but he knows that he needs to muster up the courage to ask this woman he likes out for a date.
The thing is, Julian is shy and isn’t one to be bold. But he understands the social dynamics of how man and woman operate.
Yet, Julian struggles with being vulnerable—something that many other people do as well.
We’re scared to show our true selves because by doing this, you’re risking rejection and disappointment.
For example, in a span of five minutes, a multitude of options appear in my head such as:
• What if I mess up with asking her out and it sounds awkward
• What if she says no
• What if she says no because I’m not good enough, smart enough, handsome enough, or any other ‘enough’ you want to add
• What if she only says yes out of guilt or even worse…out of pity
The more I give in to these negative scenarios, the more I feel the pain of rejection before anything has even happened. The more thought about these scenarios, the more I’m psyching myself out before attempting to do anything.
What should I do?
The majority of people you ask would tell you to “take the leap” along with other motivational commentaries.
But, it’s easy to be an expert when you’re not in the lions den. It’s crystal clear what needs to happen when you’re giving advice 40,000 feet above ground zero where all the action is taking place.
This is a phenomenon that occurs in all facets of life.
It shows up with the critic who leaves nasty reviews on articles while they’ve never written a page nor have any clue about the craft. Or the guy who dishes out love advice to his friends about relationships, yet he hasn’t had one successful relationship.
And lastly, the fitness expert who isn’t in shape themselves nor has ever been.
When the tables turn, only a small fraction of those people dishing out the advice will do what they tell someone else to do.
We have unlimited amounts of courage for others, but unlimited amounts of fear of the potential consequences for ourselves.
This is how dreams die, magical romances never become what they could, and how people stay unhealthy.
If we can dish out advice on being brave to others, how can we channel this bravery for ourselves?
Welcome to the 10/10/10 rule to make better decisions
When emotions are involved, this blinds us from making the logical decision. When emotionally compromised, this leads to over-emphasizing the short-term and losing interest of what’s best in the long term.
Think about some of the worst decisions you made in life and when they happened. Odds are, you had emotions of anger, lust, greed, anxiety, jealousy, and short term filled emotions in the heat of the moment, which clouded your judgment and ability to make better decisions.
But we don’t have to be slaves to our emotions.
This is why the 10/10/10 rule invented by Suzy Welch is your best friend to making better decisions in life and fitness.This rule that she created consists of 3 questions:
1. How will you feel about it (the decision) 10 minutes from now?
2. How about 10 months from now?
3. How about 10 years from now?
Let’s get back to our story
I decided to ask her out on a date.
Using the three question system, this is how the scenario would look as I’m prepping to ask her out.
1. In 10 minutes, how do I feel about this decision? Most likely, I’m going to feel a little embarrassed and worried about her saying “no”. But in the grand scheme, I’m going to feel good about myself because I removed any potential “what ifs” and regrets.
On the contrary, if she says “yes”, then I’m going to feel good about the decision to ask her out. Not only am I overcoming an emotional hangup, but I’m also learning to act in spite of fear and I also have a date with a girl I like.
2. In 10 months, how will I feel about this decision? Most likely, I’m going to forget about it or will only remember it when it’s brought up. But, I could have a girlfriend or an even deeper friendship.
3. In 10 years, how will I feel about the decision? Definitely, have forgotten about it. If she didn’t work out, I most likely have met another wonderful woman. But again, I could have met my dream woman and been with her for 10 years now.
With this scenario, are the risks still greater than my payoff?
There’s a chance for a rich and fulfilling relationship along with opportunities to grow as an man.
An example of the fitness 10/10/10 rule
Let’s name the person Richard. Richard wants to lose 15 pounds but is reluctant to try since he’s attempted previous times in the past and has fallen short in his efforts. Richard has hangups about going on a diet, working out, and making it work with his busy work schedule.
Richard (along with many people at the beginning) have a lot of mental hangups about the gym.
Here’s Richard’s scenario of going to the gym:
1. 10 minutes from now, how will he feel? He may be in a little discomfort, fearful, and uncertain about his decision to walk into the gym. But ultimately, he will be proud of himself for arriving here because many people would have let the discomfort stop them from walking in.
Anytime we attempt to step outside our comfort zone in life—fear, uncertainty, and discomfort will accompany you. But, these are signals that you’re headed for growth. Alternatively, Richard could’ve found an excuse for not going to the gym. But, he likely would’ve had feelings of guilt accompany him for not going and this would’ve led to more self-loathing and negative talk.
2. How will he feel about this decision 10 months from now? He either has developed the habit of exercising and his body most likely shows it as well as his confidence and work performance.
Or, he’s still self-loathing, feeling stuck, covered in shame that he hasn’t made any progress, and doesn’t look nor feel any better.
3. What about 10 years from now? He’s transformed his mind, body, and life.
Or, he’s lethargic, doesn’t like his body, and his quality of life has suffered since he neglected to pay attention to his health over the last decade.
I won’t lie, you might hate every single minute that you’re putting yourself out there to start losing weight, pursuing a dream job, or going after that meaningful relationship
But think about the alternative?
Unfulfilling work. A relationship that drains you more than inspires you. Poorer quality of life due to negligence with health habits.
When it comes to making decisions, remind yourself that what you do today will have consequences tomorrow (good or bad.)
The right decisions are often the toughest decisions because they require delayed gratification.
This article was originally published on Art of Fitness & Life
Photo: Getty Images