In this episode I share something that I wrote to myself at the beginning of 2015. Now that this year is coming to an end, I thought that reading this piece was so interesting to see how far I have come in just one year. I think that its important to share your story with other people and to be transparent (listen to Episode 22 with John P. Cordray who inspired this).
Here is the entry that I personally read during this episode:
I Feel Like Crap: So What Are You Going To Do About It?
Written March 15, 2015
“Life is going to throw you a million and a half curve balls. As Rocky puts it: “It ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.” How hard are you being hit with life’s struggles right now and do you find yourself standing on your feet or upon your knees? I know struggle, I find myself going through some hard things right now in my personal life and I’ve got to tell you… I have found myself wanting to stay on my knees so many times lately after being hit with blow after blow. I know that I wouldn’t be standing right now if it weren’t for some people in my life and I am ever so grateful for them.
The question you need to ask yourself is not “how long can I stay on my feet” when in the ring? But instead “how many times can I stand up after being pushed to the ground”? Every single time you stand back up, you stand stronger. Why? Because you learned something new and gained experience against your opponent (which in this case is life). Every time you go through a struggle or a hard time in your life, you learn from it and know how to better handle it in the future—or better yet, avoid it altogether. You are always going to be faced with some kind of burden or unhappiness in your life and the point is not how “unlucky” you are, but instead how fortunate. This is because, if you are smart enough to learn from the experience, you will never have to face it again and will be all the better for it. It’s just like how our bodies get sick and fight off infection, once we have been exposed to a specific sickness we don’t ever catch it again because our bodies have learned how to fight against it and our immune system is stronger afterwards. Unfortunately for me, I have not yet had the chicken pox… So I await that dreaded day! Once (or if) I do catch it though, I won’t ever have to deal with it again and my body will be stronger than it is now.
There are many ways for you to cope with what is going on with life. When you find yourself fighting in the ring, you can’t just jab here and there absent strategy and protection. Instead, you look for openings in your opponents stance and keep a watchful eye out for opportunities that will aid you to victory. One opportunity that I find is a really good way to gain a heads up on life is to start off your day with yourself, every day. Build up your personal “armor” by making sure you are healthy and happy and full of love, this is the strongest armor of all against the enemy of life.
Start off your day however you need it to start, but start it off with you. Look at all of the things you need to get done and put them to the side so that you can set yourself up to win by taking care of yourself first. Studies show that when you start off the day with yourself then you are more productive, you are more energized, and you are happier. Being a mom its kind of hard to start off the day with myself because (I feel like) 90% of my life revolves around my son and his needs and happiness, so generally my day starts off with him. Instead of waking up to him calling for me in the other room, I have started to slowly set an alarm so that I wake up right before he normally does. This way, gradually, I begin to start the day off with myself and with my needs. This is not being selfish by any means. If anything, I have noticed that when I start the day off with what I need instead of dragging myself out of bed to go change a diaper and make some breakfast, I tend to feel like I have more energy and I am in a much better mood when I greet my son for the day—which sets us both up for success because I have a major impact on his attitude and his life, just like you do with other people you engage with during the day.
Sometimes I will start with writing in a journal or even just do some cleaning and getting ready for the day. No matter what I do though, I do it for myself and my happiness (I know, you’re making fun of me for basically saying that cleaning makes me happy but that’s ok). By starting off my day with myself I can end it with others and their happiness, which is an amazing feeling to me.
When I feel like crap and I am down with everything that is going on with my life, I have to first figure out what to do to better the situation. Do I need to go for a walk? Do I need to go make some money to pay a bill? Do I need to take a breather and sit for a minute? Or do I even need to just sit and cry? Whatever it is I feel like I need to do in order to get myself back on track to being me then I would do it and return to living my dreams. Often we forget that when we are in a tough situation, instead of continuing to bang our heads against the wall (trying to supposedly fix the problem), we actually just need to listen to our bodies and figure out what it needs so that it can better serve us in what we need to get done.
I have a friend who, after I stayed up for 45 hours and not eating for 24 hours because I was working, asked me why I hadn’t eaten. I told him, “Well let me ask my body why and I will let you know”. I was being sarcastic and was a little surprised when he replied with, “I don’t mean to sound silly, but I think that is actually what you need.” Although you would more than likely agree with him I didn’t listen and continued to work and do what I thought was necessary for my career and not myself. The next day I was (unsurprisingly) very sick. I had a massive headache, terrible nausea and was unable to work the entire day because I felt like crap and I fell behind with the work I needed to get done. So what was I going to do about it? First I was going to tell my friend that he was right (and in doing so take a lot of heat for it most likely) and then I was going to begin to listen to my body and what it was telling me. By listening to your body, you can better determine your limits and, in my opinion now, be incredibly more successful. So… You feel like crap, what are you going to do about it?
After learning from my experiences I am now better for it and know my own limits. The struggles that I have gone through in my short life (as well as the ones I currently face) are only going to make me a better person in the long run. Remember that even when life has you on your knees and you can’t decide whether it is worth standing up again or give up and just take life for what it is, know that if you do decide to be on your feet—you will stand taller. I know that personally I have a lot more to learn and I welcome the chances to become a better person, both for myself and for my family.
Instead of facing life as our enemy, maybe we should look at it as a trusted friend who is only trying to teach us a lesson that will help us stand stronger, more experienced, and successful in our future.
To me, that’s how winning is done.”