Nope Town. Tips to get away from it.

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Can’t locate Nope Town on the world map? Well, Nope Town exists only in your personal experience and, trust me, you’ve already been there a few times. Nope Town is an emotional space your ego enters after a failure or a newly acquired experience. In Nope Town you’re moving through the “Forest of a low self-esteem” where the air is filled with doubts and you gather rotten berries of hatred. Maybe I’m exaggerating a lit bit…

Let’s think of a few examples:

  • Woke up and thought of a perfect Sunday? Oops, you forgot about your anniversary. Welcome to Nope Town.
  • Have 100% confidence that you’ve passed your job interview successfully? Nope, you’ve failed. Where have you landed? Correct, you’re in Nope Town.

To be more scientific and close to business reality – Nope Town is the stage of D2 or D4 in regression, according to the Situational Leadership II Theory. I personally believe it’s one of the best managerial tools.

Back to the story, here is how I got to Nope Town last Sunday and also managed to escape.

I went to a one-day Yoga seminar with the purpose to acquire some techniques of effective stretching in order to make splits. In total there were four lectures which I attended and each of them presented the road from Nope Town (D2) to Yep Town (D4+).

Lecture 1 – The Beginning

The first lecture which we visited (yep, I wasn’t alone in my goal) was dedicated to a healthy spine, at least the name was stating it.

The lecturer, on the other hand, decided to follow his own agenda and began a 2-hour story about the essence of Yoga and why we all should follow the path of harmony. His speech was filled with multiple references to actual physiology and biology, so it was not a “Jehovah’s Witnesses” story but the fact-based material.

After the first 30 minutes I was destroyed. To make it simple, my belief of a human body mechanics was false, since I was building it on very high-level information…and before I thought it was based on a deep analysis. Probably the majority of people in the room felt the same. The outcome – plenty of doubts in things I used to do before and continue doing now.

So, I arrived in Nope Town and I had to find my way out.

Solutions: Be grateful to receive new knowledge and concepts. Admit that you need to invest time to learn more about respective subjects. Think about your precise next steps, like: ‘what books I need to read’, ‘what the sequence will be’, ‘which gaps I should fill in first’.

Traps to avoid: Convince yourself that you’re still doing good. No need to learn more, since you’re already overloaded with the information flow.

Lecture 2 – How to do splits

This one was the combination of some theory and practice. I was able to do splits some time ago during my kickboxing years but the flexibility of my muscles decreased without any focused stretching exercises.

Our lecturer looked like Robert Downey Jr. in both his physical appearance and the way he behaved.

With his first few sentences he reasoned us that our previous approach to doing splits was incorrect and he used physiology to prove it. Facts always work for me, and so we began to practice using a new approach. While I still couldn’t perform it, I was better than before and, the most important thing, I had a perfect understanding of what I should do and how. The beacon of light appeared in my conscience and I was positive that I’d be able to perform well. I started to plan my move from Nope Town.

Solutions: Make the test of newly acquired information and check whether the path you’ve chosen has a positive effect VS. your state before. If yes, then continue practicing and follow your initial plan. If no, check what defects your plan has, and adjust it. Don’t back down if something hasn’t worked right.

Traps to avoid: Decide to follow the easiest way (it’s your old process), and not the new one which might be perceived as a more difficult one. Freaking brain will try to resist the change. Also – never give up after the first try.

Lecture 3 – Standing on a board with nails

So I was moving away step-by-step from Nope Town and the next lecture was about physical pain. We had to stand on a board with nails like this one:

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I’d never had this experience before and neither had my friend. Though I had the experience of a physical pain during kickboxing and tattooing, I still wasn’t sure how my body and mind would react once I stepped on the nails.

The lady with me was completely shocked about what we were about to do, but team spirit won this battle) Frankly speaking it was a tipping point for my Nope Town adventure.

If I failed with this board – this would mean that I would probably be entirely demolished by the fact that even after 4 hours of failures and self-belief I couldn’t pass that test. On the other hand I prepared myself that if I passed it, then I would win and succeed in everything that would pop up next. The Lecturer told us the same but even in a much more inspiring way.

At the moment of truth I was able to stand with almost no problems and in the last round I was standing on the nails and counting till 100 aloud.

Solutions: create a milestone in your plan which can serve as a proof that you’ve done everything right and then you will achieve only the win-attitude.

Traps to avoid: skipping on setting the milestones due to the fear that you might fail. This will only worsen the situation and affect your self-esteem.

Lecture 4 – High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

The last lecture was about HIIT and its effectiveness compared to Yoga. The core idea was to explore how HIIT can be incorporated into Yoga classes in order to increase your strength and endurance attributes. It was also a half-theory – half-practice class.

A PowerPoint slide was projected on the wall, with the comparison of Yoga, Yoga with HIIT VS Crossfit. Once I saw that slide, I was already confident and calm that if any type of training would arise during the session – I would easily finish it.

And so it happened) We were proposed to try a few different HIIT’s to cover 30-40 minutes of the remaining lecture time. The first one was pushups and I did 130 vs 52 best second score. After that everything was easy and I arrived in Yes Town.

Solutions: You’ve already been doing good, so be calm and confident. Let results speak and don’t hesitate to prove to the audience what you’ve learned. Be proud of your accomplishments.

Traps to avoid: Let your mind hesitate and bring any kind of doubts. This will definitely affect your performance.

Summary

Those are 4 stages you will always have in your life / career / etc. You should always remember that you can go up only one step at a time, while falling down can take a second. There is no elevator to success, only the stairs. If you believe that you can jump from a junior to a senior in a second, this is only because the target you’ve set in the first place is really low and has almost no difference versus where you are now.

Correct planning, execution and some positive attitude – these are your best friends in any situation. Follow the listed solutions above and make them your daily behavior patterns.

I recommend you to read more information on Situational Leadership, as it’s a really handy and powerful tool.

P.S. If you saw any other word than “ship” – shame on you!

Regards,

Sergey

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