What if the peer pressure was used in a good natured and positive way to get your group of friends to do fun challenges…Here’s an article from NerdFitness that resonated with us….
“Just beat Level 8!”
A few months back, a group of my friends and I engaged in a digital arms race. You see, I made the horribly amazing mistake of downloading the brutally difficult and perfectly balanced mobile game, “Geometry Dash.”
Your goal is to get your automatically moving square to hop over increasingly challenging triangles and boxes by touching the screen. I know, squares hopping over triangles sounds like thrilling game mechanics.
No joke, I’m warning you to NOT download this game:
You’ll swear words you’ve never said before, you’ll pull your hair out, and then you’ll say “one more try.” And you will do this thousands of times When you finally beat a level, the sheer joy you’ll experience is unparalleled, only to repeat the process on the next level.
Although the game took over my life for a few weeks, it taught me a valuable lesson about the positive benefits of peer pressure. Today, you’re going to learn how to enter your own arms race with your friends and use peer pressure to positively level up your life.
With us opening the doors for a few days to our monthly team-based, story-driven, habit creating fitness adventure Rising Heroes today, I want to talk about the power of teamwork and peer pressure!
Geometry Dash Teaches me a Life Lesson
So, about that aforementioned Geometry Dash…
Within 5 minutes of playing for the first time, I was hooked. I quickly fired off a text to my text chain with my close friends from high school and college (Joe, Cash, Saint, Eric, and Helder), told them to drop what they were doing, and download this game.
Reluctantly they did, and then I ruined all of their lives:
“This game is stupid….but I can’t stop playing.”
“I’m almost done with level 1, but that damn last jump!”
“Just made it to level 2, BOOM. Ugh that was tough.”
“Wait I’m still stuck on Level 1, give me an hour.”
“Just cleared level 3! If you’re stuck on level 2 you’re a loser!”
Day after day, for weeks, the above scenario would play itself out. Some nights I’d go to bed relieved that I finally beat a level and I could move on with my life, only to wake up to a text from Cash who had beat the next level. You could hear my groan from outer space as my competitive brain said: “Steve! You can’t get left behind! If he beat that level, so can you. Go go go!”
I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled the game at least two dozen times, each time believing I’m free of its grasp…only to get sucked back in with a single text or screenshot from Cash or Joe or Saint who advanced farther than I did.
And thus I would re-download the game, spend hours trying to beat a stupid level, get past everybody else, and then share with the group that I’ve succeeded and thus no longer deserving of torment or good natured ridicule.
I was in the gym the other day, in between deadlift sets, trying to beat the 11th level in Geometry Dash, an idea popped in my head: Why don’t I take the Geometry Dash mechanic and apply positive peer pressure to my life in a HEALTHY way?
Positive Peer Pressure Proves Powerful
“You are the average of the five people you associate most with.” -somebody way smarter and more successful and probably with better hair than me.
We all have people in our lives that we want to see succeed (at least I hope!), and they want us to succeed too: be it with weight loss goals or building gym habits or advancing in our careers.
If you don’t have that at home IRL, maybe you have made friends with members of the Nerd Fitness community through the free message board community or one of our courses.
I’ve come to learn something pretty powerful about the differences between people who struggle for years and years to get in shape, and those that find a way to crack the code and find permanent success!
With few exceptions for either group:
Those who struggle are often alone in their journey. They have nobody cheering them on, nobody keeping them accountable, nobody to support them. They do something AMAZING (getting their first pull-up, doing a handstand for the first time, or running a mile non-stop), and they don’t have anybody to share this with! This is a lonely road that is littered with optimistic people who started off strong but ran out of steam when the going got tough. It happens to the best of us
Those who succeed are part of a group. And not just any group – but a ground that inadvertently challenges them to be better. It’s the videogame equivalent of grouping up with people a few levels above you: they make the game more enjoyable and you get better! The people who succeed have squadmates that keep them accountable: regular check-ins, support, and somebody to call them on their bullshit when they make up an excuse why they missed their workouts!
Now, I would imagine that many in the first category actually have plenty of important folks in their lives, who care about them and want to hang out – but because this group isn’t interested in getting in shape, the ‘peer pressure’ is of the “hey let’s go out drinking! Skip your workout!” or “skip your run tomorrow am, we’re firing up another game of Overwatch!” variety.
Peer pressure can be negative, especially when you’re not getting support as you try to better yourself! My friends and I used peer pressure in a harmless way to encourage each other to beat levels in a video game – though it ended up taking up hours of our lives.
However, what if we turned the tables? What if the peer pressure was used in a good natured and positive way to get your group of friends to do fun challenges…