"Liz, I really think you need to give yourself a little grace." I heard this statement a few months ago during one of my therapy sessions. It had been roughly seven years since I had ended therapy and I had started back up again for a myriad of reasons this past December. I was getting ready to re-launch my business and was feeling a bit overwhelmed in the process. Who was I and what was I trying to build? What was my marketing strategy? Where woud I record the videos? How would I balance my time with my other work committments?
I had also just personally hit a wall emotionally. I had been working on my own for almost two years and while I didn't miss working for someone else, I missed having a team and the commodore. I missed knowing exactly what I needed to do to be successful and not second guessing myself. Now I spent my days listening to my own thoughts and it was getting exhausting. I constantly felt like I wasn't achieving anything and every time I began a new project it would take me in so many directions I would get overwhelmed and feel defeated and lacking. So I jumped online, filled out some information and was matched with a therapist.
The first session felt similar to my very first therapy experience back in 2015. I was desperate to connect with someone and felt extremely lost in life. The second time around things had shifted though. I'm older, I know myself on a deeper level and you can also throw in there more life experience along with being a board certified health and wellness coach. That essentially means I overanalyze myself and now can put a name behind my feelings; ha. It also meant I was constantly trying to impress my therapist and make things seem fine. She didn't buy it and urged me to dig deeper.
As the sessions progressed there was a common theme. I seemed to think that I was supposed to be able to do a certain amount of things with every day and if I didn't I was failing in life. Call it turning 40 but all of a sudden life seemed to be passing me by and I needed to see more progress in my yearly checkmarks. The pressure continued to build that I even started getting nervous of disappointing my therapist and what she wanted me to work on before the next session.
Which brings us back to the statement I opened with. According to Google, giving yourself grace means making the choice to interact with the world – and yourself – with goodwill and kindness. So why am I writing about this? My goal is and has always been being able to connect with people and help them to reach their health and fitness goals. That goal has evolved to include more education and experience that I can offer, but the underlying theme has never changed. And the reason I wanted to talk about this is to also give myself the grace to tell my story. That being a health and fitness professional brings an immense pressure that I don't think we talk about enough.
Our role is to be the face of fitness. That means over-analyzing what we look like every time we post. That means ducking in the grocery store when we wanted to buy ice cream and seeing members from the gym we go to in line. That means constantly bringing a smile and enthusiasm to every session and class because we know it's about you and not about us. I love my career. I am eternally grateful for finding my true passion and know that I will work in fitness as long as I am able.
But that doesn't mean that I'm not constantly thinking about how my every move (including every post, picture and blog I write) helps to further define my brand and what I represent. That if I put in a few pounds people will judge me because I'm a trainer. That if I don't want to go for a run my family asks is everything okay? Aren't you just supposed to want to go? And that can be exhausting. So I am writing this today to tell you that no one is perfect. We all have our flaws and the things we wish we could improve upon. But no matter who we are, we are always allowed to give ourselves grace. In fitness that means cutting a workout short if you just aren't feeling it. That means eating a cupcake for dessert because you really want to; and not feeling guilty about it. It means getting your rest and starting work a little later because you just want to do a morning walk. That whole no pain no gain and if you aren't up at 4am apparently you're lazy is bullshit to me. If I am continuing to build the person and brand I want to convey it's about living a healthy lifestyle that allows balance and room for a little ice cream.
I hope this blog helps you to connect with what grace is, and make sure to give some to yourself whenever you need it. If you are interested in learning more about how to create a fitness program that allows you a little grace, feel free to set up a call here. I'm here when you're ready.