You're Strong AF


Dear Friends,

I think you're strong AF.

For the uninitiated, I suggest a quick Urban Dictionary search for the translation of "AF, " but for the sake of our discussion it means reallyreallyreally and is definitely a good thing.

So why do I think you’re strong AF? Because I know you are.

How do I know? 

Through all of the work that I’ve done working with clients one-on-one and in a group setting, I’ve quickly learned that we far too often fail to give ourselves the credit we deserve.

Whether or not you want to acknowledge it, you’re probably much stronger than you think you are. You’re just afraid to find out.

What if you aren’t as strong as you thought you were? What if, on the contrary, it turns out that you actually are?

This is a fascinating thing that I have uncovered in the work that I do.

There are times that we stay right where we are knowing quite well that we’re capable of far more but are afraid to find out.

The potential of being wrong weighs heavy on what we actually do or don’t do.

Time and time again I’ve seen this inquiry hold us back: What if I can’t?

The fear of not being able to do something outweighs the ecstasy of being able to do it.

And while I do find this fascinating, I’m not at all surprised.

We’re hard-wired to favor risk-aversion over pleasure-seeking. We’re wired for both, but risk-aversion wins out every time. At least without some conscious intervention. 

The good news: we can override this. But it takes work.

If you don’t believe you’re as strong as I believe you to be, what I need you to do first is, at the very least, believe that you can be that strong. 

Even if you don’t think you are now, I need you to believe that you could be that strong.

This is the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

The former leads us to believe “we are just the way we are.” The latter lets us believe we can be whoever we want to be and do whatever we want to do.

I suggest the latter.

This is the first step in overriding the risk-aversion cognitive bias. The simple belief of acknowledging that we will eventually be able to do something, even if we’re not there now, starts to shift our perspective from that of risks to that of opportunities.

You see, this is all compounded by the fact that we expect ourselves to get something “right” on the very first try. 

And in that situation, yeah, it’s quite risky if we only have one at-bat.

But that’s just not true.

We have as many at-bats as we are willing to step up to the plate.

And when we start to apply this to our own lives, it’s not that we’re really becoming less risk-averse. Rather, we’re no longer inappropriately tagging something as a risk.

If you inevitably are unable to lift a heavier weight for a given movement, that becomes completely a-ok. There was absolutely nothing riding on that action other than an opportunity to explore a curiosity.

Now you have a data point. Now you know where to go from here.

No pressure. No fear. No unnecessary aversion to an imagined risk. Just playful curiosity and a little belief in yourself.

I think you’re strong AF.

Aren’t you just a little curious to find out for yourself?

With Love, 


Evan CookComment