Monday, 04 March 2013

Justification Nation

-  A guest post by Terence Mitchell

We are living in a world were many people constantly feel the need to justify their failures, short falls, unhappiness, lack of motivation, lack of progress and just about any personal issue they can think of.  Myself and a good friend recently coined the term ‘Justification Nation‘ and I believe that is exactly the kind of ‘nation’ most of us are living in.

I get it. We all mess up, I mess up, you mess up, shit gets messed up.  But does every single action and subsequent reaction need a thorough justification? Does it really?  Could we all not learn to own our failures and weaknesses? Then once we take ownership, take responsibility and then commit to do something about it?

Not too long ago I was a resident of Justification Nation. In all my years of lifting, I’ve had an ongoing hate/hate relationship with the barbell bench press (hate/hate because there was NO love) As a result of old injuries from various sports in my younger years, my ability to bench press pain free was severely hindered and before I realized it I was justifying to all who would listen as to why I was so awful at the bench press. 

One day I realized what I was doing and feared the monster I had created.  The first thing I did was ‘own’ my weakness.  I really did not want to become one of the guys who I always seemed to meet who ‘if it weren’t for this or that, would be so incredibly strong’ so without further ado I accepted whole heartily that I sucked and needed a plan.

I stopped justifying, almost overnight.  I told people my shoulders had never been injured and that I was just weak and pathetic and needed to fix my bench press or hand in my man card, eat soy and watch the entire 5 seasons of ‘Glee’ back to back.  So I literally began benching with an empty bar and started from scratch. 

I began implementing advice from powerlifting coaches and reading all I could about correct set up and bench technique as well as correct assistance and rehab exercises.

But what really happened?

1.  In the words of Jamie Lewis I “stopped bitching and started benching“ 
2.  I owned my weakness.  If you tell someone you weak and you suck they can’t really call you out can they?
3.  I began taking responsibility.
4.  Because of point 3, I began educating myself, finding out what works, what does not. I found a way to set up correctly, use a technique that did not cause any shoulder impingement's or pain.
5.  By no longer justifying failure I was now making room for future success.

So what are you justifying? Do you think that your own unique condition makes you a special snow flake? Are you the only person who is ‘busy’ during the day, are you the only person who has even been injured? Are you the only one who ‘finds its such a mission to eat correctly’? I got news for you, you are not.

Move far away from Justification Nation, Its a slippery slope and before you know it, it could be too late to make a change.