I received a private message on Facebook the other day from someone I didn’t know with the question, “How have you been able to be so successful as a single parent in the personal training industry?” The question caught me by surprise because I realized I hadn’t thought about myself as being successful in this industry. (Yet!) But it got me thinking. How have I been successful in continuing to move forward in my life and getting to where I am today? I paused to think about what “being successful” meant to me and how I got here.
So how did I get here? Two years ago, I was at home, cringing as I began sending my resume out after being laid off from my job. I didn’t want to go back into corporate and do work just to get a paycheck. I believed there had to be more! I wanted more for my life. And so the journey began.
My journey began by making the decision to choose ME. I chose to believe I could build the life I wanted that was best for me. It started by being disciplined with the process of stepping back and taking a hard look at myself, who I was and where I wanted to go. I no longer wanted to sit around waiting for something to happen, for things to get better, or for someone to notice my gifts and talents. I stopped sitting around talking about my dreams and never taking the first step towards that goal. This was MY life. I started DOING. We are all given a life, a personality, a gift. It is our job to tap into our gifts and use them for good. No one is going to discover you. You have to discover yourself.
The cliché “success doesn’t come overnight” is true. I’m nowhere near where I want to be in life or business, but I know I’m moving towards my goals and continuing to learn through the process and the journey. The most valuable lesson I have learned so far is to keep taking steps forward, no matter how small they are. This keeps you trudging forward with momentum, even if it feels like it’s getting you nowhere. It’s keeping you in the trenches and it’s teaching you to never give up. It’s easy when you’re excited, starting your new venture, and it’s even easier to quit when it gets tough. It’s everything in-between that shows you what you’re made of. I have learned not to be afraid of the unknown and of change. Because whether I fail miserably with a new step or I am jumping up in the air celebrating it, I’m still learning. You can’t be afraid to fail, but you can be afraid of living a life you despise and going through the motions on autopilot.
No one is an overnight success. People don’t see the years you vested in yourself with a goal to get better and BE better. There are years of past failures in my life and there are current failures, as well. The difference now is that my failures are steering and guiding my path because I know what I want. Something didn’t work? Great! Let’s find something that does.
Success to me is living life on my terms, doing something that thrills me and providing for my daughter. I work so that one day my business will grow and I’ll be able to continue to build a life I want for my daughter and me. She sees me work, and she has gone through the growing pains with me. She understands we must be willing to work for what we want and to remember to pause, play, and love.
The coolest part about staying true to my journey and my character is that my business continues to grow and opportunities present themselves. You must be ready to go so that when opportunity does come, you know how to grab it and go. It’s tough sometimes, juggling and balancing. But I am so happy doing what I love and knowing I am helping other and connecting with them. We all need help sometimes and we all want to feel connected.
I want to help others along the way in their journey, but you have to want to help yourself first. You must be selfish and choose yourself first. I can’t spend my time on people that are not ready for change even though they ask for help. They are not REALLY ready to make a change. They’re still stuck on the negative or looking for quick fixes. You may say that is harsh, but it’s not. Our time is much better spent sitting with someone for hours or days that is ready for change and is open to making moves in helping themselves. Then in turn, they start to see a positive ripple effect in their changes. Their story begins to spread, helping and inspiring others. That’s life-changing. YOU are valuable. I am valuable.
I used to tell people that I love helping others, but through that raw look at myself, I realized my gift of giving and helping was not being used as it should. It was coming from a place of insecurity and the desire for people to like and accept me. It took years of reading, studying, crying, writing, counseling, falling on my face, getting back up, coaching, getting people out of my life that were detrimental, celebrating, learning more, falling again, picking myself back up, and trudging forward through all the muck and mayhem of life.
I brought all of myself out to the surface to evaluate. It sucked and was hell, but I knew my goal. I knew my future could not succeed without a clear path and without taking care of myself first. I dealt with my patterns and choices in life and learned how to change those habits. I still have to deal with garbage from time to time and understand that my past is a piece of who I am.
But I don’t need my mud boots anymore because now there’s no mud to trudge through. I can walk barefoot through that free-flowing stream of life. The current may be running against me and it hurts my bare feet from time to time, but it feels good; it feels real and raw. So I keep going. I don’t care what people think anymore and I don’t feel the need to help or give things to others in the hopes they’ll like me more. I love me and those around me. I know those that love me, too. We just don’t have to prove it to each other.
Nothing comes to you. You have to seek and go after your desires. Everything you do and go through will prepare you for your journey and the path to come. Every time I do something I thought I couldn’t do, I get better at it. I get uncomfortable, I get dirty, and I will continue to, and, yes, being comfortable is easy and I’ve been there; it’s a nice little ride. But being alive, shining, and invigorated by knowing I can create the life I want to live is far more exciting to me! That’s what I call real living, people!
Being a mom gives me more joy than I could ever imagine and so does my work. I hope to inspire people to keep moving forward in their health and wellness life journey. I still have obstacles to overcome, but I’m not stopping and neither should you. So get out there and stay fit!