When we think of body armour, we imagine grizzled soldiers, clad in large, plates of hardened steel. Tough as nails! When we train, regardless of our sport, our bodies grow in a way that expresses the activities and sports we take part in. This developing body is a lot like a suit of armour that lets us become enhanced versions of ourselves.
However, many of us create body armour in the hopes that they’ll resolve our unresolved insecurities. This is like starting training/sport because of an initial insecurity and, after years in the sport/activity, still having that insecurity intact. Thus, we end up working harder and harder, hoping that the circle-block will fit into the square-hole.
Maslow’s Armour Building
Another way of looking at this is through psychologist Abraham Maslow’s (1908-1970) pyramid of human needs.
To reach our full potential, Maslow states that you have to satisfy basic needs before being able to tackle self-actualization. This would be things like food/water, and then self-esteem, before satisfying the need of expressing ourselves.
When it comes to creating our body armour and training, we could see building our bodies as being one, to hid behind criticisms OR two, to be confident against adversity, and ultimately being more proactive with progress. This is the kind of progress that can enable us to push through the human needs pyramid and attain self-actualization.
Training can satisfy various levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It can help us better attain food, water, and build a better shelter. Or it could go onwards and help us raise our self-esteem. Even more, it could allow us to reach the pinnacle of our needs. Training can let us become more creative, better problem solvers, and let us accept the facts of our life, in a more positive manner.
Now to each his own, but if you truly want to get the most out of training, then aiming for self-actualization would be a reasonable aim to have. Getting stuck in self-esteem issues while training is a problem.
“If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life. You will be evading your own capacities, your own possibilities. – Abraham Maslow
Armour can hold you back
It’s funny, we think of a suit of armour as being actually protective. Darth Vader, from the epic space opera, Star Wars, wore a suit of armour and it scared the crap out of everyone. He was incredibly intimidating in his jet black suit.
That suit portrayed a visage of villainy, power, and authority. Yet, he was incredibly weak. Vader’s suit helped keep him alive. It was a shell of life support functions, leaving Vader vulnerable to the Emperor, even with his powers of the Force.
Darth Vader was more powerful and capable of greater potential while he was still a whole human. Back when he was Anakin Skywalker, The Chosen One. Yet his insecurity and anger held him back via self-limiting beliefs. And we know how damaging anger is for our performance.
When he stopped being selfish, he returned to the light and fulfilled his titanic prophecy. He lived for something more than himself (we’ll touch on this more later on).
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself. Humility is thinking about yourself, less.” – Unknown
Armour building by Tony Robbins
Recently, Tony Robbins posted a video online about fighting frustration. Tony advocates not settling because you get what you try to tolerate.
Instead, he says, we should train ourselves to move on from feeling depressed. We allow frustration and depression to fester in our armour, internally, corroding us. We can likely allow ourselves; train, to be strong and passionate.
How? By making our “why” become something that is greater than ourselves.
“Life for more than yourself and don’t tolerate weakness” – Tony Robbins