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The Long Game - Issue #113

How often do you lean into your fears? As we get older, it is easy for us to get stuck in a routine a
Taylor Somerville
The Long Game - Issue #113
By Taylor Somerville • Issue #113 • View online
How often do you lean into your fears? As we get older, it is easy for us to get stuck in a routine and rarely push the edges of life.  We put up walls around us and don’t like to step outside of those walls.  Typically, we do this because of our ego.  We are scared to fail or look like we don’t have it all together.  It is the fear of losing control in areas of our life that forces us to play small and stay in our lane. 
For example, in fitness, you often times see people that will only do one thing. The yogi that just does yoga, the CrossFitter that will only do CrossFit, the runner that only runs, etc.  This is not how you build a well-rounded mind and body.  The yogi and runner will benefit from lifting weights and the CrossFitter will benefit from incorporating yoga and running.  People tell themselves that they can’t do those other modalities.  They might say that it won’t help them, they’ll get hurt or they can’t do it. However, in reality, they are scared.  
What kind of life do you want to live?  Do you want to live one in which you are scared to try new things? Or, would you rather live a life where learning new skills and trying new things opens the door to new people, new adventures, and a new thought process?
“Do one thing everyday that scares you.”
At one of our XPT workshops a few weeks ago, a participant said she found out about the workshop through social media. The thought of getting in ice scared the shit out of her.  What did she do?  She said, “I have to do this.  I have to try it out so I can learn something about myself. “ She did an incredible job at the workshop and was able to handle the ice like a pro, providing her with a sense of accomplishment that will transcend into other areas of her life.  I remind myself of this participant’s mindset when I am faced with a task that I don’t want to do.  She was a role model for all of us and taught us more than we could teach her.
What areas of your life are you playing small?  Where are you letting the fear hold you back?  Maybe you want to change careers and start your own business. Most people think you need to be young to do this, but that’s not true.  A recent study from MIT found that the average start-up founder is 45 years old and 50-year-old entrepreneurs are twice as likely to succeed as a 30-year-old.   Just take a look at some of these successful entrepreneurs that started later in life:  Harland Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken at 62, Leo Goodwin started Geico at 50,  Robert Noyce founded Intel at 41, and Chip Wilson began Lululemon at 42.
When you are telling yourself you can’t do something or don’t want to try something new, reflect on the reasons.  Is it because you are scared of failing or that it makes you uncomfortable?  The older we get, the more important it is to stay curious to seek new and novel experiences.  This is how we can hold onto our youth.    Never allow your age to dictate what you can or can’t do.  Life is to be lived to the fullest and I hope you go out and try a new skill or start that new business you’ve been thinking about.  Always Be Curious.

Pushing yourself through fitness has amazing benefits on the mind and body. However, just like anything else, it can become unhealthy to the mind and body when you push yourself to the extreme over and over. Fitness can become an addiction and when it is your addiction, you need to check-in and see what is driving you. For example, after you complete an extreme event, stop and process it before jumping into the next one. Like the seasons, there is a time for everything. Make sure you learn the lessons from whatever event you just accomplished before moving to the next. If you’re the type who doesn’t believe they can sit still, it might be just what you need.
One issue I’ve dealt with my entire life is the belief that everything needs to be perfect before I start something. This is impossible and a fear based mentality. The correct course of action is to start and course correct along the way. You will never have all the information, so get going so you can learn the right way to do things.
When I started working in the financial markets, I was enamored with how the mind works. More specifically, it was fascinating that almost everything I was taught in college about the markets was wrong. When studying history, watching my own actions, and the actions of others, I realized that we rarely act as rational human beings. I began to study psychology and behavioral economics and one of the subjects I spent a lot of time studying was cognitive biases and how they affect our thinking. This article is a nice primer on one of the biggest cognitive biases, hindsight bias.
“To learn something well, you need to study it for a while and then take a break.” Loren Frank, a professor at the Center for Integrative Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco said. In today’s society, we have a mentality that we always need to be “on” and constantly consuming information. However, if we continue on this path, we are never able to full process the information we take in. We need time to completely shut off and grasp what we are reading or listening. My favorite time to do this is taking walks with my dogs or getting into a float tank. Next time you reach for the earbuds, put them down and sit with your thoughts.
Before I go, here are a few more interesting articles to check out.
If you would like to support The Long Game, please visit my patreon page. I hope you enjoyed another edition of The Long Game, feel free to pass it along. Have a great weekend!
In Health,
Did you enjoy this issue?
Taylor Somerville

The Long Game is a newsletter for people that want to grow and challenge themselves. It is about the drive to better ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually while having the curiosity to enjoy the journey. I will include articles, podcast, videos, and blogs on a variety of topics ranging from psychology, fitness, meditation, and nutrition. I am a certified XPT Coach, I hold the Art of Breath certification, I am a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and hold the Aerobic Capacity certficate. Checkout my website to learn more about the services I offer.

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