Is it Your Crutch or Your Chisel

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Is it Your Crutch or Your Chisel

Recently, I’ve been listening to Cameron Hanes’ audiobook, Keep Hammering. One of the things he talks about is his childhood and the fractured relationship he had with his parents. His theory is that you can look at your past as a crutch or a chisel.

Crutch vs. Chisel

We often use our past and things that have happened to us as a crutch to lean on. Our past can become an excuse to justify our choices now by blaming others for what they did to us back then. Sometimes we say things like, “Well, that’s just how I was raised” or “I can’t reach my goals because of my past.”

On the other hand, you can look at your past as a chisel that’s sharpening you. A crutch supports and holds something up if it’s injured. A chisel is put into something hard, like a rock, to create something out of that.

A couple of months ago I took my wife to Spain and we saw so many sculptures. I remember looking at those sculptures that had such intricate detail created by artists who used chisels to chip away at solid rock or marble to build something beautiful. Little by little, they chipped away to make everything more refined and better than it was before

We can look at our past the same way. It can either be the thing that holds us back or the thing that forges us into who we want to become. You don’t have to view a negative past as a bad thing. You can use it as a lesson on how to get better and move forward.

What is Your Crutch?

For a long time, I assumed that I couldn’t get to a certain level as a speaker because I didn’t have the “past” story that some incredible guys like Inky Johnson or Eric Thomas have.

I was using a fairly normal past as an excuse instead of using my past as a way to reach the majority of people in my audience who couldn’t relate to those wild stories either. So, I had to realize that what I was using as an excuse was actually something I could speak to.

What is Your Chisel?

Cameron Hanes fully embraces the mentality that his past is a chisel. That all of the adversities and difficulties he went through were simply chipping away at the excess and helping to forge him into his best self. He’s not using his past as an excuse or a crutch. He’s looking at it as something that’s made him into who he is today and set him up for who he wants to be.

The choices we make today have nothing to do with the choices made 10 or 20 years ago unless we choose to keep making them.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I making excuses for things in the past that were outside of my control?
  • How can I reframe what I went through as a chisel that brought me to who I am today?
  • Can my past help me understand who I want to be going forward and light a fire in me to start doing the work necessary to achieve my goals?

The Competitor Mindset

Anyone can blame other people. It’s the easy way out. Average people view their past as a crutch, but champions understand you can’t change what happened then. However, you do have control over what is happening right now and how you’ll respond to what is to come.

Forge yourself into the person you want to become. Don’t hope for it, wish for it, or think it’s magically going to happen. Just like an artist has to hammer and chisel away at that rock, little by little, you have to do the same to become your best self. It doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of work.

As we’re heading into the weekend, ask yourself:

  • What am I going to keep chiseling?
  • What crutch am I going to get rid of?

Then get to work competing to be your best self.

I’m cheering for you, Competitor!

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