Twice this weekend, two different trampoline coaches had the same feedback on my front summersaults:
In other realms, people comment on my consistency in my daily rituals: my fitness streak, daily meditation, blogging, journaling.
You might think that these are compliments. Sometimes they’re meant as such. But not always.
Look for quotes on consistency and you’ll find nearly universal praise for this trait — it’s generally seen as a virtue.
Consistency creates habit. And habit is what we want, right?
Well, not always.
Habit is unconscious. Habit is embedded. Habit is difficult to change.
In the places where I get stuck, consistency is often the culprit.
I’ve seen this trend in my clients and others as well.
If you’re stuck in a plateau, if you’re not growing or improving, if you’re in a regression, or if you’re not seeing results from your efforts, check your habits.
You may be consistent, but probably not in the ways you need to be to get the results you want.
You may be consistently doing the wrong things, or putting in the wrong amount of effort, or showing up at the wrong time or in the wrong place.
Even if you consistently implement the right things to get the result you want, that consistency will stop working after a while.
If you do bicep curls consistently, even in proper form, you’ll get stronger. Until that weight is no longer effective. Then you’ll plateau. And if you’re only doing bicep curls, you’ll create imbalances in your body that leave you weaker overall.
This concept applies outside of the gym too. If you’re consistently doing the same thing, you will reach a point at which it is no longer effective (if it ever was), and may even be detrimental.
There’s a high point in the curve, after which you start to get a plateau and then diminishing returns.
In trampoline practice, I consistently initiate rotation in my summersaults too early. I cut off the bounce, limiting my height. That will limit my ability to do bigger skills or link my summersault to other skills.
My consistency here is a detriment, not an attribute. To break the habit I must do something radically different to interrupt the pattern. I need to shock the system with a completely new approach.
This is how it works in every realm. It’s the paradox of consistency: to consistently improve you also must switch things up. You need variety.
The secret to getting unstuck, and to getting results in anything, is to embrace inconsistency.