Sunday, November 23, 2014

Being Mentally Strong

I am who I am.
I've made mistakes. 
I've screwed up. 

But all of those things, those moments of adversity, have made me into the person I am today. You can love me. You can hate me. I like myself well enough to say it's ok. 

When I was training for my first Ironman, Chris said to me: "In order to train for an Ironman, you really have to like yourself." That statement hit me...HARD. Because you know what? I do like myself. I've recognized the mistakes I've made in the past and I do not dwell on them. Some things I would love to change. Some things I would not. 

So as I was chilling this morning with my cup of coffee (read as procrastinating from cleaning), I came across this Pin on Pinterest and it struck me. I've always known I was strong. This pin, I feel, describes me quite well.

1. They move on. We all have moments where we feel unsuccessful, but why let those feelings control your life? I am still ok with who I am.

2. They keep control. I will not allow anyone else to have a negative impact on me. I decided a long time again that I would not allow negative people affect me. I was in a work situation where two ladies spent 90% of the work day complaining about our co-workers. I looked at them and thought of all the negative energy they are putting out in the world. No, I wasn't going to allow their negativity to affect me. I will remain in control.

3. They embrace change.  Most people do not like change. I enjoy it. Why? Because I look at it as a new adventure.

4. They stay happy. Refer to number 2. Don't allow negative people to impact you.

5. They are kind. This one may not be a 100% true. I am a people pleaser by nature; however, I am kind and when I need to I will certainly speak up for what I believe is right. I have to laugh because everyone at work calls me "the nice one" or "the calm one". I NEVER thought those words would be used to describe me but I actually like it.

6. They are willing to take calculated risks. Before signing up for my first Ironman, I sat down with my dear friend, Gene "The Legend", to figure out if I could actually finish this thing. I weighed the risks and decided I was going to give it a go....success or failure...I was going to take the risk and give it my best.

7. They invest their energy in the present. This one is huge for me. A lot of women in particular spend a lot of time re-thinking a conversation...I said this, she said that and what did that really mean? Me? No way. I don't have time for that. My past is behind me. Do I have pangs of regrets occassionally? Heck, yah, we all do. I've said some stupid things certainly. My present and future are where I can put my energy and make a change. I can't change the past.

8. They accept full responsibility for their past behavior. Yep, I did that. I made a conscious decision to take action, or sometimes to not take action. I can't blame someone else for my actions but again those things make me who I am. One principle I've always lived by: "You have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror in the morning." Or in other words, you have to be able to admit your actions and accept the consequences. If you can't own up to your actions, don't do it.

9. They celebrate other people's success. I think the key here is to realize your own limitations. Do I want to run a 3 hour marathon? Sure! Do I ever realistically see that happening? No. So instead I cheer on those who are faster than me and accept my own abilities for what they are.

10. They are willing to fail. I've always said you learn more from adversity than you do from being successful 100% of the time. Failure teaches you more lessons than having things come easy. Stop. Evaluate. Move forward.

11. They enjoy their time alone. Oh my gosh YES!!!!! I've always considered myself an extrovert, but dang I just need some time alone every once in a while. Time to do what I want to do and connect with myself rather than others.

12. They are prepared to work and succeed on their own merits. No one is going to give me a hand out. If you want to succeed, put in the work.

13. They have staying power. OK, I'll admit. I am great at this except when it comes to food. My nutrition sucks. Ugh.....ok I'm working on it.

14. They evaluate their core beliefs. Daily evaluations and modification. Life comes at you fast. What needs to change?

15. They expend their mental energy wisely. I am busy. I don't have time to dwell on the past or feeling sorry for myself. I don't have time to worry about why someone said or did something else. I can't control their actions. I can only evaluate myself.

16. They think productively. Instaed of thinking about negative things, empower yourself by thinking about how things can be improved or how things went well.

17. They tolerate discomfort. I have not always been this wise, or even   felt comfortable with myself. Sometimes I come up short on my self evaluations, but that's ok. I am a work in progress.

18. They reflect on their progress every day. Ok, maybe not daily but I certainly do spend time thinking about how to improve and make changes in my life so I can be happier tomorrow...not what I should have done better today.

If you know me at all, you know that I am a strong person. I have faith in myself and in others in this world to do good. I am strong mentally. I am strong physically. It doesn't matter what you think of me. I am fine who the person I am. It's taken me a long time to be able to say that. Now, let's evaluate the day and move forward toward a better, more productive future. 

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