I just got done subbing Strike! – a high intensity kickboxing meets mixed martial arts based class where we use weighted gloves and body bars to perform various drills. It’s become one of my most favorite LifeTime signature formats to teach because it gets me into that “fighter” mindset and enables me to tap into potential I didn’t even know existed. In a word, this class leaves me feeling limitless, invincible, fierce AF and lit.

 

But, as I sit in my car in the parking lot at LifeTime post-class, I feel anything but fierce AF, badass or lit. I feel defeated and overwhelmed with feelings of not-enoughness – worried I’ve ruined my chances of doing more within LifeTime, afraid I’ll never get my own time slot to teach Strike! because class wasn’t perfect and I made mistakes.

 

Me:              I’m afraid I ruined everything.

Inner Me:   You shouldn’t have made mistakes then. It’s not like you haven’t

subbed before – and you know class ends at 10:45am, not 11am.

What were you thinking?

 

Me:              I know. I don’t know what I was thinking. I thought I had more time.

I was afraid I had too much time to fill.

Inner Me:   So, instead you went over time and ended class abruptly. Clearly a

better alternative?

 

Me:              No, not at all. I thought I had my shit together. I always have my shit

together. I’m always so prepared and on point. I. Just. Don’t. Know.

Inner Me:   Well, you’ll just never have that “it” factor. You’re not perfect and

mistakes do matter in this industry. No one will ever come to that

class again.

 

Me:              I’m afraid I ruined everything.

Inner Me:   You totally did.

 

 

I could go on…but you get the idea.

 

We all have that voice inside us that berates us for our mistakes – for the times we forgot to do something or said something we didn’t really mean. We all have that voice inside us that rebukes us for our less than wise choices: the new cell phone purchase (even though the one we have now works perfectly) or staying up late to finish a project (which could have been done earlier if we weren’t binge watching episodes of “This is Us”).

 

For most of us, this voice – this “inner me” – gets the best of us. Instead of being a good moral compass to keep us in check or to keep us reaching towards our goals, it becomes a guilt-tripper of tyrannical proportions. It harms instead of helps. It tears us down instead of revving us up.

 

As I sat in my car having a full-fledged self-deprecation party, my life coach called – something I wasn’t half-surprised by; her timing is always impeccable. And like any chat we have, what was most valuable to me was the post-introspection it offered. You see, life coaching isn’t about “fixing” anything and after talking with my coach, I rarely walk away feeling like my issue is fixed or I have it all figured out. Rather, what happens is whatever needs to be brought to the surface so it can be examined, healed and dealt with, is brought up so that a new level of living can be reached, another layer peeled back.

 

After talking with Hildie, I felt myself caught between two realities. Mentally, physically and emotionally, I found myself situated between where I was and where I wanted to be. And it was there I realized, on a much deeper level than ever before, that there are two levels at which we can live our life: where we are in this present moment or in the lofty realm of expectations.

 

The first level is simply where we are right now – wherever that is, however we feel. Right now I’m feeling upset, frustrated, worried and drained. You might be avoiding emails and reading this on the sly at work or you might be binge watching TV instead of working on that project. Things could be better, for sure – I could not feel so down-in-the-dumps, you could not have a heap of annoying emails or a project you’re avoiding – but we’re here and we’re OK.

 

The second level, however, towers above us. This is the lofty realm of expectations. Generally speaking, it’s not a “bad” place. It’s also home to our goals, aspirations and dreams and when we leverage the support and help of others, when we love ourselves through the process of getting to the goal, we can touch those aspirations and make them our own. What gets us into trouble, and where I also found myself Saturday, is all the rubbish that’s stored alongside our dreams: the “shoulds,” comments, recommendations and lectures we’ve collected through our lives – the ones that tell us mistakes aren’t tolerated, perfection is the ideal status quo, and anything less than will deny us access to what it is we desire.

 

Bridging where we are and where we want to be – whether it’s on a physical, mental or emotional level – can only happen at the self-level, our present reality. It means starting where we are, loving what is and knowing that self-love and acceptance, regardless of our mistakes and shortcomings, allow us to reorient our thinking and talk back to our inner dialogue.

 

Me:             I’m afraid I ruined everything.

Inner Me:   Mistakes happen. Everyone from the beginner to the master makes

them.

 

Me:             Yeah, but I’ve subbed before. I know when class ends and clearly I

know my right from my left.

Inner Me:   So, it’s not like you don’t know how to teach this class then. You’ve

done it before and without any of those issues.

 

Me:             Yeah. I guess I just wasn’t as present as I normally am. I walked in

anxious. I put a lot of pressure on this class as if everything going

forward was riding on it.

Inner Me:    Sounds like it means a lot to you and not only do you love what you

do, but you invest a lot into what you do. What if you just taught

from that place of loving what you do, instead of expectation of

how it should be or how it will be received?

 

Me:             (takes a deep breath) That feels better.

Inner Me:    I think so too.