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The Blog

Did the Pandemic Set You Free?

Featured Mastermind Blog of the Month
by Travis Barnes, Founder & CEO, Journey 333 Fitness Franchise

Todd Durkin recently shared a quote that said, “What if you haven’t met you yet?” Great quote and a challenging question for us all. I’ll say that the pandemic set me free because it introduced me to me.

It was March of 2020. We had just bought an RV and converted it into a tour bus. Our plan was to launch our franchise, grow our speaking business and tour the country. At the time I had a super cool sports car. It was one of the new Supras that looks like a small Viper. For my birthday, which is in mid-March, we were about to fly to San Jose and go to my first Tony Robbins conference. Life felt amazing. And then, you all know what happened… The pandemic was announced, and the world was shut down.

We soon after got rid of that sports car. We moved into a smaller home. We fought for the survival of all franchise locations but our newest one did not make it. During our fight for survival, I suffered my first ever anxiety attack, my wife and I fought COVID together, I was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disorder, and she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Life was certainly turned upside down and maybe you can relate to this…I felt lost. 

Thankfully, I was still listening to books on audible and at the time I was listening to Wayne Dyer. Wayne taught me that the EGO was the false self and there were five components to our EGO. The challenge then became to get rid of my false self and discover who I truly was.

The first component of the EGO that the pandemic helped me to confront was that “We are what we have.”  Many of us find identity in the home we live in, the clothes we wear, and the cars we drive. I certainly felt cool with my sports car. However, “if all we are is what we have then when we lose what we have, do we lose who we are?”

If your business was shut down and you couldn’t do the job that you normally do then you had to confront the second component of the EGO which is the belief that “we are what we do.” I got my first job in fitness in 1996. You could say that much of my identity has centered around being a coach, fitness business owner, and now franchisor. Yet, we are not what we do. We might do what we do because of who we are but “if all we are is what we do then what happens when we can no longer do what we do.” The pandemic made us answer that question.

The third component of EGO that often goes along with what we do is that we are what we accomplish. I was the Todd Durkin Fit Pro of the Year and a finalist for IDEA Leader of the Year. I honestly found some identity in those accolades, but we all know that trophies and awards don’t define who we are.

Maybe I secretly wanted the recognition of trophies and awards because I was susceptible to the fourth component of the EGO which is that “we are what other people think of us.”  Read this next part aloud and as loud as you can. “WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS!” We all should strive to be “independent of the good opinion of others.” We can’t allow our identity to be defined by someone else and yet how often do we waste time wondering what other people think.

The fifth and final component of the EGO is the belief that we are separate. This is the culmination of it all. You have something someone else does not have, do something that someone else does not do, accomplish something someone has not accomplished, and we falsely believe that makes us separate. The truth is you are not separate from anyone, anything, or even God. “That which causes the rose to bloom is also in you.” If you believe that life is infinite, then this is not real life because all that I have mentioned are temporary. Regardless of faith, most of us believe that we are a unique creation from a source and returning to that source which makes us all one.  

TS Eliot said it this way “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” The exploration is life itself. Life is a journey. We take the journey and explore the EGO with all its trappings of a false self until one day we find the path to enlightenment, which is suffering, and we learn that to lose is to win. We learn that we had to lose ourselves to find ourselves and what we discover was worth the pain because we are finally introduced to ourselves and going forward all that we do and accomplish will be connected to our dharma otherwise known as purpose.

Bio and Media Links

Travis Barnes is a life coach, business coach, best-selling author, international presenter, founder and franchisor of Journey Fitness 333, and host of the Overcomer’s podcast. He has also been a member of the Power of 10 Todd Durkin Mastermind group for the last 8 years and attributes much of his success to his mentor Todd Durkin.

If you would like to connect with Travis Barnes to learn how he can help you overcome adversity and live your dreams text “Connect” to 570.886. 0852 or reach out to him on social media…

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