The 2019 CrossFit Open starts today and with it comes an array of emotions. Having the ability to navigate the next five weeks without feeling a glimmer of negativity is close to impossible, but how much of that negativity is self-imposed? I’d be willing to wager that 100% of the negativity is self-imposed.
It’s not your fault though, it’s socially ingrained in us to pay attention to negativity. Think about it: the news blasts only gasp worthy stories; you know the name of more mass murderers than you do Nobel Peace Prize winners; and when was the last time you wanted to see a movie because there were zero hardships involved? We like negativity, we seek it out, but we have forgotten the real reason why it exists in the first place: contrast. More on contrast later.
Before I move on, I would like to further my point with a quick exercise. This will be applied so please bear with me. I want you to take a minute and write down 10 words that describe an emotion. Type them on your phone or write them down but make sure you have 10. Once you’ve done this, I want you to count how many “positive” and how many “negative” emotions you came up with.
If you counted more negative emotions like most of us did, don’t worry. The English language has about 40% more words to describe negative emotion than it does for positive emotion. This means that the we are already at odds with our feelings. It’s a lot easier to come up with a word for our negative emotions than it is to pinpoint the positive ones.
Now, back to contrast. If you are reading this, you already understand that everything in life needs contrast. It adds variety and color to our world. But as I’ve stated earlier, we are all at odds with our emotions. We have a 70% chance of picking out a negative word to describe our experience. From a contrast perspective, this isn’t the fairest of trades. If I were a betting man, which I’m not (although I’ve made two imaginary bets with you so far and a third in 3, 2, 1…), I would bet on the side that had a 70% chance of ending on top (negativity); it’s a safe bet. But if I were seeking a bigger reward, I would put my chips on the side of 30%.
This isn’t a fake smile blog. I don’t want you to stare in the mirror and lie to yourself because you think you should feel positive. I do, however, want you to be aware of the narrative that you place over the next five weeks during The Open. Only you know the words you don’t say, and only you can taste your words as they pass your lips. Are you on the 70% side merely because that’s the easy road to take? Or will you attempt to defy the odds and place your chips on the 30% side?
I would enjoy seeing your list of words. Please send me a message on any social media: Facebook or Instagram @bhern_1
I look forward to seeing you all thrive this year and push beyond your limitations! #TribeStrong