The Importance of Mindset Amidst Hysteria
Humans are social creatures. We want to belong to a community of like-minded individuals. Whether that means a chance to prosper or languish is secondary to the feeling of belonging. People routinely join groups obviously not in their best interest simply for that camaraderie. Once we’re a member of a team we see outsiders as a threat and will do what it takes to defend our cause. Our values become that of the group, our thoughts unified with our peers.
In everyday life we see this phenomenon at work, in sports, with family and friends, for religious causes, in politics, and more. Once your tribe is chosen, your life reflects group norms. Things feel comfortable as long as you are doing about the same as the broader crew you associate with. Your feelings are relative to that of those around you. The standards of outsiders are seen as irrelevant.
Within a fitness setting, if your friends are way out of shape and you’re just slightly overweight, you’ll feel much better than if you were the same size while hanging out with models or athletes. You’ll either become complacent to match your unshapely compatriots or bust your ass to fit in with the jocks. Both are driven by the same need to find cohesion with those around you.
What’s equally poignant is that if you are making better than expected progress on your fitness goals, you’ll feel awesome. That is until you realize your buddy is outpacing you. The dejection of that comparison overtakes the euphoria of your previous benchmark. You see their progress as a threat. You may lose them as a friend if they become too fit to hang out with you anymore. You tease and tempt them into lowering their standards to stay within group norms.
Absolutely everything is relative and the relativity is based on made up standards in our head. What seems to be an important point of emphasis today can be quickly replaced with a more pressing alternative tomorrow. Often it is not your situation that changed, but what you chose to focus on in that moment.
Let’s take the COVID-19 craze of today. Just one week ago I could nonchalantly waltz into my local grocery store and purchase what I needed as usual. This weekend I drove past that same store and there were hundreds of people standing in line just waiting to get inside. What changed? Very little other than fear.
Panic spreads way quicker than any virus could possibly hope to. The herd mentality alerts our ancient brains into survival mode. Our focus is highjacked into believing that the end is near. The rest of the group is stocking up for Armageddon, I must too. Rational thought doesn’t have a chance to enter the picture. The crowd overreacts as one singular entity.
To survive a crisis situation is easy. Nearly everyone does. To thrive while the world around you melts down takes much more effort, but I assure you it can be done. The Stackd principles are designed to be implemented in the good times. As you practice, they become ingrained habits. When situations become difficult, you have the tools already prepared to maximize your resources.
Specifically within a fear-based scenario, focusing your mindset on gratitude, optimism, and opportunity will completely change your view on what it means to your life. You can essentially highjack the highjacking. When your ancient brain translates the outer panic into inner fear, you can transcribe it into faith.
Right now, my mind is thinking through everything I can do to help my community, grow people’s understanding of their mind and body, make a bigger impact, upgrade my surroundings, and prosper amidst terror. I’m constantly prepping my mind for situations like this. They present opportunities that would never otherwise present themselves in times of relative complacency.
I still look to the larger crowd. The only difference is I do so to determine what not to do, rather than as a guiding force. I cannot help those in need with a fearful mindset. The best thing I can do for my future prosperity, and that of the group, is to rationally evaluate the situation and act with boldness in the face of panic.
The irony of this approach is that the positive mindset attracts a real tribe around it instead of the every-person-for-themselves gaggle that falsely associates themselves with being part of a true community. When fear runs the show, the group is fragmented. When faith and rationality form its basis, a chance for real collaboration emerges.
As you continue your journey to sculpt your ultimate self, there are two key mindset tips that I can share with you. First, your brain is designed to keep you alive, not to thrive. If you want to rise above your DNA, you need to convince your thoughts that prosperity is more essential to survival than fear in all situations. This is done through conscious repetition of positive focus so that when times get tough, you default to opportunity instead of panic.
Second, choose your peer group wisely. It may feel uncomfortable to underperform in some scenarios against an elite band of friends, but it will spur you to greatness in the long run. Constant association with people who maintain lower standards than your own will negatively influence your potential. Choose a tribe that pushes you towards excellence and your life will thrive.
Let the crowd do as they will. Becoming one of them helps no one. Being a beacon of possibility will save the few who choose to listen. Whether in the gym or your broader community, standing out can feel awkward at first. But like anything new, once you get used to rising above the fray, you won’t know how you existed any other way.
Stay energized, confident, and sexy my friends. Peace.