It’s taken me over a year of working in a gym & being asked by members to train them after they saw the intensity & results of my workouts, just to work up the courage to become a certified personal trainer.
I promised myself I’d make this happen by the end of 2013. On December 30th 2013, I passed the test with flying colors and it was official.
My next obstacle was finding the courage to follow-through on the leads I’d gotten for clients.
Since I promised myself that I would do whatever it takes in 2014 to stay positive, find the courage to act despite my fears & create the life I want, I realized this was going to be my chance to put my money where my mouth is and make it happen.
So I picked up the phone, sent out those emails & texts and gave it everything I got to follow through on those leads. Feel the fear, do it anyway!
You know what happened? I got a client who signed up for 6 months of training 3 days a week with me! I also passed a pre-screening interview with a master trainer who’s been in the business 35 years & has trained Olympic athletes. We’re meeting face-to-face on Wed. to discuss how we can work together on training a wide variety of clients!
The point is this – no matter how much you study or how scared you feel, at some point all your effort only counts when you make a move and keep making them.
Sometimes that move is a real leap of faith. For example, I have no idea where all these opportunities will lead. I am nervous. But without a doubt, I’m sure to learn something of value.
Sometimes, we have to remind ourselves that we don’t have to be perfect to be acceptable. Do you know what I mean by this?
Too often low self-esteem or sense of perfectionism, or fear of capability is lurking behind our unwillingness to take a leap; a risk on ourselves.
Here’s a secret..
You’ll never be perfect. You will be afraid sometimes. You will feel insecure. You will fail. You will succeed. You will always have something to learn. You are more capable than you realize.
You’re allowed to feel all that and go for your dreams anyway. If you wait until you’re 100% sure, you’ll never get off the ground.
So go ahead…take a risk..screw it up…get back up..because you learned something…be proud of yourself…some people never even try…let them laugh from the sidelines..let ’em try to tell you how the game is played while you’re the one getting bloodied up in the ring.
I was amazed with what happened when I took a risk on myself; when I moved my potential into action. I couldnt help but imagine where I’d already be if I took that risk 1 year ago when first felt it?
What are you holding yourself back from? What could your life look like if you made a move? What are you waiting for?
The other night I was having a conversation with my “guardian angel” on the phone and explaining to her how I am at my wits end with my life and in desperate need of a change towards the good. I feel so tired of coming up empty handed.
I explained that I’m ready to sell my house, pay off my debt and get the hell out of dodge so I can heal whatever is going on and move forward. I feel like I’m treading water and failing miserably.
She said, honey let’s look at this – ok you’re not satisfied with your current work situation. You don’t like the debt hanging over your head. You’ve been through 2 divorces which have completely shaken your confidence to the core. At the same time, I’ve watched you take on challenge after challenge on your own and untangle yourself from a lot of things over these past couple of years. And you keep coming out ahead. Heck, you’ve not even passed your Certified Personal Trainer test yet and you’ve already got someone signed up to work 6 months with you starting in 2014.
So, let’s put this all together. You want to get out of debt. You want the freedom that comes with owning your own business, you want to get your confidence back, and you want to transform lives.
If you can help this girl lose 40 lbs in 6 months for her wedding, you will not only transform her life, you’ll transform your own.
You’ll build the confidence you need and you’ll make money to get out of debt doing work you love.
Isn’t that an alternative to having a fire sale?
If I still decide that I want to sell my house to have the capital to take on a new venture to transform lives wouldn’t it feel better then?
I’m sure it would.
I can’t underscore enough the importance of having at least one person in your life that you can trust. Someone who you can be really honest with and can offer you different perspectives to your own problems. I’m not saying you have to take their advice, but it is good to consider solutions from different perspectives before making your own decision.
There are times in this life when I feel like every effort adds up to nothing. It gets so hard sometimes to think of a way out because your mind is already overburdened with everything you’re already doing to get through the day.
How do you decide what can be let go of when it seems like each pieces has been perfectly placed to keep all the other pieces from falling?
It feels like a life constructed of scrap materials you’ve collected along the way.
You keep accepting less and less of what you want, until one day you no longer know what you want, but you’re sure you don’t want the life you’ve made.
You’ve compromised so much for so long you’re not sure how to reach for more or what that “more” even is.
If someone asked you what you want, you’d probably start describing everything you don’t want because you’re not sure how to answer that question in the affirmative.
All you know is that you’re heading towards a point where you’re ready to chuck it all, one way or another!
It turns out that there are many ways to kill yourself. I’ll give a few examples,
You can compromise yourself out of existence.
You can actually kill your physical self
You can “kill” what you’ve become up until this point and start over brick by brick.
Personally, I’ve done #1, attempted #2, and I’m mighty curious about #3 right now.
So, in ever growing desperation for solace and solutions, I ordered Jack Canfield’s, “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You are to Where You Want to Be.”
I literally couldn’t find a bad review for this method and trust me, I searched out to 50 pages on google. Now that either means itworks if you work it or they have a really good IT team scouring and purging the web of bad reviews.
Now, I also have Louise Hay’s, “You Can Heal Your Life”, which feels more like a therapeutic compliment to Jack’s book.
I’d like to experiment with putting the two together to create a therapeutic plan of my own designed to:
“Heal My Life as I Get to Where I Want to Be” (see what I did there? Pretty creative, eh?)
I feel a lot of pressure building up inside of me and the need for a radical change to jump start my life again.
To piggyback on Bernard Malamud’s words of wisdom, I feel like I’ve got some serious walls to break through to get where I need to go.
Down the not too distant road I envision myself also doing a few other daring things farmore daunting than buying books from amazon.com.
I’ve come to realize that there are a few things that are a big deal to me.
Pay Off Debt Completely: Sell my house and most of my things.
Heal My Life: Use the money left over to go live somewhere dirt cheap, whether that’s in the USA or overseas doesn’t matter to me. I need a place to work on my “therapeutic plan”.
Help Others: Reach a point where I’m on the other side of it all and turn it into a How-to-Guide for others experiencing the same thing.
In a nutshell, that is what I want. Pretty much nothing else feels as import as achieving these 3 goals right now.
I don’t know how long it will take, but I do know it hurts too much to keep doing what I’m doing for too much longer. I also know that I’m at the point where I’ve finally found something to fight for and I’m willing to die trying. And that is a feeling I haven’t had for anything in quite a long time.
In one of the beginning chapters of Jack Canfield’s book he asks us to write our purpose. Here is mine. This is what I live for. This is why I want to do everything I do. This is why I need to do what I need to do to get where I want to go.
“My purpose is to use my creativity and insight to support and inspire you to fulfill your life purpose, to reach your greatest potential and finally be at peace within yourself and with others. ”
So, to I will leave you with this recently home-cooked meal as food for thought,
“This is my life. It belongs to no one else. I only have this one to live. I can live it in any way I choose. If I choose life, then I must make it the best one I can. I have a responsibility to respect my own existence and do whatever it takes to bring out the best of myself and offer up my talents as gifts to this world. ”
There comes a point in nearly everyone’s life where they face a challenge that changes their approach to interacting in the world. It could be they were affected deeply by a death, a divorce, an accident, a marriage, a baby, loss of friendship, a relocation or any number of other events. Regardless of the situation, each person would share in a singular common feeling. It is the realization that a part of their personality has been locked away inside as the rest of them tries to compensate for the loss. In essence, long after the initial loss or challenge has passed, an additional “loss of self” persists.
I came across that wonderful quote by Marianne Williamson,
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I had never quite understood the part where she says, “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” I always thought, NO! I would love to feel like that instead of all wrapped up in insecurity and fear. Are you kidding?
To better illustrate my point, let me start by giving you some examples of the challenges/losses that I faced and how it changed the way I interacted with the world.
I had a lot of tangible losses in rapid succession – It all began with my husband deciding to file for divorce (while I was out of the country). Then, I learned he wrecked my car and decided to buy himself a new one instead of fixing it. Upon landing back in the States, I returned to a house that was half-emptied. I had no job and received no alimony. On top of that I was living with the constant fear of becoming homeless as I still hadn’t managed to secure an adequate job to allow me to refinance the house into my name. I’d already passed the 1 year deadline and found myself having to bargain for more time to keep a roof over my head with a man that I no longer recognized as someone I was once married to.
All of this occurred within less than 2 years. Non-stop.
Of course, there are the other losses that are not tangible. The loss of trust in others, particularly men. The loss of hope. Loss of confidence in myself. My whole mindset was fixed on survival and hyper-vigilant for any threats that may be lurking.
It’s not so hard to understand why, really. That’s a hell of a lot to go through and a very short period of time to cope with it.
Up until this point in my life, I’d always been someone who lived their life according to a few simple principles:
Be honest with yourself
Have no regrets
Love your life
I’d start a business if that’s what I wanted, save up for adventurous travel and go, push for betterment at work, stand up for myself if someone was ignorant, and so on. I felt confident, had no regrets, and loved the life I was living.
After, all of this became locked away. I became scared to shine, to speak up, and I sure didn’t love my life and now I have plenty of regrets.
Now coming back to that part in Marianne Williamson’s quote….“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
I think I get what that means now. Yes we are afraid of failing. We are afraid we are inadequate. Everybody feels this way. I sure do. But I think her point is that our GREATEST fear is revealed to us in the moments we get to shine.
Think about it. When someone tells you you’re beautiful, that you’re filled with potential, brilliant, a genius, creative…do you believe them? Or is there a part of you that says, “No! I’m not.” “It’s no big deal.” “Anybody could do that.” Or how about when someone tells you they love you? Do you push them away thinking that they couldn’t possibly know you well enough to love you. Aren’t you really saying that you don’t consider yourself loveable? So your greatest fear is believing in your own “wow factor”. That it could actually be true.
See what I’m saying?
When you’re face to face with your moment to shine, when you receive a compliment how do you handle it? Do you reject it? It’s as if we don’t believe we have the right to even BE these wonderful things. So we hold back. We shrink. We don’t speak up. We don’t believe it exists in ourselves.
We are afraid to shine and be successful because we’d have to take responsibility for the fact that we did that. We are that. You’d have to come to terms with the idea that it has gone beyond people just telling you that you are beautiful, filled with potential, a genius, brilliant, creative, etc. You’d actually have to take that in instead of blocking it.
You’d have to stop buying into the bullshit that you tell yourself and rise to the occasion to demonstrate your inherent awesomeness. And that scares most of us more than anything.
When you are empowered, the sky is really the limit.
Remember you do have the right to shine and to do so brightly. You are born with a purpose. You deserve to be here. You are meant to fulfill your dreams and share your light with the world.
Let’s make a pact to stop being afraid to believe in ourselves and just do what we have to do to find the courage to be who we really are.
“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”
Or as they say at Motel Six, we’ll leave the light on for ya’…. 🙂
Life can get so busy, and often when we don’t like where our life is, we fill it with things to do so that we don’t have to think about our unhappiness.
I thought about how much my life has changed since my divorce, how dissatisfied I feel with chronically finding myself in ill-fitting jobs, andthe fact that I wake up everyday feeling like I’m an actress in someone else’s life.
I’ve poured myself into improving my house because it’s the one area where I feel like I am rewarded for my efforts.
But when I read that line, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I’m almost done transforming my house. What will I do with my unhappiness then? Will I continue to find distractions or is the time coming where I’ll have to face it head on and make some serious decisions?
As the questions formed in my mind, I felt the cold knife of fear tear through my chest. These past few years all I’ve done is react to trauma in survival mode. I’ve been picking up the pieces, “patch-working” my life together with the scraps I found lying around and losing my faith in hope.
I feel like the romantic I once was is buried under the harsh realities I’ve faced. I’ve experienced major trauma before, but somehow this time it has left me afraid, a little less bold in risk-taking, heavy.
Maybe my unhappiness stems from feeling like I’m trying to make due with what’s in front of me instead of creating something that’s uniquely mine. I believe that’s why fixing up my house appeals to me so much. I start with a vision of what I’d like it to be and take the steps to bring it into reality.
With my house, my vision is clear. With my life direction, it is not. And I’m running out of house which means I’m also heading right into the fog that is my life.
It seems like I’m going to be left with only 2 choices: 1) face the unhappiness or 2) find another big distraction. No matter what I choose, I have a feeling I’m about to arrive at a defining moment in my life.
Have you ever come to a crossroads like this in your life? Tell me, what did you do?
Psst..I have a secret to tell you…I’ve been married once before. Gasp!! Oh the horror 😉 Catch your breath and stay with me…
It strikes me how after a divorce, your exes can have a way of staying in your life and making you feel like you still have a cord connecting your neck to them. They’re physically gone, but you’re left with physical and financial reminders of when the two became one.
When my first marriage dissolved, I was “given” the choice to pay him alimony or be sued in court. I offered a compromise – to pay his student loans because it would cost me less. I’ve been paying his AND mine off through my second marriage and divorce and I’m still paying them off. BOY oh BOY do I resent that monthly payment!!
My second husband left me 6 months after we bought a house together. I had put a lot into it and the market was so bad here that I’d have lost money if I sold it. My business was phasing out at this time, so I basically had no job, no alimony and would have had no place to live. Sweet deal! Thank you, honey!!
So, I worked my a** off to find enough income to pay the bills while I searched for a way to get it refinanced into my own name and lower the payments.
I wanted to have some kind of stability in my life. I felt like I was losing so much, I didn’t want my house to be one more loss. I pulled it off and when I should have been celebrating, I thought, Damn it! No matter what I do this place doesn’t feel like my own. His memory, our shared dreams seem to live in the walls!@!
Cutting the Cords
So, I have a student loan that ties me to one ex-husband and a house that ties me to another. It kind of makes me hesitate to want to get into another serious relationship!
I want to feel like I can really start over free from the cords that bind me to them, to my past life. Right now I still feel like I’m working to pay off debts held in their names while they have had the luxury to escape any responsibility.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is selling my house since the market has improved. I could proverbially “kill” two husbands with one sale ;p Student loan paid off. House gone. Some money in the bank to start over.
Sometimes, I imagine traveling overseas again. Using that certificate to teach English as a Second Language to make an income as I travel along. It sounds so cool to think I could just keep exploring and have some kind of income along the way.
At the same time, I struggle with this feeling that I’m acting like I’m a 20-something gap-year kid vs. the 30-something that I am. I wrestle with this image of a grown-up and I sometimes think that even having these thoughts is an indication that I am not one even though my age says otherwise.
I don’t know if you can relate to this, but often I feel like I’m playing at being grown-up; like a little kid dressing up in work clothes, gym clothes, dating clothes, oh-crap-the-washing-machine-is-leaking clothes, etc., etc. What fun it is to grow up and settle down into a fun-filled life of demands and responsibilities!! Why did we want to play dress-up so badly, again??
It’s Déjà vu All Over Again
It is darn tough to start over and I’m doing it for a second time around, now in my late 30s.
A major life event like a divorce brings everything you thought you knew into question. Where once you were so intertwined and perhaps even defined in part by your spouse, you suddenly feel like you’re on a raft in the middle of an ocean without an oar. Here you are floating aimlessly, scared sh**-less and realizing you’ve got to take some kind of action pretty quickly to survive. And your brain just wants to go over the why’s and how’s of it all. There’s not a part of you that doesn’t undergo an overhaul.
You’re never the same again, but WHO are you now? What do you want? What’s important to you? What’s not that big of a deal anymore? You finally settle things enough to have some order and BAM!! Old dreams come rushing back, new hopes, crazy amounts of fear coupled with an earth-shattering loss of confidence in yourself and major trust issues with others.
So, is it so crazy after all to want to scrap it all and take off?
As I’ve said in other posts, traveling alone teaches you to trust yourself. It is moment to moment. You decide what to do next. How to react. It’s the best kind of therapy I’ve ever known.
You could spend years in a therapist’s office working through trust issues or take an overnight bus through Colombia*, like I did, and get stopped by a road block littered with guys carrying guns and wonder whether they’re army or guerrillas asking you to get out. Trust me. You’ll know how to feel really fast in that moment. And you will trust your instincts.
I’m still working on what to do and what risks I’m comfortable with. How about you? What did you do after going through a major life event? What kind of risks were you willing to take? How did it turn out? Share, share, share 🙂
*(As an aside, please understand this is not intended to be a summary of the beautiful country of Colombia. Definitely visit if you have the chance. It has so many wonderful people, tons of beauty, deep-rooted culture and tantalizing cuisine to offer. Just maybe pay attention to warnings about taking overnight buses and other security measures as you would in any country you’re living in or visiting because there are real risks.)