To my close friend O!
A couple of years ago, I gained some weight and it happened quickly. On the blink of an eye my lifestyle had completely changed and I found myself a bit rounder.
I have never been the catwalk model type, with a skinny or bony body structure, however that was not the issue. The issue was my new lifestyle, sitting behind my working desk all the time and getting comfortable with a bit of mobility absence.
I guess I had grown tired of running across the city to make my schedule work right for both my part time job at the time and university. The thing is, I used to be an active person. I liked going for long walks, jogging, working out and it was not related to my looks or shape only, it was related to how it made me feel. Somehow I had forgotten though and looked like I had no intention in changing my current attitudes and work out of my bad habits. I remember my parents trying to talk some sense into me, I remember also friends trying to do the same. I was stubborn, I refused to take action, I repeat I felt very much ok, I knew deep inside it was wrong for my own well being and health, but I couldn’t make myself care less.
Some months later, I met a girl, she is a very good friend of mine, which I also admire for her strong will and determination. I think everyone needs a friend like that, which shows some “tough love” and out of love pushes you for your best. She liked checking her diet, healthy eating, bio products and working out. Little by little started to point out her thoughts, her plans how she managed to achieve better health, better shape and in quite a short time I must say, less than 9 months (I am a bit skeptical about weight loss and getting fit in just a couple of weeks. I support the idea that steady gradual little steps provide a much better result for body’s well being and most importantly also a long lasting one ). I let myself to be influenced and started adopting her methods. In fact it didn’t take long when I started to notice the first changes. Then it was gym time \oo/
Now here comes the best 😉
I was out of shape or “out of tonus”. When I first paid a visit to the gym, I felt bad about my body, specially being surrounded by some fit hard working girls with that self confidence aura like saying “I know what I am doing here, and daaaaamn look at me: “I’ ve got it!” ”. I was intimidated, to tell the truth. I had never been in a gym before, besides what I was supposed to do during high school, or jogging and tops work out fitness exercises from short TV sessions . Above all I wasn’t that informed as well. But I was willing to learn, at least to try that’s what I kept telling myself. I was getting out of my comfort zone here, which was scary due to my fear of failing, not being able to highly perform exercises or the training sessions…
Oh and the girls giggling behind my back? Yeah, it looks like a movie scene, but it’s true and yes, it stings. I felt lame and clumsy.
For a slight moment I thought it was best if I quit, I wasn’t good for that, I would never do it right, but then I remembered I had a purpose, far more important than just caring about the being laughed at part… I took the aerobics class too, it looked fun and an interesting way of working out and burn plenty of unnecessary fat. It looked easy… well it was not! I felt like a stupid blind chicken tumbling on my own feet or … “wings”, totally out of rhythm and sync. I sucked, guys! I don’ t even remember how many times I got it wrong, first with my equilibrium issues, my bad breathing, … and they laughed. I am laughing too now, because truly said that was quite a scene, can’t really blame them.
Most importantly I remember not taking it personally anymore, and also saying: “I will get it right, after some time. I know I will. I will feel comfortable and confident. I will remember this sometime ahead and I will laugh my a** off with myself.” (Oh and for the record, that’ s how it also went with the zumba classes 😉 )
I never took the easy way out, quitting, nor choosing the easy steps versus the more difficult ones, not bothering to make an effort, because I didn’t know how. Of course I didn’t know. Of course I was making mistakes. That’s the learning process, as much as it might hurt, as much as we don’ t want to accept reality and we would like to live in denial, in order to improve you have to face mistakes, defeats. This includes obviously mindsets, from which also a lot of personal failures derive.
That’s the thing: I am not supposed to know everything. I am not supposed to get it right from the first time I try something new.
What I am supposed to do for my own good is: Be open minded about my traits and behaviors. Recognize what I don’t know and do something about it, by learning. Admit my mistakes. Be nice to myself when I make one and motivate myself to move forward.
- I chose classes to force myself out of my comfort zone, to force myself to face my mistakes, the unknown and the scary and confront it and why not, let’s say conquer it. I had a challenge with myself to win over, in which I succeeded.
- Besides the common reasons, when you choose to learn a new language, I personally chose German, for the same reason A new challenge, forcing myself out of my comfortable “sofa”, learning by making mistakes and moving further to hone my skills.
So, choose something different from what you are used to in your everyday life. Start learning by also making mistakes. This will broaden your knowledge, your mind and vision and surely will help much more with the “mistake mind trait” part. Why? Because when you will face the REAL deal in life, where your life opportunities are at stake you will be well prepared.
As for perfectionism, I recall a situation during my university years. I had a project assignment and I had been studying and reading for months. I felt like something was missing. My work, my project was good, but not….hhhmmm what’s the word again? Perfect. I tried to predict all possible options and eventual questions that the audience or the professors might ask, but I didn’t feel it was enough.
There was another student before me, and by the end of her speech, I made the mistake to back out and retreat. Yes, retreat is the word. That’s how it felt like.
I left the room, sneaking out like a little thief. A couple of hours later, I regretted what I had done… to myself! That would cost me another year. One more year to go, before I had the chance again to deliver my over due project. I felt disappointed and ashamed of my cowardice. Everything comes with a price though and I paid the consequence of my action which also made me learn a lesson. Because you know what? As much as I tried the next year, there was absolutely nothing more that I could have done. Overall it looked like I had done a good job. There was still a question, which I wasn’t able to answer, but wasting a year or worse letting another pass because I didn’t feel “ready” it wouldn’t have been worth it. What for? Fearing that my knowledge amount would have been criticized or judged? Why not think that by confronting I will deepen it instead and next time I might be able to surpass my previous work, not just a good one but have a better or even an outstanding one.
In response to the today’s daily post “punishment“.