Everything is Your Fault


As a personal trainer at a corporate gym, I have a fairly large clientele base. Naturally, this means that I have some clients that are doing great and hitting their goals, and some clients that don’t manage to achieve the goals that they’ve set for themselves and hired me to help accomplish.

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Now the industry standard response for someone who isn’t hitting their goals due to a lack of follow through is to label that person “not dedicated”, or say that “they just don’t want it enough”. But I’m here to tell you that if you were hired to get a person to a specific goal, and they aren’t able to hit it, it’s your fault.

The blame for that person’s lack of success rests squarely on your shoulders.

But they aren’t tracking their food/doing their workouts/following through” You say. “Also, this site sucks


If your client isn’t working out twice a week outside of your sessions, you need to figure out why. Did you just hand them a workout and expect them to do it? Well, that might work for some clients, but not everyone. Take a step back from your assumptions, and meet your client where they are at.

  • Maybe you need to sit down with them and work on a schedule that will work for their busy life.
  • Maybe you need to take them through their homework workout 5 times before they’re comfortable with doing it on their own.
  • Maybe you need to establish accountability and reward protocols that will enable your client to have the extra motivation they need on a daily basis.

Maybe it’s none of these things. The point is that until you’ve exhausted all of your available resources working toward your client’s goals, you’re the problem.

This is a very sensitive issue for me as well, so I’m as much calling myself on my own bullshit as I am you, so don’t feel like I’m talking down to you. I’m talking down to US, and that’s different.

Everyone knows a ‘blamer’.

-A blamer can’t be held accountable for their tardiness to the work meeting because of the recent cold snap in southern France.

-They totally would have responded to your email, but wet nail polish and gluten sensitivity prevented them from being dexterous enough to type all weekend.

-They would have loved to have been on top of all the billing issues, but those darn insurance codes are changing all the time, and that bitch Carol from accounting never sends her the updated notes.

Don’t be a blamer.

By contrast, look at Russel Wilson and Pete Carrol, the quarterback and coach of the Seattle Seahawks. When the ‘Hawks lost Superbowl 49 on a controversial pass play that resulted in an interception, both Wilson and Carrol independently took responsibility for the call, and for the botched execution. In post game interviews, both had the same response and outlook, which was something to the extent of:

“Yes, that was entirely my fault. Going forward, I will do everything I can do learn from that mistake in order to ensure that it wont happen again.”

This is the difference between being in control of your life, actions and emotions, and being at the mercy of the universe, your boss, and various fax machines.

When you take responsibility, the world becomes a much simpler place.

  • Your car gets stolen? Tough. Probably should have had a club. What are you going to do?
  • You lost a big order and aren’t going to make your quota? Tough. Probably should have worked harder on that account. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?
  • Don’t have time to get to the gym because life got in the way? TOUGH. Probably should have planned better. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

For one week, shoulder the blame for everything that goes ‘wrong’ around you. Take ownership of the milk expiring, the meeting running late, not having time to prep your food. You’ll be surprised at the freedom that comes with that level of responsibility.

Everything is your fault, and that’s a good thing.


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