“Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress, which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.”
This is what I tell myself each and every day. I absolutely love learning new things and taking on new challenges. When I became a Beachbody Coach, I had no idea how it would change my life for the better. I hope the things I’m learning and will continue to learn along my health and fitness journey will empower me to be of better service to myself, my family, and the world.
On most days, it’s all good. I somehow make time to work on personal development, workout, all while juggling a full-time job running a store by myself, a family, and my commitment to do my best to live in alignment with my values of community, kindness, mindfulness, and service. Some days are harder than others, and I may not have much. but overall I am blessed for all that I have!
So far, so good, right? No, wrong.
There are days when my inner critic gets incredibly loud and believe me she does get loud and does her best to add fear, confusion, doubt, and guilt in my head each and every day. She questions everything I’m doing and does her best to disrupt my balance.
Want to hear what she sounds like?
“You are so behind and are so slow in learning all this. You aren’t good at anything. You should have focused and done just one thing in your career instead of exploring so many avenues. You’ve wasted the last twenty years of your professional life.”
Ouch. Isn’t she rude?
Over the years, I’ve recognized that I am not alone. This voice exists inside in all if not most of us, and it gets incredibly loud every time we want to take on a new challenge, learn a new skill, follow our callings, or question the status quo. Given that the media is abound with messages asking us to get better in our personal and professional lives, it can often feel overwhelming and lonely. And we can get into this trap of feeling we are not good enough, we don’t have enough, and that we are constantly falling behind. We lose site of who we are.
How do we manage that crazy voice in our head that keeps bringing us down, and how do we grow from a place of peace, contentment, kindness, and service as we try to reach our true potential?
Here are a few ideas that have started working for me.
Acknowledge the challenge. Learning something new (for me it was fitness), taking on uncharted roads, changing careers, and saying yes to new projects can be hard and scary. Having realistic expectations can set you up to succeed. Know that there will be days when you will want to quit, you will question your decision, and uncertainty will cloud your mind.
For me, this means acknowledging that learning to get up early at 5am, spend 30 devoted minutes on personal development than another 30 minutes on working out can be challenging. That’s a whole hour I could be warm and cozy in bed. But this creates space and freedom for me to make mistakes, to know that it will take longer for a newbie to complete something that an experienced veteran.
Continue on anyway! Choose to love yourself. Choose love over anger for yourself. Just because you’re trying to learn something new, that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. Remind yourself that you’re trying to explore life with a new lens and that you are worthy of your own love and kindness. You are working on yourself. You have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of the needs of others. That’s where personal development falls into place. Do not lose perspective on who you are as a person and how far you’ve come just because you are starting as a beginner in another aspect of your life. Whatever it may be. The fact that you have the vision, have set the intention, and are dedicating valuable resources in your life at getting better at something is something you can be proud of!
Dismiss the imperfections. Remember, no one was created into this perfect human being. As much as we try to say that we are, we’re not and that’s okay. When that voice in your head tells you that you don’t know anything or that you’re not good at anything, say “no, thank you.” This is simply not true. You are trying to get better at something and that doesn’t mean you’re bad at it.
Tell yourself, “You are not great at “x” yet, but you are okay and you will get better.“ Just because I’m not a bulky health and fitness guru or have the slimmest body doesn’t mean I am a bad or less worthy professional coach or a less worthy human being. I am a well-rounded human being, and an active participant in life who is trying to take on some new challenges. And that’s why I love being a Beachbody coach. It’s not about looking bulky or slim. It’s about you and your journey and who it may inspire to help. Create some space and dedicated time without
forgetting neglecting the rest of your life. Believe me, this is very easy to do. When trying to get big and better at your thing, it can be very easy to want to dedicate every waking minute to your goal. Instead, intentionally create some space, time and breathing room to nurture and nourish yourself. It will enable you to be more creative and efficient and will allow for better results.
For me, this means creating space with no distractions to read a personal development book, practice yoga (I’m still trying to get the hang of it. I tend to cater more to Pilates), write in my journal, walk to the park, and embrace silence. It means knowing when my body is in pain so I can attend to it. It means creating time on my calendar to just be and not do even though my inner critic may be yelling, “You are not being productive.”
Build and nurture relationships with others. Share with others. You never know who you might inspire or help.
You are not the only one doing this and there are many others in the same boat as you are. Find people who share similar goals and struggles and can be your cheerleaders when the going gets tough. For me, it’s my Beachbody community and others I’ve met through becoming a Beachbody coach.
Also, remember to draw boundaries with people who may not understand your dreams and think you are crazy for doing what you’re doing. We don’t need them in our lives. They defeat our purpose. They will tear us down without knowing it.
Stay connected to your purpose, your goals, what YOU want to accomplish. In those moments of despair, bring yourself back to your “WHY” you’re working on this goal. Remind yourself why this matters to your purpose in life. This exercise can be incredibly eye-opening. For me, it’s my family.
If you can’t connect your goals to the WHY of your life, perhaps this is an opportunity to refine your why or, even better, your goals!
I’m learning new skills to pivot my career, to provide security for my family and myself, and to create space and freedom to develop a portfolio career where I can work with others and also write/teach and coach.
This is my vision, and reminding myself of this helps during the tough times. I am not learning to please the ego or follow the crowds and listen to the “should” around me.
Enjoy the journey your on. No goal is every reached within a day. While your goal may be to launch a new website, lose 20-30 pounds, or find a new job in a different industry, don’t underestimate the power of your journey and what you can learn from it. Congratulate yourself for working toward being a better you!
This to me, means sharing my successes with people who matter and giving myself the gift of time with my family and loved ones. It means pausing and acknowledging all the new goals I can accomplish with my new skills. It means finding the joy in whatever I choose to do.
In the end, what matters is declaring your dreams, taking the steps needed to make progress, and choosing love, kindness, and compassion for yourself as you grow. Your inner critic may always try to pull you down, but love will bring you back up and connect to what matters!
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