One of my biggest emotional struggles comes from not knowing exactly where I’m going in my life. I realized this most recently when I was faced with a major career decision. There are many days when I still wonder if I have chosen the right career path. There are days when I feel like other people’s opinions control my decisions…and there are days when I feel like I am simply drifting.
One of the many reasons I have always loved fitness is because it has remained a constant in my life. Fitness is something I have always found absolute security and confidence in. When I’m at the gym, I feel I am at my best – I am focused, determined, confident and in control. The role that maximized these powerful feelings was teaching fitness classes. It’s why I still have such a difficult time letting it go and accepting my knee condition.
Do you have a passion, task, job, hobby, etc., that makes you feel the same way?
When I was at my lowest point during my surgeries and recovery period, I saw a counselor to help me cope. I told her what I wrote above: That fitness was what I was best at and without it, I was lost. Her response was something I never forgot: “It’s not fitness, it’s the messages you are telling yourself while you’re doing it.”
One of the things I do now is try and behave the way I do at the gym in every environment. One of the tricks I use is to ask myself: if I were at the gym and there was a challenging class to teach, or I had to motivate myself to push through something difficult, how would I behave? Then, I simply transfer that over to my current situation. I square my shoulders and try to think and act with confidence – just as I do at the gym.
So, the next time you are doing your favorite thing take note of how you talk to yourself, your body language and how you feel. It’s still YOU and if you can create that attitude in one situation, you can do it in another. What you say to yourself – your own private inner dialogue – is what influences the external: how you deal with challenges and how you come across to others. All of these in turn can affect the final outcome of a situation.
Think of your thoughts as the first link in a very long chain – the last link being the actual outcome. You are the one that builds the chain and it all starts with a simple thought.