How ya’ll doing out there?!?
I want to share a vulnerable and #realtalk series post to talk about a question I had to face this week. And, I want to challenge you to dig deep like I had to and ask yourself the same questions.
It’s just after 11 p.m. on a Thursday night and I just got off a brainstorming call with the leaders of Team Hope to talk about our schedule for the month of July but as often happens with team calls, it ended talking about how amazing the team is and how being a part of it has changed our lives.
Because of coaching, because of my coach believing in me, and because of the amazing people in my life who challenge me to be and do more, I have found so many things to enrich my world….and, ultimately, learn more about myself and find ways to overcome my struggles.
My latest excitement is that I have a new mentor that is ROCKIN’ MY WORLD. His name is Josh Coats of Legacy Leadership and he’s a Life Coach on the John C. Maxwell team. I joked on Facebook the other day that the old me didn’t really even know what the word “mentor” meant…and I would never have been in something called a “Mastermind Group” with a LIFE COACH on the John Maxwell team. In fact, a few shorts years ago, I didn’t even know who John Maxwell is. (If you get nothing else out of this post, trust me when I say if YOU don’t know who he is, go find out. His books will change your life. And, remind me to share a funny story about my hubby….who on our Arizona trip earlier this year didn’t know who he was and what I missed out on because of that lol.)
Ok, so, this 8-week Mastermind is centered around Maxwell’s book called Intentional Living. You can go grab yourself a copy here. Josh says in his opinion this is one of the best books Maxwell has ever written. I’m only one chapter in and I wanted to highlight like the entire chapter.
This could end up being a LONG post lol.
One of Josh’s favorite all-time excerpts from his books is in this very chapter…..”Stop Trying and Start Doing ~ Can we move from where we are to where we want to be just by trying? I don’t think so. Trying alone does not communicate true commitment. It’s half-hearted. It is not a pledge to do what’s necessary to achieve a goal. It’s another way of saying, “I’ll make an effort.” That’s not many steps away from, “I’ll go through the motions.” Trying rarely achieves anything significant. If an attitude of trying is not enough, then what is? An attitude of doing! There is enormous magic in the tiny word do. When we tell ourselves, “I’ll do it,” we unleash tremendous power. That act forges in us a chain of personal responsibility that ups our game; a desire to excel plus a sense of duty plus complete aliveness plus total dedication to getting done what has to be done. That equals commitment. An attitude of doing also helps us to become who we were meant to be. It is this doing attitude that often leads to the things we were meant to do. While trying is filled with good intentions, doing is the result of intentional living.”
Ahhhhh, INTENTIONAL LIVING.
Intentional living is not living the same year over and over and over and calling it a life. Think about that for a moment….
Our Mastermind is centered around the whole concept of living intentionally. But, what does that really MEAN?
The question I had to face on our call was actually asked of each of us in the group and we were to share with everyone the ONE in our lives right now that we’ve been TRYING to do instead of COMMITTING to do and it’s ultimately holding us back. What’s the one thing we are each basically choosing to not INTENTIONALLY DO and it’s therefore preventing us from reaching our goals?
My superficial answer was that not being at my goal weight is still holding me back. I wasn’t the only one who answered with the same and in true life coach fashion, Josh challenged us on our answers.
You see, I say my “superficial” answer because if you’ve been following me for a while you know I talk about my self-confidence issues with my weight never being about….the weight! Ha, I know it sounds like I’m contradicting myself but stay with me here.
He went on to ask, “So, tell us WHY you want to lose the weight.” And, said that he needs to ask that but not to be insulting as he believes we are beautiful the way we are BUT when the first thing that comes to mind to answer a question is that, we each on some level are in fact not okay with our weight. And, my answer was just what I’ve shared on my blog before. I want to lose weight…but I truly don’t think it’s really about….the weight. I didn’t FEEL better or different when I was 30 lbs. lighter. And, I’ve gained the weight back….in fact I’ve yoyo’d many times in my life. So, there is something else inside of me that feels I’m not worthy…..and that I don’t deserve success….maybe that I’m even afraid of success. I have grown so much in the past 3 years, so it’s ironic that although I feel the strongest I’ve ever felt, this past year has been the most painful time in my life other than when my brother died and it’s been a time when I’ve questioned myself the most.
So, when I answered that question by saying it was about the weight, I actually had a slight panic attack inside. I lost my breath. My pulse raced. I started to tear up. Yes, so here’s the deal….I DO want to lose weight….I want to be in the best possible shape I can be. It’s a personal goal. Some people will tell me I don’t need to lose weight….that I’m fine just the way I am. And, again, I’m trying to say this really isn’t about whether or not I NEED to….it’s about what I want to do….and it’s not really for anyone else to say. And, the thing is, I’ve been TRYING to lose weight….but not consistently DOING what I need to DO. I haven’t been intentionally doing. I’m proud of how far I’ve come but what I really had to dig deep and think about was just what Josh asked…..WHY?? Why do I feel I need to lose weight….why it is important to me….and why have I not fully succeeded??
And, my deeper truth is that I’m dealing with depression again and I probably have been for more than a year now. And, whether it’s a cause or an effect really doesn’t matter. But, I do believe it’s what is REALLY holding me back.
It’s not easy to share that. And, it wasn’t easy to recognize it this time in my life because it has been different than it has been before. Before, my depression would leave me hopeless and without direction. It seems crazy to me that I can feel so strong and so different now but at the same time still be fighting such an internal battle of sadness and helplessness. I’m sad…but I’m hopeful. I’m working harder than I ever have to let go of those things I cannot control and of guilt from the past. I even believe it has all ended up making me sick. Stress, anxiety and depression can wreak such havoc on your mind and your body. And, I think it can become a vicious cycle of it making you sick and then being sick making the stress, anxiety and depression even worse.
I’m not sure I’ve shared this anywhere but I have been seeing a counselor since last year and I have also recently been talking a lot with my family doctor about how I’ve been feeling, both physically and mentally. I share this not for anyone to feel sorry for me but because I think all too often people are too afraid or too proud to admit they are struggling or to ask for help. I believe asking for help means you are strong, not weak. And, I feel like I’m on the overcoming side of this now so of course it’s easier to share and talk about. I am feeling so much better physically. And, mentally….well, I’m slowly learning how to let go of the past again.
But, ya know what? Change and overcoming demons takes a lot of hard damn work. I’ve said this before but although I’ve grown a lot, I can’t expect to reverse a lifetime of insecurities, pain and guilt in a few short years. Overcoming depression is very hard and sometimes requires the help of medication. It takes recognizing there is something wrong. It takes asking someone for help. And, often those are the hardest things to do. I’ve been advised to take something. I’m making a personal choice not to. I do believe medication is necessary in certain cases ~ if there is something chemical in the brain happening, medication can help and there was a time after my brother died that I did need it. But, my counselor has said that he believes there’s a lot of power and success in simply moving your body a lot and regularly (ahhhhh, YES! part of the reason I love working out!!) and for me at this point in my life, I want to focus on that and nutrition and my support system and a LOT of prayer.
I share this all today in the hopes it can help someone who may be fighting an internal battle, and I’m extremely passionate about being okay with asking for help. My brother couldn’t find the strength to ask for help and it breaks my heart every day.
And, I share this all today in the hopes that I am challenging you to DIG DEEPER! Ask yourself what’s the ONE thing that’s holding you back in your life. What’s holding you back from achieving all of your goals? What’s holding you back from making that career change you’ve been dreaming about? What’s holding you back from going back to school if you’re not happy doing what you’re doing? What’s holding you back from leaving that relationship that doesn’t serve you anymore? What’s holding you back from losing weight once and for all? What’s holding you back from joining my team if it’s something you’ve considered? What’s holding you back from taking a chance on life?? Are you living your life intentionally??? If no one has told you, I will be the first ~ You have amazing gifts and they are meant to be shared with the world 🙂
Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.
AND, your bonus for the day!
So, after I had to answer my question, I was challenged even more, had to answer MORE questions, AND received a homework assignment (um, yes, I actually look forward to homework….again, not something I thought years ago I would EVER say). I am to research and find things that talk about the power of TODAY and then ask myself every day….many times a day….if what I’m doing is getting me closer to my goals. Since we are only reading a chapter or so a week of Intentional Living, I was to get and dive into Maxwell’s book Today Matters. Josh also asked me if I’m “okay with just being okay.” If I am in the same place a year from now, am I okay with that? If YOU are in the same place a year from now, are YOU okay with that? No one else can answer that question for us. For me, I will never be done growing and evolving. So, my answer was no…..I’m not okay with being in the same place a year from now. And, every year I have made a promise to myself to ask the same question and I’m determined to have the same answer. I actually have a FEAR of complacency WITH the fear of success and those fears have kept me kinda stuck. Fear and depression can paralyze you if you let them. I have too many dreams and goals to be paralyzed any longer. I can’t give 75% today and try give 125% tomorrow to make up for today. If I REALLY want to be able to spend more time with B, if I REALLY want to have financial freedom, if I REALLY want to write and publish that book, if I REALLY want to lose my weight once and for all, and if I really want to kick my depression to the curb, it has to be a DAILY choice to give 100% and a DAILY choice to turn to God when I’m hurting instead of food.
I really hope none of this sounds self-serving because SHE is my reason and my why about getting TRULY intentional with my life…
No one has told this little blonde-eyed beauty that something called depression exists…..
no one has told this little larger-than-life free-spirit that she can’t DO something she puts her mind to…..
and, rest assured I don’t want to be the one who ends up bursting her bubble all because she had to watch me try really hard instead of watching me JUST DO IT.