Before I begin I have to set the share this nugget of gold one of my mentors shared with me. The use of the word struggle. When you hear the word it feels heavy, doesn’t it? So how does the word, contend, make you feel? Doesn’t it sound like a boxer in a ring ready to throw some punches??? I’m getting all fired all right now just thinking about it… So here’s the nugget of truth, start using the word contend instead of struggle. It will literally change the way you approach the battle. Are you struggling to lose weight? Or are you CONTENDING for weight loss? BOOM. MIC DROP. We could leave it right there but I won’t…
Ok so remember this is what I’m contending for… not struggling with! 😉
This is my truth. I own it and sometimes end up wearing it like a badge of honor. It’s who I thought I was “supposed” to be. How I was “supposed” to act. And what I was “supposed” to do.
I know I am meant for great things but over the years I have found so much evidence of the opposite. So much so that it started to become the identity of which I found my worth. If there was ANY hint of “lacking” I would pull up my bootstraps and trudge forward as if I believed I was able.
But the reality was, I was struggling with the idea that I was capable of any kind of greatness. Why? Because I was so focused on my failed attempts and never wanted to fail again… at anything. I would strive tooth and nail to just “make it happen”.
The turning point was when I was divorced. I did not want the divorce to be the final nail in the coffin so I put all of my energy into my business. Struggling every day wondering with the idea that potentially one day I will have to go to BACK to the gym world for a third time. I clawed myself to success, well good enough success to where everyone who was outside looking in thought it was success. But the idea of more haunted me. The success I showed on the outside didn’t match the lacking feeling lurking inside my gut.
I was to the point of utter breakdown. What else could I do?
I remember there was a time that I felt my world was on the brink of disaster. I was fighting for my reputation as the dance director, trying to excel in my anatomy class in massage school and constantly feeling like I was the hypocrite training. How was I going to make it another day? I would go to bed with the question on my mind and wake up saying to myself, “You don’t have time to think about the ‘how’ just get up and do it!”
And I would…
And the truth is, today is no different. The question is still there because I want nothing more than to be the best version of myself. I wish the answer would just one day hit me like a lightning strike, but I know that won’t happen.
Not because I’d probably die from a lighting strike but because the truth is, growth takes time. Sometimes a long grueling time and often a never-ending feeling of when will arrive.
But here’s the difference of where I’m at today versus where I was at before… I’m truly ok with where I’m at today. It’s nowhere close to where I want to be BUT I know that everyday is a new day and a chance to become better. Not every single day is going to be a good day. And not every day will be a bad one either. So I guess you can say that my focus and my attitude has changed. No longer do I feel the pressure to have arrived at my best self. And I also understand staying where I’m at doesn’t serve me either.
At the end of the day, I accept the challenge. In some sort of crazy way you can say I embrace it. Not because I am giving up and settling but because it shows me that there is more opportunity for growth. That’s where I put the focus. It almost excites me because I’m not done yet. I mean, who doesn’t want to put up a fight.
Sure are there days (like today) where I’m contending more than others, yup. But the muscle to push through can only get stronger when there is resistances. So in a sense, bring it on. Days like today make me appreciate the work I’ve put in and that in turn allows me the strength to persevere through the challenge.
I can sit here and know that I’m fighting for the best version of myself. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The only battle I have to win is the one I am facing today. Hour by hour, minute by minute and even second by second. It is a choice I have to make every single day. And it is a CHOICE I have to remind myself I made. And when the moments come where I’m contending against my old self just a little more, it’s that second wind that I know will come when I take a moment to pause and challenge myself with the question, “Who do you want to become?”