Admire vs. inspire

Who do you admire?

Why do you admire them?

If you did what you admired, you would inspire others.

 

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Milton Berle

Leaning in

When it feels difficult and seems impossible, lean in…

Lean into what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling.

Lean into how you’re behaving and how others are reacting.

Lean into your tendencies, triggers and patterns.

Lean into a new strategy and new tactics.

Lean into the world within you.

Lean into those who love, support and care for you.

Lean into what’s possible and the thrill of the chase.

Lean into the present, leave the past and future to themselves.

Lean into love, let go of fear and embrace whom you ought to be.

We must intentionally lean in because our instinct is to flee.
“Creativity is straddling the tension, leaning into the discomfort and finding your way through the dark.” Brene Brown

The never ending dead end

Most dead-ends actually end.

The behavioral dead end does not.

You may keep behaving a particular way even though it doesn’t serve you.

Though it does serve you.

It’s comfortably dissatisfying, it’s protectively familiar and it’s certainly predictable.

Since you’ll never hit an “end,” you’ve got to look ahead and realize that behaving this way will NEVER get you want to be…EVER.

Your best option is to surrender and create space for trying things a new way.

A way that’s uncomfortably satisfying, constructively unfamiliar and uncertainly unpredictable.

This new behavioral road is resisted so you’ll know when you’re on it.

Your dreams are on the other side of the resistance.

 

“The history of liberty is a history of resistance.” Woodrow Wilson

But no longer

I put everyone else ahead of myself but no longer.

I used to procrastinate but no longer.

I needed reassurance but no longer.

I ran late everywhere but no longer.

I used to over commit and under deliver but no longer.

I associated pain with taking care of myself but no longer.

I was my own biggest critic but no longer.

I was a perfectionist and had extreme tendencies but no longer.

I allowed fear to keep me small and quiet but no longer.

I lacked belief and lied to myself about my potential but no longer.

Who you were and who you are capable of becoming are not related.

But no longer means you can level up at anytime you decide to choose yourself.

 

“Change is inevitable, growth is optional.” Steve Maxwell

What success looks like

So I’d like to share an unorthodox approach to achieving your health, fitness and wellness goals. I don’t often share client stories because I’ve come to expect the results I regularly achieve with my clients and being so close to it, I don’t always realize how powerful it is to take a non-linear approach towards realizing your desires. However, I just had a client experience worth a mention and by the way, I’ve been serving this industry for 17 years, originally as a personal trainer and now as a Lifestyle Catalyst.

A client originally came to me for weight loss but soon after, I discovered the big driver behind their protective behaviors of emotional eating, workaholism and people pleasing (to name a few) was the personal belief they were not worthy of the efforts it would take to get where they wanted to be. There are no amount of push-ups, burpees or high intensity workouts that could change this belief. In other words, emotional issues cannot be resolved in the physical realm: emotion before motion!

One manifestation of my clients’ core beliefs was they found themselves working at a job they hated that was not only unfulfilling but draining too. It was clear that the amount of demand this placed on them, they would be hard pressed to find the resources necessary to start taking better care of themselves. So strategy number one was not “how do I help this person lose weight,” it was “how can I help this individual reduce demands and increase resources to get them out of survival mode?” I’ve discovered that delaying tactics in an effort to develop a sound strategy is crucial to lasting success.

Long story short, I helped this person become fully aware of their situation and immediately accountable to their role in creating it…never an easy conversation. Once full responsibility was assumed, it was time to take meaningful action. We performed some work visualization/belief-related work that gave them the courage they needed to take the plunge and start applying for a new job. Interview after interview, they were left frustrated and disappointed but I constantly reminded them that effort is a measure of success, not the outcome. Sure enough, they went on an interview and not only got a job offer but were offered a small percentage of the business. We celebrated immensely…not the outcome but the effort that got them there.

The new job ended up being almost worst than the one they came from and today, they are back working for the previous employer, however; the learning, growth and transformation that had transpired through these events was significant to say the least. Keep in mind; this is someone who previously avoided any form of confrontation and sticking up for themselves (context is everything)…

  • They decided to leave this dissatisfying job after two months as opposed to the one prior of 10+ years
  • They mentally planned, prepared and rehearsed their exit strategy, including the brave conversation to shamelessly say “this job is not for me”
  • They took full responsibility and humbly contacted the previous employer to ask for their job back and was welcomed back with more money and less hours
  • They are less fearful of standing up and speaking out in their own best interests
  • They learned that this wasn’t a mistake, it was an opportunity for learning and growth

The significance here is all in the subtleties of vulnerability, intentionality, courage, resilience and self-belief. This may not seem like a big win but this is the emotional labor required to making long-term change and while it hasn’t led to weight loss or even the job of their dreams yet, they feel like a leader of their life and so long as they are in that headspace, I just simply need to get out of the way. I’ve seen it happen time and again and this situation will not be any different…when happiness prevails, health will follow.

 

“Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” Brene Brown

Building compassion in

When you judge others for WHAT they do, criticism is your only choice.

When you take a millisecond to pause and ask yourself WHY they are doing it, you build compassion into the equation.

All behavior is functional and getting curious about the WHY requires empathy and letting go of the need for control.

The person who is damaged by criticism is the one who casts it, while both parties are healed by compassion.

We know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and we may be more likely not to once we realize it hurts us far more than them.

 

“Go and love someone exactly as they are and then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.” Wes Angelozzi

Vulnerability is courage

You cannot display courage without first being vulnerable.

We don’t mind the whole courage piece but we could do without the vulnerability thing.

That’s like wanting “heads” to be on both sides of the same coin.

Heads is only valuable because tails is on the other side.

Yes, courage comes at a risk called vulnerability.

Courage says: I want to create boundaries in my life, honor my commitments, express my values, have a point of view and find balance in my life.

Comfort says: I want everyone to like me, show up when it’s convenient, be instantly gratified, have unanimous buy-in and live at the extremes.

I get it, you don’t want to fail but then you’re not positioned for success either.

But what will failure say about me?

Failing says: I matter, I’m taking a risk, I’m trying something new, I’m worthy of learning, I’m interested in growing and I’m choosing courage over comfort.

Without vulnerability, courage has no meaning.

 

“Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.” Brene Brown

Turning despise into admiration

We are a nation that…

Admires courage but despises vulnerability.

Admires opportunities but despises challenges.

Admires creativity but despises risk.

Admires art but despises weirdness.

Admires improvement but despises change.

Admires value but despises cost.

Admires convenience but despises discomfort.

Admires freedom but despises sacrifice.

Admires purpose but despises contemplation.

What a disconnect?

What we despise, if given the chance, often becomes what we admire.

 

“If you admire the rainbow after the rain, why not love again after the pain?” Cyrille

The gateway to peace

Acceptance…

Of yourself.

Of others.

That you are not in control.

That the world does not revolve around you.

That there is an alternative perspective.

That perspective and truth are not the same.

You are always doing the best you can with what you’ve got.

Your past does not equal your potential.

That your challenges are opportunities to become whom you ought to be.

That fear wounds and love heals all.

The gateway to peace is acceptance.

 

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understand. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Negative self-talk isn’t a thing

We’ve all experienced negative thoughts. At times, we’re our biggest critic and others, our personal advocate. When we’re critical of ourselves, we feel horrible and when we’re compassionate towards ourselves, we feel hopeful. Why then, would we ever choose to engage negative self-talk?

In the 1960’s, Aaron Beck, pioneer of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) disproved negative self-talk, as it suggests we intentionally speak poorly about ourselves. I don’t know about you but I encounter negative thoughts daily but never intentionally. It ends up, our thoughts are not a conscious process; they are created by way of our experiences, external environment, internal stimuli, etc.

On the other hand, automatic thoughts are part of a subconscious process that stems from our personal belief systems. For instance, if you don’t believe you are worthy of success, your thoughts are going to support failure, which may seem negative but are consistent with the underlying belief. This understanding helps us appreciate that we’re truly never our own worst enemies and our thoughts are a byproduct of our core beliefs.

The only way to reprogram a negative core belief is to behave differently. You can think about behaving differently but until you pair your thoughts with a redefining action, what you believe about yourself remains.

“We cannot think ourselves into new ways of living. We can only live ourselves into new ways of thinking.” Richard Rohr