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  • Writer's pictureTom Foxley

You Must Struggle To Grow

Why You Must Look At Painful Things

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in 2020 it’s that swapping your perspective is often painful. It takes courage and a tolerance for discomfort to look inwards and take ownership of your limiting narratives.

A willingness to look at the truth of the situation and take ownership of something which you could just as easily never look at again is as painful as it is rare.

Speaking for myself, it’s unpleasant to accept that to a degree, I am part of the problem around race, to accept that I have work to do, and to realise that saying nothing is akin to approval of the current situation.

It doesn’t suit my immediate comfort to honestly look at the brutality of the race situation I live in then take ownership of it, but it is essential if I want to grow.

This attitude is one which leads to growth at both a personal and a social level though.

A WIDER Perspective

In 1994, the world looked on as the Hutu government murdered 800,000 Tutsi's in Rwanda. 100 days later, 1 in 10 of the population of Rwanda were slaughtered, mostly with clubs and machetes. Eventually, the UN dispatched troops. 4 months after the conflict was over. The French government made a token effort at humanitarianism which actually just disguised their extraction of their Hutu allies.

Why am I bringing this up? Because the world’s response to the Rwandan Genocide, is an extrapolation of a mindset problem we all suffer from.

It’s the reason there’s riots in the US. It’s also the same attitude that keeps so many of us from progressing in our athletic advancement.

This refusal to seek out and observe uncomfortable information in pursuit of improvement is what holds us back from both our collective and individual potential.

Now, About You...

To reach point B, you must first comprehensively know where you stand. You must see Point A clearly, even if that means admitting you’re in a worse place than you hoped and you’ve made mistakes.

The athlete who refuses to accept that their mindset holds them back because they lack the self-belief and confidence necessary for the next level, is suffering from the same mindset problem that led civilisation to this moment in time: blind acceptance of what is wrong, and a refusal to take ownership of it.

If you find something uncomfortable to look at, chances are you’ve found something important to dwell on. The path to growth runs in the opposite direction to shying away from what hurts.

To go back to the brilliant Frederick Douglass quote: "if there is no struggle, there is no progress."


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