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Thursday, October 11, 2018

inspiration: bouncing back

I have a girlfriend who, no matter what happens to her, seems to bounce right back from any challenge in her life. Whether it's regarding fitness, career setbacks or personal goals. I admire her. I wish I had that kind of, I don't know, luck? She seems to glide through life. I asked her about this once. After  being let go from a job, she seamlessly moved into a higher paying job with a competing company. Over iced coffees in her new company's cafe, I asked her how she did it. How did she get over being terminated and still have the confidence to go for a higher paying role and then get it. I will forever remember her words. She said, "I don't know. It all just comes pretty easy, I guess."

I didn't know how to respond to that. When something negative happens in my life (job loss, relationship break-ups, failed fitness attempts. . .) I need time to lick my wounds and be small before I can get my confidence back up to even think about going for it again. I can't even imagine picking myself up right away and having the confidence to believe I can do it again immediately successfully.  How incredible it would be to have this skill!

I've been thinking about her a lot this week as I gear up to start a new fitness regimen. I've had to psych myself up, write out a plan, find the right team of people to help me achieve my goals and set a date to start. When I think about my friend, I know that she would have started immediately and just dove in headfirst, knowing she would excel.  My anxiety keeps me from doing that. I get paralyzed by the minutiae of things.

My girlfriend's plan would go like this:

Starting now, I will choose to be healthy. I'll meal prep on Sundays, I will walk 30 minutes every day at lunch and lay off the after work drinks until I reach my goal, which I will.

Here's how my train of thought for a fitness plan goes: 

So, I need to get in shape. I'll get a trainer and a nutritionist in place. Which plan should I follow? Why am I starting in October? The holidays are coming. I should start in January. I'm traveling a lot this fall so it will be hard to follow a plan traveling cross country. I have a baby. How will I fit in exercise? Why is healthy food so much more expensive than a bag of chips? I like coffee. How can I still enjoy coffee with cream? If I don't have coffee, I'll get headaches and be grumpy and then go off the plan. Should I go paleo? Detox? Should I kickbox (which I love) or walk an hour a day but it rains a lot here in the fall. What if  don't succeed?

And this is why it takes so long for me to move forward after challenges.

I think a lot of trepidation comes from fear. Fear of failure, fear of embarrassment if you don't do it, fear that achieving your goal will be hard work. I think back to the times that I lost weight and exercised and how incredible I felt. Sure, I felt better in my body but I felt so strong emotionally that this confidence affected the rest of my life and made me stronger in other parts of my life. I felt confident at work and in my ability to problem solve. I didn't accept being treated poorly by people who weren't nice. When I feel small (doubtful of myself, quiet), I often accept being treated unkindly because I don't think I deserve better. When I am confident in my body, I protect it and this makes me feel like I can do anything I set mind to and time after time, those in my life who didn't respect my boundaries suddenly did. They didn't change. I did.

Do I wish I was more like my girlfriend? Yes, absolutely! May someday I'll have that confidence to expect that everything will go my way just because that it the way things are in my universe.  Until then, I know there is a space that exists between anxiety and confidence. It's about just making that plan and going forward without thinking about what will happen if you fail.  It's a place where happy exists and I plan on embracing that.

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