When we were young, we knew nothing of fear, insecurity and self doubt. We did not second guess ourselves, we did not allow others to manipulate or distract us. Somewhere along the way though, that changed. We became susceptible to influence. It was easier to fall in line, to know our place, to follow the crowd. Standing out made you “different.” Going against the grain made you a “problem.” You become less “you” and more “everyone else.”
Do you miss those fearless, confident, superhero days of our childhood as much as I do? I call it not the ignorance of youth, but the freedom of youth. I have decided it is time for me to reclaim that freedom. You can too.
So where do we begin? Naturally, we must begin within. It is all about accountability, about understanding how we got distracted and how we can refocus and reprioritize what is best for us. My story goes like this: In my twenties, fitness was my life. The gym was my happy place. It was about challenging myself and helping family members and friends do the same. My dream was to own and operate a fitness and nutrition facility, somewhere people could go to live their best lives. But I didn’t pursue fitness in college because I gave in to fear and influence about what a responsible person should study. It was easier for me to live the life other people wanted me to live, instead of living the life I imagined. Business school led to law school. Law school led to billable hours. When I mustered the courage to study for my personal trainer certification at 27, I got scared and never sat for the exam. I was afraid of my dream – what if I wasn’t good enough? What if no one wanted to train with me? What if, what if, what if. So I gave up. I walked away from who I wanted to be, and became like everyone else.
For twenty years, I was overworked, uninspired, complacent, tired. But the thing about your dreams, the thing about your passions, is they are patient. They are always there inside you, waiting. At 47, I finally earned my personal trainer certification and launched by fitness brand. Was I scared? Heck yeah. But that’s how I knew I needed to do it.
You know what I mean. Right now, there is something you’ve always wanted to do and you are thinking about it as you read this. What is stopping you from doing it? Again, we look within. We see the fear, the insecurity, the self doubt. But the time has come to punch it in the face and reject it.
Every person in your life wants the best for you. If there is anyone in your life who does not want that for you, it’s time for you to show them the door. When we realize that the people in our lives want us to be happy, to be successful, to live our best lives – in that moment we discover that the only one stopping us, is us! There is such freedom and liberation in that realization.
So how do we begin? Here are some steps you can take immediately to be your best self!
- Identify one thing you’ve wanted to do and establish a timeline within which to accomplish it.
- Share your goal with your family and friends. Surround yourself with positivity and encouragement. Be authentic. Speak openly and deeply with them about why it is important to you.
- Do not compare yourself to others – a.k.a. limit your social media surfing. Social media is a blessing and a curse. Do not get distracted by the lives other people are living at the expense of your own.
- Spend time alone. This is very important because you are the only one who can hold yourself accountable for the life you live. I promise you that solitude and reflection will energize you and infuse you with the confidence you think you lack.
- Remember that the “fall down and get back up” kid is still inside you and that kid is ready to take on the world. Everyone who loves you wants it for you – it’s time you wanted it for yourself!
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