I pried one eye open as my vindictive alarm clock screamed at an unruly 4:46 am that it was day one of what these crazy people call, “Crossfit.”

 

While I finished a marathon once (and never again!) and have generally lived a healthy lifestyle, it’s no secret these Crossfit people are on another planet of intensity and dedication.

 

“If you played sports in high school, you’ll pick up the lifts again pretty quick,” the trainer said at my orientation. While, in high school, I bagged groceries and destroyed computer-generated alien races in high school.

 

“Cool,” I said out loud, moderately terrified about what I’d gotten myself into.

 

via GIPHY

 

Despite my serious lack of knowledge or coordination, I pressed into my inferiority with a smile. I looked at the status quo of my life, threw back the covers, and stepped into the cold unknown.

 

Why? Because I wanted to be a better athlete. I wanted to be a part of this community that loved to work hard. I wanted to be around these people who could motivate me and challenge me to lift heavier things than I ever would in a room by myself.

 

Following a suicide attempt in my early twenties, I realized I’d spent most of my life afraid of the world, afraid to try or risk, afraid to chase the life I dreamed of living. Over time, I discovered this truth:

 

If you want to be a world-changing leader, do something most people don’t: go where you feel most inferior. Click To Tweet

 

Put yourself in situations where you are the least knowledgeable person in the room. Push yourself towards the things that terrify you the most. And, along the way, find people who are going to push you to be the best version of yourself.

 

And in case you’re still not convinced, here are 6 reasons to go where you feel most inferior.

 

1. This is Where You’ll Grow the Most

 

For over two years, the worship leader at my large, suburban church kept calmly asking me if I’d like to play keys for the team. For two years I said no thank you—I thought I wasn’t good enough to play with the professional musicians on that stage.

 

The reality is, I missed out on 2 years of improving and becoming the best musician I could be out of fear. Instead of finding the courage to allow myself to fail in a safe and loving environment, I hid.

 

When I finally said yes, it wasn’t any less terrifying, but I also started saying yes to being pushed and coached and developed at a level I never would have experienced otherwise.

 

“Anytime you’re gonna grow, you’re gonna lose something. You’re losing what you’re hanging onto to keep safe. You’re losing habits that you’re comfortable with, you’re losing familiarity.”

― James Hillman

 

 

2. This is Where You’ll Find a Community to Challenge You

 

No matter how invincible you think you are, you’re going to need a crew, a team, or what T-Swift calls, “a squad.”

 

You’re going to need people to encourage you towards your big crazy dreams, but also to cheer you on in the toughest moments. Studies show you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose wisely.

 

Every week I schedule at least one lunch with someone who inspires me. I make time to cultivate friendships with people who are all in for me and inspire me to keep fighting for what I want most out of life.

 

“Surround yourself only with people who are going to take you higher.”

― Oprah Winfrey

 

 3. Inferiority Forces You to Ask for Help

 

The sooner you learn how to ask for help in small and big areas of your life, the sooner you can face your problems head on and actually move towards growth and solutions.

 

Whatever arena you’re in, there is a wise sage-like human who can offer the friendship, guidance, and encouragement you’re going to need to do big things with your time on this planet.

 

Every Luke has his Yoda.

 

Every Gracie Lee Freebush has her makeover Miss Congeniality beauty pageant.

 

“No matter how good you think you are as a leader, my goodness, the people around you will have all kinds of ideas for how you can get better. So for me, the most fundamental thing about leadership is to have the humility to continue to get feedback and to try to get better – because your job is to try to help everybody else get better.” —Jim Yong Kim

 

 

 4. Inferiority Keeps You Humble

 

If you make a habit of placing yourself in areas where you don’t excel, you can’t help but admit you’re not the Bees Knees at everything like your Mom and your Twitter followers think you are.

 

Pride is sneaky and the more success you have, the easier it is to lose sight of the humility within which God calls us all to walk.

 

Choose to live by this quote: “You have never arrived.” Spend all the days of your life improving and learning. By putting yourself in places where you feel inferior, you can’t help but be reminded to always continue to grow, develop, and transform.

 

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

—Colossians 3:12

 

 5. Inferiority Builds Resiliency and Grit

 

Resiliency is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

 

News flash: not everything you ever do is going to be explosively successful. Yes, even Beyonce had her “Pink Panther” movie box office flop.

 

As a leader you’re always going to going to let people down. Click To Tweet If you’re operating on your creative edge, taking risks and giving life everything you have, you’re going to fail from time to time.

 

Yet, awesome leaders separate who they are from their work. A failure doesn’t change that they are a true and beloved child of God. They never allow struggle to seep into their identity.

 

Instead, they look at what they can learn from every experience, reflect on ways they can improve, and—despite the odds—keep moving forward. Putting yourself in places where you’re inferior grows this muscle in a painful and beautiful way that will ripple out into the rest of your life.

 

“When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realize that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives.” — A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

 

6. Inferiority Shows What You’re Made Of

 

When you take on hard things, it actually gets easier to keep slaying dragons. When you finish your first marathon, you realize that the people who told you were crazy for five months were the ones out of their minds.

 

And then when that next big project comes along and everyone says it’ll never happen, it gets easier and easier to smile politely while working your tail off to totally rock it.

 

By making hard or awkward activities a regular part of your life, when you actually start succeeding at them you can’t help but be reminded that you are stronger, smarter, and more awesome than you believe.

 

“Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.” —Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit

 

Inferiority is about you and the way you let others make you feel. Whatever mission you’re on, seek out places where you’re not the expert in the room and take your seat at the table with confidence.

 

It’s only when you realize you’re enough, even when you feel inferior, that you’ll see you actually do belong in that gym or on that stage. You’ll learn that God is often leading you to places that will help you grow the most, however uncomfortable or challenging they may be.

 

So tomorrow when your alarm clock goes off, push those covers off like a boss and give the day everything you have. Put yourself in the scariest places where you can’t help but cast off perfectionism and see what you’re truly made of.

 

So maybe I’m never going to win a Crossfit competition, but I’m getting better and stronger every single day and that’s what matters most.

 

Make inferiority a habit, my friends. Click To Tweet That’s how you find the best version of yourself.

 

 

 

Sam Eaton

Founder, Blogger & Speaker at Recklessly Alive
Sam Eaton is an elementary music teacher, in-progress author, blogger, speaker, always-cold Minnesotan, and founder of Recklessly Alive Ministries—an organization sprinting towards a world with zero deaths from suicide.

A suicide survivor himself, Sam is crazy passionate about helping people tell a better story with their lives—one that is fully and recklessly alive.

To join the Recklessly Alive Movement, visit
RecklesslyAlive.com or visit his socials:

Facebook: Recklessly Alive
Twitter: @aliverecklessly
Instagram: @aliverecklessly

Latest posts by Sam Eaton (see all)

Sam Eaton is an elementary music teacher, in-progress author, blogger, speaker, always-cold Minnesotan, and founder of Recklessly Alive Ministries—an organization sprinting towards a world with zero deaths from suicide. A suicide survivor himself, Sam is crazy passionate about helping people tell a better story with their lives—one that is fully and recklessly alive. To join the Recklessly Alive Movement, visit RecklesslyAlive.com or visit his socials: Facebook: Recklessly Alive Twitter: @aliverecklessly Instagram: @aliverecklessly

2 Comments

  1. Lynn Goodwin McIntosh May 11, 2018 at 2:55 pm · Reply

    What a great article!

Leave A Comment