Fill your cup with some positive energy and believe in your big goals.
This is a saying I use a lot in my fitness classes. I usually get a groin or an eye roll, but as a group we push through and finish. The depth of these words never truly hit home with me until I wrote them to my son in the 1st letter he will receive at Boot Camp. “Tell yourself you can do anything for 10 seconds and if you need 10 more seconds, say it again”. We all have times we need to push through those 10 seconds to reach a goal. Small things: I can do push-ups 10 more seconds. I can walk away from that cookie. I can focus on this project. Then there will be moments that it will take all your inner strength to get through. Those 10 seconds will be the most challenging of your life. Knowing my son is facing that repeatedly over the next several weeks means I have been relying on this phrase heavily.
Sometimes, you need those 10 seconds to breath. Throughout the day we all face challenges that can cause us to react in a way we may regret later. Traffic, a screaming toddler, an unreasonable client, a salty teenager or a situation we have no idea how to handle. We need to take 10 seconds, to not cut someone off or make a gesture. To see the tiny, hungry, tired person in front of us. Or most important, to not say things we can’t back. Sometimes 10 seconds to breath is what will help look at the situation from the outside. The person in the other car doesn’t know me, they clearly are having a bad day. Does it really matter what strangers in this store think of my child’s behavior. Does this client understand what they want from this project? Is this battle worth picking? You are not going to be able to solve every problem in 10 seconds but it can help you connect with your inner self so in the next 10 seconds, you are expressing who you want be.
We can use 10 seconds to be kind. We often say we want to do more but we don’t have time. You can roll your eyes when you see a shopping left in the parking lot or push it as you walk up to the store. You can send a text to a friend having a rough time. You can hold a door open for someone. You can tell someone thank you. You can tell someone I love you. Now, with a fresh perspective, you can do anything for 10 seconds.
As a fitness instructor, I put myself out there to encourage others to enjoy their workouts, have fun, and help them reach fitness or health goals. When someone shares a story of how their workouts have helped them not just physically but mentally overcome depression, loss, stress, loneliness, the magnitude of how blessed I am to be able to connect with people and be part of their story, is truly humbling. As we all know, anytime you open yourself to the world, there will be people ready to knock you down.
I see it in the gym when friends who started working out together, stop being supporting of one another when their goals or their progress shifts away from each other. The looks of judgement when someone is new and trying to find their footing starting their fitness journey. When cliques develop over certain workouts or classes, not recognizing one shoe does not fit all.
I would like to say as instructors we set a better example, but sadly I know this is not true. We judge each other on class numbers, social media following, if our format is better, how expensive our shoes and workout clothes are. We question if our body is in good enough shape to even be in front of a class, if we are talking enough or too much, if the critics are right.
Standing in front of groups of people, several times a day, eventually criticism will come. On the days it is constructive, I am grateful. I embrace the opportunity to grow as an instructor, to provide better classes and better experiences for my participants. At times, it is not, and I challenge myself to remember the way my light shines is not for everyone. I might be the sun and they need the moon. When I encounter another instructor not creating the kind of positive, supporting, uplifting class I think is important, I remind myself to stay in my lane. If I stay true to me, I will get to my destination and I will have a tribe with me that is excited about sharing the road together and letting each other shine. Each person deserves to find their lane, their light, without our judgment or harsh comments.
When we are on the end of criticism, we have an opportunity to grow, to let our heart become kinder for when we feel we need to offer guidance, to become stronger by standing up for ourselves when needed. The moon can shine in the dark and so can we.
It is National Honesty Day. I thought a lot about what that means and how we deliver our honesty. Are we really helping one another, what is our goal when we are honest. Yesterday, I watched a video by an incredible man that gave a challenge ” find 3 people on Monday and convince them to believe in you, now find 3 people on Friday and convince them to believe in themselves.” Leadership is all about getting people to believe in themselves. A big piece of that is honesty, not patronizing or being aggressive, but true open, sincere, straightforward honesty. When we tell someone they have food in their teeth it is not to judge, it is not their fault, we are here to help. How do we convey that help to the other person? We need to be invested in their growth and care personally about their success. A lot of us don’t see the truth in ourselves and need a mirror to reflect back the best parts of ourselves. Then there are times we are not breaking through to the next level and are not sure why we are missing the mark. Honesty given with love and guidance is what truly helps. Watching someone find themselves and believe in themselves is a true sign of a leader. Our words have the power build others up or tear them down and leave them filled with doubt. How will you use honesty and will you choose to be a leader?
Find your tribe, build each other up, find your success.