This morning, as I lay in Savasana after hot yoga, a cool compress is placed on my forehead by the instructor. I take a deep breath and relax, and think to myself: “I’m so glad I got out of bed to come to this class today.”
Whizzing down the line, I reach for the brake, grab it, and my feet land safely on the platform. What a rush and I think to myself: “That wasn’t bad at all, it was exhilarating! I’m so glad my family talked me into going zip lining.”
I’m listening to Tony Horton as he guides me through the cool down and stretch after a tough workout. Sweat is dripping, I’m completely spent but, my head is clear, my lungs feel cleansed, and my heart is energized. I think to myself: “Why do I make so many excuses for not “pushing play” when I know I’ll feel this good once the workout is done?”
I believe that if we all stopped to think just a bit more about “the after moment” while we debate, make excuses, and hem and haw over doing something that we’d all be so much better off. Do you ever stop to think about how you would feel AFTER taking a calculated risk? Do you pause to remind yourself of the benefits of saying “yes” to something when you toyed with saying “no?”
Why are we so scared of trying new things? Why, as we get older, does our “joie de vivre” and “carpe diem” approach to life start to fail?
As I think about the answers to these questions I am reminded of my own upbringing. I was raised in a very practical household. We were taught to work hard in school, go to college, and get a job at a company that would provide benefits and a retirement plan. I can recall conversations about “taking the safe route” and “don’t take a chance you might regret.” I think a lot of people of my generation had a similar upbringing. Even now, I find the same advice flowing from my mouth when I speak to my adult children.
Typically it’s in our 30s that we start to raise a family and we’re now responsible for much more than ourselves. Every action has a greater consequence. By the time we reach our 40s we’re working our tails off to provide for that family. Sacrifices multiply. Then, in our 50s we think back on our lives with regret. Why didn’t we try more? Do more? Say “yes” to more?
This being the season of Lent and Spring renewal, it’s a wonderful time for all of us to take inventory of our lives and think about what’s holding us back.
- Make time to pursue your interests. The most successful people I know understand that chasing success shouldn’t mean they have to forget pursuinng their favorite hobbies and interests. Take the opportunity to be creative, whatever it is you like to do most in your spare time and make some time to do it.
- Stop being so tough on yourself. Confidence has a lot to do with that internal voice in your head vocalizing all of the crummy thoughts. Author and speaker Brian Tracy says; “the mark of self-confidence is self-efficacy, or believing in your ability to perform well in your chosen activity.” Those with self-confidence know that no matter the challenge they’ll pull it off and succeed. You will try more and do more if you have more confidence in your ability and remove the constant self-doubt.
- Take fear out of the equation by having no expectations. It’s amazing to me how many women I coach sabotage their own success. They go a week or month of eating clean and exercising regularly and then quit because they fear they won’t be able to sustain it. Eating poorly and laying around is easy and comfortable, we get really good at that so why not just stay in that lane? Any goal we achieve in life is not easy. There are always ups and downs along the way and trial and error. We understand this to be true when it comes to our careers, raising children, and falling in love. For goodness sake, why don’t we accept there will be setbacks when improving our health…and more important: that those setbacks are OKAY? It doesn’t mean you don’t try and it surely doesn’t mean you quit when the going gets rough. You pause, evaluate, learn and make changes to keep moving forward, especially when…
…the alarm goes off for second time, you want to hit the “doze” button and skip yoga. Instead you think about that cool compress on your head and the feeling accomplishment you’ll have.
….you’re shaking in your sneakers as you get clipped into your harness before going zip lining and you’re about to turn back. Instead you visualize the person before you screaming for joy and think about what you’ll miss out on if you don’t step off that platform.
….you start to make every excuse in the book for not exercising (I’m tired, long day, no time, I’m sore, the garage is cold). Instead you think about how great you felt after the last workout and you decide to show up and just do your best.