In our first Nemeses blog post we talked about our children and how they can often negatively affect the results we’re seeing when it comes to health and fitness. Today however, Paul will be discussing a nemesis that is the total opposite, but can also hold us back from becoming our best selves in various areas of our lives…
For some of us, our parents are the best people in the world. They’re the people who have always been there for us, the ones we look up to the most. If that’s the case for you, then that’s brilliant and I’m so pleased for you. However, as many of you will know – that’s not always the case.
I can’t say my parents were necessarily bad in any way, but my dad is someone who is inherently a glass is half empty kind of guy. This has caused some rifts in our relationship, as I am the total opposite and his attitude can really grind me down.
What I have learned over the years though, is that just because they’re our parents it doesn’t mean we have to take everything they say on board. The knowledge they have, their world view, it isn’t everything.
I’m turning 40 this year and my dad is turning 70, so he obviously grew up in a very different world to the one I have. When I became a DJ at 21-years-old, he didn’t understand that at all. When I started working as a personal trainer, he said: “what, so people pay you to tell them how to exercise?” When I opened Prime Mover, he just flat out couldn’t understand it.
A typical day of work for my dad would involve him going to someone’s house who wanted a wall built, put the wall up in two days, bill them for his time and the materials, and be on his way. That’s it.
That’s not how it works in my world though. I work with people, I don’t work with bricks. I’m trying to build something that’s bigger than me. I have an amazing team that I have to look after, we have hundreds of members that we have to ensure we’re helping at all times and having a great experience.
My dad’s world view is completely different to mine and I understand that – he doesn’t. He thinks he knows everything, or at least more than me, which he does if we’re talking about building a wall. However, if we’re talking about building a successful fitness business (i.e. my goal), then I have him beat.
So what I’m saying is, as much as your parents love you and you love them, they can sometimes get in your way. Not long ago I was having a conversation with my dad about my business when he told me he thought it was time for me to pack it in, as it didn’t seem to be working. Just a few hours after that conversation I bumped into a member at Prime Mover who told me how amazing the gym is and how proud I should be for what I’ve created, as it’s totally changed her life.
If I would have taken my dad’s advice, then that member might have never changed her life. She might have never found a community she loves as much as the one at PM and that is all because I took a chance, despite one of the closest people to me saying it was a bad idea.
This is just a gentle reminder to take a step back and really think about the conversations you’re having. If your parents are supportive, then this won’t be relevant to you, but for a lot of people – their parents are their worst critics. They might not meant to be, but it’s important to be able to see that despite their best intentions they sometimes provide us with misguided advice based only on their experience of the world.
Don’t let your parents rule your life, especially if they err on the side of negativity. It is your life to live, after all!