I work with a lot of Type A personalities. They tend to be very successful, very driven, and borderline OCD. You combine this personality trait with a ton of numbers and monitoring and the first few months can be a whirlwind of poop, thesis level emails, and freak outs.
Type As feed off control. They like easy fast problems, like organizing someone else’s desk the way they want it. Yet, the body is naturally in chaos and you can’t organize it just so. Plus, most of these problems and mental nonsense are deep seated and took years/decades to develop (socially and culturally). “Have fun at school little Johnny and you better not F*ck up the STAR test, you better be the best.” Smiles.
No matter how bad our monkey minds want to we can’t fit the human body in some color coded tupper ware or the perfect trapper keeper. It is too variable.
Thus, the first time a Type A sees a high blood glucose value, disregulated hormonal profile, an anerobic dominance, or a loss in performance they freak out inside. Something is wrong with me. I have to figure all this out tomorrow or I will die. I might have cancer. DO I have cancer? I have cancer.
Then they get on myfitnesspal and log their fanny off. Everything becomes a number and they forget that this is a process to be enjoyed. Yea…counting stuff is fine and can jump start the process, but just having a plan and writing stuff down on paper or a google doc is good enough. You don’t have to go all Steve Jobs on everyone and find every way to count everything.
What gets measured gets managed.
Here’s the problem your brainstem already does that and you can’t purchase one of those for 4.99 on the App Store.
Type A personalities tend to have all the questions. The type of questions that get answered on the cushion. Like should I go to my grandma’s 90th birthday party if I can’t eat anything? YESSSSSS. Your grandma’s birthday party is not about what you can eat. It’s not about you at all. Don’t be weird. Don’t make a big deal about your diet and what you are doing, it should always take a back seat to life. Now don’t go Pillsbury Doe boy on the confetti cake either just because it’s a special occasion. Do you and do it silently.
If I am at an event I never ever talk about how I eat or health, especially if people don’t know me. And guess what – know one comes up to me and asks, “Hey Man – why are you not eating the finger croissant sandwiches I made?”
We just aren’t that important and that’s ok.
Professionals don’t get paid enough to handle your crazy, they want to give you the appropriate homework/directions, then you get the job done and come back and ask for more. Here’s a secret we are expecting you to fail a little bit…
Imagine if I texted Davis (my coach) every day. HEY! How is my form on the 5th back squat? Did you watch all the way to number 5, they were good right? Can I eat more muffins today after my deadlifts?
Davis just doesn’t respond to bullshit and I love him for it. I tend to let the conversation sit for 24 to 48 hours so they stop spinning. BUT that is not to say I don’t just want to shake them and yell ,”Stop it – You’re Bat Shit Crazy – you are creating the very problem you are trying to solve.”
Then in this imaginary world they would see the light and we would sip chamomile tea out of recycled mugs.
Except that would never happen because they have to see it for themselves.
They have to become the Watcher – not the MicroManager.
Do it again.
And then they have to create a gap in their thought processes.
“Oh I am being crazy again.” I probably shouldn’t say this out loud. Or maybe I should try to answer this question myself and sit with it instead of sending an unneeded email to five people. Any form of communication that I am unsure about sending I put it in my drafts for 24 hours. If after a day it still seems really important it flies off into the googlesphere.
The Type As might be asking how do I know you so well – because I am you. I feel your excel spread sheet self coming a mile away and let me tell you that letting go will be the hardest thing you ever do in your life. Maybe your dad never got off your case about being successful. Maybe your mom was a laundry Nazi and all your pencils were labeled with your initials, or maybe you are just naturally off your rocker. It’s OK, but what are you going to do about it? Blame everyone else for not being as organized and punctual as you want them to be or learn again and again to just go with the flow and love the journey?
Get the information and clarification you need. Give people room to respond and give yourself the space, patience, and time to get some real work done. Please.