We live at the moment in the Connection Economy. This means connection (and with it, trust and attention) is the most valuable currency.
Think about the people you like to learn from or the businesses that you like to buy from even though they are more expensive. You do so because in some way you feel connected to them or their values.
The owner of a stable, successful fitness business knows this. They create a business where people feel connected to each other and also to the business.
The deeper the connection is, the more likely it is that the time spent with this business will create lasting change in a person.
(Which is what we’re after right? Helping people change)
Here are some examples to illustrate this:
A. There is a social media influencer you like who shares a motivational post. That day you smash your workout while thinking about this post. But 2 days later it’s forgotten and you skip your workout to get something else done.
B. A friend you have known for a long time who agrees to meet you at the gym 3 times per week so you can exercise together and hold each other accountable. Things go really well for 3 weeks but then a pattern starts occurring where your friend starts cancelling on you last minute. Every time you try to bring it up they get defensive and change the subject. Eventually you give up on them and try to keep going to the gym by yourself but a few weeks later, you’ve stopped going.
C. You start stalking a personal trainer online. This person seems to understand exactly what you’re going through on your journey to overcome your self-doubts to live a healthier life. You decide to take the plunge and start training with them. They listen and ask good questions as you share your struggles so far and together you decide on a plan to help you get healthier.
Which of these 3 relationships are most likely to help a person get long term results on their journey to a healthier lifestyle?
Let’s first understand what’s going on in each case:
It turns out that the social media influencer secretly hates themselves and their body. They hide it well with a curated profile of smiling selfies and quotes telling everyone to ‘Never Give Up’. From the outside it’s impossible to know this because the connection between you and them is one-way.
And it turns out your friend wasn’t being flaky. After the initial high of starting something new, she got caught off guard by a bunch of emotions, insecurities and resistance that came up when the commitment got harder to keep. Afraid of these uncomfortable feelings and unsure of how to talk to you about it, she stopped turning up.
But our personal trainer is different. On their own journey to a healthier lifestyle she took the time to deal with her own demons and self-doubts that came up. She became deeply connected to herself through this process which in turn has given her the empathy to help others.
The point I’m getting at is this:
To help create lasting change in another person you need to be able to able to connect with them. And you can only connect as with someone as much you are connected to and with yourself.
Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.
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