A Crash Is Imminent

A crash is imminent. Are you braced for impact?

This post won’t be the story most people expect. It’s about loosening up and relaxing. You can skip the story and get to the point below if you prefer.

Several years ago, I was dealing with a frozen shoulder that made it challenging to do even basic things like put on a shirt. As the condition resolved itself, I knew I had to work on my mobility. I started going to the gym working with kettlebells and eventually barbells.

My trainer referred me to a therapist for deep tissue work (sometimes called Rolfing). After my first session, the therapist asked if I had ever been in a bad car accident. I hadn’t.

“Your upper body is like my clients who have been in a bad crash. It’s like you’re always braced for impact.”

The truth is, I WAS constantly vigilant. Underlying anxiety and a job that was little more than waiting for the next attack from management kept me on constant alert.

So, I relaxed. I extracted myself from the constantly crashing car of that job. I focused on strength and flexibility instead of vigilance and defensiveness. I started approaching the gym differently. More germane, I figured out on my own terms what it means to be strong and open and brought those qualities to selling and to working with clients. And I learned how to advocate for the value of openness, calm focus, and clarity as essential traits for truly compelling thought leadership.

That said, I see people braced for impact all the time. Starting meetings rigidly on guard, bracing against the consequences of taking risks, holding back rather than sharing. They carry the wisdom of past experiences and punitive cultures in their bodies. It becomes their posture toward the new. 

I’m here to say it’s not necessary. Are you braced for impact? Relax. And if you need to, stop and get out of the car.

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