When I was 13 years old, I was 4'-11", I was a freshman in high school, and I weighed 95lbs. If you asked me if I was planning to play football - I would look at you sideways and tell you there was not a chance. If you pressed about any other sports, I'd tell you I was going to play volleyball ...and I planned on making varsity.
Some might say the football answer was "realistic" - after all, the average high school football player at my school weighed double my weight. Interestingly enough, the average varsity volleyball player was a full foot taller than me as well - but I had different beliefs about volleyball.
So what happened? I played varsity volleyball and I never played football. Additionally, I am proud of my choice to try out for volleyball and embarrassed of my choice to avoid football.
In this series we've been talking about learning to be OK with other people being wrong about us, but what about the situations where WE are the ones...
This past week was both a celebration and time of reflection. A bittersweet for sure.
It reminded me of the two different people I've had the experience of being.
Here's what I mean.
Do you ever look at pictures of yourself and think back to how you were feeling?
I do. So powerful- right?
It's also why I love before and after pictures. They tell two stories of ONE life.
When I see other peoples, it gives me HOPE.
Which is exactly what I want to offer you.
Ironically, the picture on the left, I have this "tough attitude" expression on my face. I'd get that look often when I'd drink alcohol.
It was this feeling of being strong, not caring what others thought, and like I was invincible.
Unfortunately, it was 100% false- FAKE.
Now, I look at that picture and see emptiness, my eyes glazed over, I'm actually numb and not truly present in the experience I was having.
Even though, at the time, I thought I was having a "fun time", visiting some of my closest childhood friends, and in...
Once just a kid who played a little volleyball in Chicago, Kevin Barnett made the BOLD move to California at the age of 18 with no home, no job, no connections, and no plans ...well, no plans except to play professional volleyball.
Now, the 2 time Olympian is the voice of the AVP - and he's still making BOLD choices ...about his wardrobe.
All of our actions in life are motivated by our feeling ...everything you do is do either feel something, avoid feeling something, or stop feeling something. Sometimes, however, we have to take actions n order to grow even though we don't feel capable of success - and that's where learning to foster boldness comes into play.
What if, instead of working to feel capable, you saw the adventure, the challenge, and the excitement in taking action anyway? What doors could that open in your life? How could that help get you unstuck?
The question you have to ask yourself is, "Is it worth it?" What if I get...
None of us are going to brag about allowing self-pity to invade our lives, but for some reason, from time to time, we find ourselves right in the middle of a pity party we are throwing for ourselves? Why do I do that???
Basically - it's the same reason I give into any craving or temptation ...because it gives me short term pleasure. Self pity allows me to tell a story that makes my suffering noble instead of optional. My suffering makes me someone special instead of someone who is CHOOSING to think thoughts that make me feel bummed out. I'm releasing myself from the responsibility of being in charge of my mind.
I get to lower others expectations of me, I get to lower my expectations of myself, I get to feel special for suffering, and I get to avoid fear. Buuuut ...I'm trading my FREEDOM from the obligation to feel negatively about the circumstances of my life.
So what's the other option? It's to...
It turns out the mountain is one heck of a teacher...
Renee: It's not just that I CAN do hard things, I WANT to do hard things
Gary: I have to take a challenge as big as this and break it into small pieces. Then as I go from one small piece to the next, I know I'll rise to the big challenge in time
Jason: This WILL end - take your mind off of the pain you're experiencing and focus on the slight improvements, then relief is simply a matter of time.
Jen: When I continue to take the next step, I eventually overcome the obstacle. The more obstacles I over come, the more equipped I become. Soon that obstacle looming way down the road ...the one that looks too big for me gets easier and easier because the obstacles in between are making me stronger.
Whitney: Pride in the process of preparation takes the impossible and makes it fun.
Jake: My words matter ...I refuse to say it's difficult, it's just really, really NEUTRAL!!...
Have you ever said “yes” to doing something when you didn’t know exactly what it would require from you?
That’s exactly what saying yes to climbing my first fourteener was like when I said “yes, I’d love to do that… SOMEDAY.” When those words came out of my mouth, I hadn’t REALLY considered what it would require or what I was signing up for.
Two years ago, Jake and I were walking in my old neighborhood in Austin, holding hands, new in our love story, and talking about what it’d be like to climb a fourteener together. He’d already climbed several, more times than he could count. It was the joy he had as we talked about accomplishing it together that inspired me- still makes me smile.
At the time, I was 40 lbs heavier, addicted to sugar, working an unfulfilling sales job, and struggling with believing in myself.
As we were talking about it, I knew I’d have to become a different person in order to...
It has been said that 93% of communication is non verbal and 53% of that is body language. The funny thing about communication is that our tone and our body language not only communicate to those around us, but to ourselves as well.
The same is true for my self-talk ...it turns out it's quite similar to the way I talk to others. When i am critical and judgmental of others , I am practicing being critical and judgmental of myself. I am rehearsing looking for and accepting those negative thoughts.
The good news is that I love giving a good compliment. I love to be observant and try to discover what someone is working on in their life - where they are putting their effort, then to acknowledge that effort. It's connecting and it makes me feel like I am contributing to their process ...and anyone who reads this knows that I love the process.
It turns out that this joy of mine contributes greatly to my own positive self-talk. When I practice...
When I was in high school, I didn't have a curfew - I had to have a PLAN. I was allowed to experience life, I was allowed to have fun, I was allowed to take risks ...but my parents had to know my plan.
As youth ministers they had heard the same song too many times following a life altering bad decision:
"What were you thinking?"
Major consequences from not thinking. To combat this, I HAD to have a plan. I had to think in advance about what I would be doing, the choices I would be making, and the risks I would be taking. As long as i stuck to the plan, I was OK. When my friends tempted me to stray from the plan - it was easy for me to resist because I LOVED the freedom I had to make any plan I wanted. I wasn't willing to trade the momentary satisfaction of "a little fun" for the lifestyle I had created. I loved my plan - and I took pride in my plan. My parents fostered in me a pride in my process, the mindset to...
You're at the head of the class and you notice 3 students near the back fighting to hold back smiles. They're not breaking any rules ...but they are clearly attempting to hide something. Your mind starts spinning. Is my zipper down, is there food on my face?
...Or maybe they are excited because they are already realizing that this is going to be the most fun class they've had all day.
Which one is most likely?
(He checks is zipper) ...MUST be food on my face
Our brains naturally place 5 time as much importance on negative information, thoughts, or ideas as positive. Because of this we naturally think of the negative thoughts as true and the positive thoughts as "head in the clouds" fantasy. Negative thoughts get to be called "realistic" and positive thoughts are dismissed as "idealistic".
I have a generally positive thought pattern and it leads to a fair amount of helpful self-talk. When this shows up in tough life circumstance - my...
I've played in a lot of sporting events both home and away. I've felt the difference between support and heckling. As a 5-9 inch volleyball player, the wasn't one away game I played where i didn't hear some variation of, "Hey number 7, the NCAA agreed to a new rule this year, you're allowed to stand up!!!"
Now, of course you learn to not only survive, but thrive in that environment, but a "home court advantage" is discussed for a reason - it's just easier to show up under pressure when you're being supported vs verbally attacked.
Since we KNOW this is true and we WANT to show up well in our own lives, we always support ourselves ...right? Of course not, that would make too much sense. Instead we obsess on our short comings, live in fear of failure, doubt ourselves, then chastise ourselves mercilessly when let ourselves down.
What if you could stop doing that? What if you could recognize that this is a pivotal moment in the game and this is when...
50% - You're half-way to success!!
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