“If you do not want to keep starting over, then stop giving up,” she said. My body moved, but my mind froze as she urged us to start jogging. I warmed up; thoughts still halted, I tried to capture this moment. I wanted to take a snapshot of this feeling. I wanted to be able to scroll back to this photo the next time I sought to rent space in the city of the quitting. There live my dreams and yours.
As Autumn Calabrese said those words at the beginning of my Beachbody workout, I felt all the weight of my failing. As stuck as I was at that moment, my mind raced. I thought about how much further along I would be in my fitness journey if I didn’t give up the last ten times? How well would this blog be doing if I didn’t stop writing? Where would Women In Process be if I had started it three years ago? All those “what ifs” played in my mind.
We are at the beginning of the year and with that comes resolutions. It is said that only 8% of people who make resolutions keep them. There are several reasons why we quit, but I’ll focus on two.
Remember that Marvin Gaye song where he proclaimed to Tammi Terrell, “Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough” In the song they were saying that their love can transcend the highs and the lows. I believe we quit or don’t even start on our dreams because of the Mountain High and the Valley Low.
1. Mountain High
The idea is too big. How am I going to get from Walk Manager with the Alzheimer’s Association to this world-renowned speaker and author? It just seems too far-fetched. But success is not one giant leap but rather a commitment to do this thing, whatever it may be, the best you can, every single day.
When we first start a project, we see the big picture. And that is great because at least we know what we want the end result to be. But if we allow that big picture to be anything but a guiding star then we are hurting ourselves. We can not let the fear of accomplishing the task consume us. Take it one step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be there.
The truth is, it might take years. We are an instant gratification generation. But success comes after what Will Smith says, “years of beating on your craft.” Are you prepared for that type of commitment? Because that is what it’ll take.
2. Valley Low
Failure sucks. We fear that we will fail or we’ve failed many times already. But the lows, the difficult times, is a necessary component for success. The lessons learned from those mistakes are critical in pushing us to new heights. Just think, Edison failed at the light bulb a thousand times!
Let’s start now and be consistent in our pursuit. Let’s not shy away from tough times, knowing that it’ll be the fuel to propel us forward. See you at the top!
A Woman in Process
“Looking at a glass that reflects back an image of myself, I talk to a friend
She tells me you can’t fit my Nikes, my pain is too big
Your toes couldn’t touch the soles, my pain is too deep”
Those are words I wrote 10 years ago; the start to my first spoken word poem. I can’t think back on what particular pain 16 year old me sat and discussed with herself that day. But I do remember my love for sneakers. Modell’s Sporting Goods was my high school job, I used my store discount for low top air force ones. Beyond teen emotions and Nikes, I am impressed with her willingness to look herself in the mirror, to sit vulnerable with her.
I did that recently. Here’s what I learned…
It can’t be on again and off again. I sat self-aware, realizing that these days, though smart, confident and capable. I am hella inconsistent.
Below are a few strategies that are helping.
Write + Plan + Act
I can’t stress enough the importance of putting pen to pad, or fingers to screen. Just writing it down can make a world of difference. They say that we have 60,000 thoughts a day. Somewhere among those thoughts are hopes, goals, and dreams. By writing them down we go from thoughts to action in that one step. That’s not to say that we won’t continue to think of them, in fact the Law of Attraction says that we must continue to think on them in order for them to manifest. But remember a goal without a plan is a wish.
It has to go beyond me writing,“I will be a world renowned motivator.” There has to be some action steps. Now granted we might not know the “How” yet. I sure don’t! But what I can write down are the steps that I know will help, “Read daily, listen to motivational speakers all the time, like all the time, blog consistently, practice in front of a mirror ect.” I can also be SMART( Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant and Timely ) about my goals. Now that I’ve written this awesomeness down, its time to act.
Bye Bye Procrastination
I really gotta let this one go! I take the prize, cake or whatever award you are giving out for procrastination. Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something. It’s the binge watching Netflix or the countless hours on Instagram.
In order to fight it, we have to find out where the mental block comes from. I believe that mine is rooted in fear of failure. It is easy to say “if I had more time, it would have been better” You see procrastination provides a built in excuse as to why one fails. I use the app todolist for all things personal and dream related. It helps me to keep things in order. We are all being pulled in a million directions. It helps me to prioritize. Not everything has to be done today, I am able to schedule things a week or more out depending. It keeps me accountable. If I write it down, it’s important. When I look at this list and I feel my procrastination saying “just watch Golden Girls.” I look at the task and ask myself why I feel this way. It allows me to look at the list holistically like today for example I said “you know what, maybe this is too much, I’ll only blog today but I’m going to do it right now!”
A Partner or Two
It’s always great to have people in your corner rooting for you. But it is incredibly beneficial to have at least one that will keep you accountable. Somebody that will give you a call to not only check on you but to say “hey you said you were going to blog every Monday, its Tuesday and I haven’t seen it” This isn’t coming from a place of judgement but rather one of love and concern.
I told a friend at work about this week’s blog on inconsistency, she said, “I’ve heard you say inconsistency a lot, how about we celebrate all the times you were consistent. How about you think about all the times you followed through.” We need to celebrate and encourage ourselves. Every accomplishment no matter how small, deserves a party!
These steps are not all the answers but they are working for me, give them a try.
– A Woman in Process
I can’t wait to get to the other side. I want to go through all this learning stuff and come out a better version of myself already! But I have to remember that life isn’t about rushing through the moments; it’s about living every moment, whether those moments are good or bad.
I started this new position four months ago and it’s had its fair share of challenges. Though I have varied skills that have prepared me for this moment, I’ve flat out never done it before. As a Manager for three Walk to End Alzheimer’s events, I’m working in this cycle of fundraising.
Though I’m becoming very comfortable in the role, every month is met with unique experiences or phases of the cycle that I’ve yet to go through.
Today as I sat to write this post I couldn’t help but see the parallels between my career and my personal life. I’ve never been here before, personally either. I have never been 26, back home, single, learning a new career, family sickness, issues with my own illness, friendship struggles; everything that culminates this particular moment is a new challenge.
Most days I’m up for it, and others I whine. I throw a good ol’ fashion temper tantrum.
I scream(usually to myself) how unfair it is that my body won’t cooperate or I yell about how I need more hours in the day.
On Saturday I had a great talk with a friend, though we aren’t close we have stayed connected throughout the years, much more now that I am back in town. She is even a member of my planning committee for one of my Walk events. Saturday, she gave much of her day to help raise funds for this devastating disease. We decided to grab dinner after. We talked about men, school and career. This conversation reminded me that many of us in our mid twenties are going through the same life struggles. The circumstances might be different but we are all trying to figure it out.
Others might seem like they have it all together but most likely they don’t. Even if they do, its not about comparisons anyway. It’s about living your life and following your true path.
After having this great conversation, I became motivated to write again. I want to continue to share my story in hopes of connecting others facing similar battles.
But there has been times that I have been motivated over the last few months but I just haven’t put pen to pad. Sunday, I woke up feeling nauseous and just plain sick. We had sushi for dinner so I texted my friend and asked how she was doing. She said she felt fine, so ruling the sushi out, I thought maybe it was the cold stone ice cream I had after sushi that was my problem. No Cold Stone after sushi, note to self!
Forced to stay in bed, I started to write. So the above rambling is just a long winded way of saying, I’m back. See you here every Monday morning 😘
A Woman in Process
I’m in the kitchen, above the sink, washing my hands and I turn around to reach for the paper towel. But I saw none in the usual place, I assumed there was none left. Thoughts began to fill my head, “I hate when we run out.” Now I’m walking feverishly throughout the house looking for a remedy for my wet hands. Just as I started to give up hope. I noticed a full pack of Bounty in corner. As silly as this moment was, it made me think. How many times do we run around in life searching for something that is right in front of us. But we can’t see it and we definitely can’t appreciate it because it’s not in the package that we expected or in the place we imagined it to be.
If I’ve learned anything from the path that my life has taken this past year, it is that, things might not always appear to be what you want but most times, it’s exactly what you need. There are no accidents, everything that is, was ordained to be.
The first roadblock to appreciation of the moment, is expectation. We go through life thinking by 26, I’m going to be this. For me, I can tell you 26 is here and I’m most of those things but certainly not all. And that’s okay. I can dwell on the things I’m not or I can be thankful for the food in my mouth and the roof over my head, my family and friends, my new found career, my passion for writing, the progress my book has made, I can go on and on.
Release yourself of the expectations that you have placed on your life. Don’t be a slave to your own ambition. When it disrupts your joy and gratitude, then it’s as dangerous as the alternative.
The second roadblock to seeing what’s right in front of you is “destination addiction.” I learned this term just recently but it struck home. I was reading an article on XONecole,
It’s that sense of when I get there, then I will. When I get more money or when I get that promotion or when I get married, then. It’s that constant living for the next step.
It refers to “the idea that success or happiness is a destination that we are traveling to which is unfortunately limiting many of us from enjoying the ride.” As Dr. Holden author of “The Happiness Project” suggests “we are literally suffering from the pursuit of happiness, “We are always on the run, on the move, and on the go. Our goal is not to enjoy the day, it is to get through the day.”
We have to first understand that happiness is something that we create regardless of the position, place or the thing. It is not something we have to get to, we create it.
There is nothing wrong with wanting more for your life and working towards that but NOT at the expense of the moment because to be frank the moment is ALL we have. Appreciate it, relish it, experience it. There might be Bounty in the corner.
A Woman in Process
Bob Marley famously sang, “Don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright.” I can picture him now; guitar in hand, locs flowing, the sun beating down on his face as he thought about those words. They are simple but difficult to master. I think we all have this incessant need to worry. We worry what our boss thinks of us. We worry how we’ll make it through this fight with the bae, bestie, or whomever. It is something that happens to all of us but when it does, do we have to give in?
A few posts ago, I mentioned that I was reading the book, Fearleass by Max Lucado; well, I’m still at it.It’s a great read but I have this terrible habit of starting a few books all at once, naturally it takes me a while to finish.
About fifty or so pages in, he shares his “worry-stoppers.” I’ve put most of these strategies into practice, I am not worry free but it no longer rents space in my mind. Here are a few!
Pray, first. “Don’t pace up and down the floors of the waiting room; pray for a successful surgery.” Here he says, don’t let worry consume you, take it all God in prayer. I understand, not all of us may be at a point where prayer feels comfortable. For me, it wasn’t until August of last year that I reconnected. Or maybe, you’re not a believer. Whatever your reason, it does not stop you from shifting those moments of worry to that of meditation. Stop, breathe, control your thoughts and let positivity guide you.
Easy, now. In this one, he urges us to slow down. Many of us are going a mile a minute. It is no wonder that we are worried about this thing or that thing. What if my car breaks down? What if I don’t get that promotion? All these thoughts running through your head. Easy now, and assess the problems as they arise.
Act on it. “Be equally decisive with anxiety.” This one has been the hardest for me and requires constant effort but its been the most rewarding. Lucado says, as soon as a moment of concern surfaces, just deal with it. Don’t sit there and let worry take over. “Don’t waste an hour wondering what your boss thinks; ask her.” Why waste time?
Compile a worry list and Evaluate your worry categories. Write down all the things that take up space in your mind. What troubles you? As you compile this list, “highlight themes of worry.” This will allow you to gain insight into where exactly you put your concern, then you’ll be able to deal with them specifically. Is it, “what people think of you, finances, global calamities, your appearance or performance.?” What are you spending your valuable time worrying about?
Lastly, Focus on today. I would even argue, focus on the moment. We have no control over what is coming. All we have is this moment. When you focus on being gracious and appreciative for every moment, there is no time for worry.
I leave you with Bob.
A Woman in Process