I was reminded this morning that it is a really good idea to tell others what we think about them when what we think is positive. There’s a woman at CrossFit who started coming to the 5 a.m. class a while ago. I’ll call her Ali because, well, that’s her name.
I’ve watched Ali work out with both fascination and admiration. Ali is often the last person to finish the WOD. I’ve been very impressed by how precise and patient she is as she executes the various parts of a work out. Ali’s focus seems to be on maintaining good form instead of rushing to finish quickly or to complete more reps during an AMRAP.
Embracing the Suck aka Winning the WOD
Recently, we had a super tough WOD: 50 MED BALL squat cleans, 100 air squats, 50 push ups, 100 mountain climbers, 25 med Ball squat cleans, 25 air squats, 25 push-ups, 25 mountain climbers, followed by two minutes of lunges. (Yikes!)
Ali finished a few minutes after I did. As I stretched, I watched in admiration as she tackled each rep slowly and correctly. She was tired–it was seriously tough–yet, she didn’t try to speed things along as she grew increasingly fatigued. From my perspective, Ali just embraced the suck and kept moving.
After the workout I told Ali that I admire her approach to the WODS. She thanked me and then we both headed home.
A little while later, Ali messaged me and thanked me for telling her that I admired her. She said she was down about finishing last. (Last doesn’t matter at CrossFit, but I get it.) She said my words helped her feel less discouraged. I was so glad I’d told her how I viewed her.
Shortly after, my friend Michael complimented me on Facebook. He said I was disciplined and committed to self-improvement. I was both floored and flattered. The compliment meant a lot coming from Michael who is almost super human when it comes to those traits! His compliment made my whole day.
It’s amazing how good it feels when someone shares something positive she or he thinks about you. It feels especially good when you had no idea that the person has such an impression of you. Ali had no idea that she’s been a role model for me the last few weeks. I had no idea Michael thinks of me as disciplined and committed to self-improvement.
We Should Tell People What We Think About Them
There’s a lot to be said for saying the positive things we think about others directly to them. How often, though, do we actually do that? It’s not rocket science to pay a compliment to another person. We should stop being stingy and offer genuine compliments to others more often.
Here’s the thing. We are the stories we tell ourselves. Sometimes those stories are incomplete, inaccurate, or overly negative. Fortunately, words are powerful. When others say positive things about us, directly to us, their words can offset the effects of the blind spots in our views of ourselves.
Kind, affirming words might make someone feel good for a few hours. They also might change someone’s ideas about himself or herself drastically. You just never know what people need to hear or when and why they need to hear it.
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As always, thank you for reading. I appreciate you.