There’s a lot of baggage that comes along with the idea of having to start over. You’re dealing with a sense of failure. Perhaps you have a little less certainty than you did before because you had so much conviction the first or second or third time you started. You might feel more pressure to succeed and that causes you anxiety that clouds your judgment. You probably will compare yourself to someone who may have started on the same journey as you but they achieved their goal and that causes you to feel ashamed because you’re soooo far behind them. All very big mistakes because none of that gets you any closer to your own goals.
This applies to so many things that we are expected to keep up with our entire lives including:
- Syncronized swimming. Whatever.
I did this to myself so many times. It took me 5 years to graduate college when all my friends already started their careers and even then I had no idea what I was going to do so I changed my major. Again. It happened again I was divorced with two kids by 28 and my friends were just starting to have children and I started dating. Again. It constantly happened looked at myself in the mirror and cringed because I had committed to change my eating and exercising habits. Time and time again. I didn’t know if I had the strength or courage to start over again. I seem to have failed so miserably so many times that I had no confidence left in me. Or so I thought.
One night I was wallowing to a friend of mine who comforted me in my self-doubt by saying “You’re not starting over again though. You realize that right? You know more now than when you started. You already made the mistakes. You’re just moving forward.” That was some seriously awesome advice from a friend who is never one to sugar coat anything for me and who genuinely values my happiness. I took his advice and ran with it.
My latest fail was that I injured my knee and stopped running/racing. So, I decided to give a triathlon a try but had to retrain myself how to run without hurting myself again. Not to mention swimming and biking. Woah. Most frustrating and painfully slow 3 months of progress of my life. After 2 years of training to run 13.1 miles I had to start from zero miles. Again. Before I knew it, there I was in my first triathlon and I felt so incredibly prepared. I was in the final mile and all I could focus on was my knee so I was running pretty slow steady and I was about to pass this girl who was walking. As I ran by her I panted out some words of encouragement and she responded with “I wish I was like you.” I almost stopped but really if I did I wouldn’t be able to start up again so my response to her was “You’re here just like me and you’re going to finish just like me just at your own pace!” Then I thought about my friend and his advice and how right he was. She was exactly where I was 2 years before. Although I had to retrain myself I never went back to that mentality of wanting to be like other racers or doubting my ability to finish. My experience taught me to focus on my own race. Having already completed a half marathon I knew I was capable of following a training plan. This time it only took me 3 months to prepare vs. 2 years.
Moral of the story:
This journey we’re on is lifelong and we only get one so realize that it’s not possible to start over. We can only continue on our path and there’s a lot of power in knowing that failure is only a perception.
My analogy was about my racing but it can be applied to all the situations I mentioned above. So remember:
- Focus on your journey and encourage others on theirs. You will grow so much by helping others and never know who will be able to help you in return. I have found myself in races and many places feeling out of place because my body doesn’t fit in with everyone else and felt I was only being judged. The things we believe others are focusing on usually is only in our heads. When you encourage someone you unleash a vicious cycle of positivity and support.
- Nourish yourself so that you may be actively present and involved in all your amazing body is capable of doing. Health and wellness is a balance of spiritual, mental, and physical wealth and health. It is not possible to live unbalanced. Find the right balance for you. I was never taught that food was fuel for my body. I only believed food was made to make you fat or keep you skinny and neither one of those things are accurate. To keep up a level of long lasting energy you must see food as your natural source for what you need. I love and adore food now that I am no longer afraid of it. Exercise was only to be skinny when really it’s vital to our heart and bones. As a women I take that very seriously because I plan on being active for a very long time and the only way to do that is to keep my body strong.
- Get ready to work and know that struggling is not a weakness. Nothing that is worth accomplishing comes easily I am afraid and every single expert once started as a novice. Personally, journaling has helped me a lot in this area. It allows me to go back and time to see and read about my growth. In one entry I am talking about a race I just entered and then months later I write about the race I just completed. In the moments when I feel I have made zero progress I reflect on what I am capable of now that I wasn’t capable of before. It is just as much mental as it is physical.
- I am off to Los Angeles, California on MONDAY for my very first photoshoot! I can’t wait to share more details with you all but until then just send positive vibes and hope everything goes nice and smoothly. If not, I’ll still share the experience with you because I’m cool like that.
- Running our 5K on Sunday!! This is my first 5K of my #topless5K tour and am super excited. If you’re in the Houston area and want to show some radical self love then join me! All the details are here: Valentine’s Day Chasing Cupid 5K Info
HAVE AN AMAZING WEEK!!