As I train with my good friend Mauro Gumierato, a personal fitness and well being coach, (pictured here on the right) I am often reminded of some important lessons relevant to the work I do with clients. One of these is: often when you want to move forward, you have to let go. In the advice Mauro gives me on physical fitness and dexterity, I see many parallels and applications in my work on cognitive flexibility and agility.
Three Leadership Lessons from fitness
- When you are reaching for higher levels of achievement, you have to push away from your comfort zone and let go of that sense of security – In other words, take a (managed!) risk and trust that your training won’t let you down. There is no way to reach another level of achievement without moving from where you are and accepting that it might take a few tries, and even some pain, to get it right. This is absolutely true with personal growth and development.
- To learn a new skill, sometimes you actually need to throw away what you think you know and start from scratch – what you know might be outdated, might have gotten you where you are now, but not where you want to go, or, even worse, an impediment to the obtainment of your task (either physically or mentally). Sometimes you need to let go of the old and reach out for the new.
- For change to be sustainable you need to adapt, not just adjust. When it comes to motor skills adjusting is making temporary, compensatory changes to something you are doing at the moment; adapting is changing in the way you approach or conduct movements. The same is true for changes in behavior – particularly when what you’re looking for is real and sustainable transformation.
Moving on can be difficult. But remember – the focus is not on the letting go, it’s on the moving forward – on connecting with and achieving new experiences and skills in your life which make you stronger, flexible and agile. What do you need to let go to move forward?