Sometimes We Teach What We Need To Learn
I’ve had this topic on my list for months now. What I usually do when planning out my content is review my master list of topics and the one that speaks to me that day is usually the one I’m meant to write. I’ll write ideas down whenever I have them, but sometimes by the time it comes to pick a topic, that one is not ready for the world yet.
I think it was actually over the summer when this idea came to me. I was in the middle of working on my marriage and dealing with an emotional state that finally found a name in a diagnosis of depression. I was writing this blog as I normally did, but I felt compelled to write posts that were focused on treating yourself well, embracing your imperfections, and ultimately emphasizing that at any time and any day, you are enough. I realized that as much as I wanted to convey those messages, they were also the ones that I had the hardest time internalizing.
You know how advice for others always comes easily, but when you turn it around on yourself you have a hard time following it? That’s how I felt writing those pieces. It’s like I knew that this is how I should be treating myself and the steps I should take to have a healthier life inside and out, but I couldn’t always follow along.
Subscribing to the adage that practice makes perfect, I learned that repeatedly focusing and writing on these subjects was slowly helping me get to a place of acceptance and self-love that I don’t think I would have gotten to as quickly if it weren’t for the need to show up and share my words with you (so THANK YOU).
I don’t think that I would have been able to write this post at that time because I wasn’t quite out of the woods yet. My appreciation and care for myself has increased tremendously in the last 6-8 months, but there are still certain life subjects that I need to revisit more than once in order to more fully internalize the message. Here are some examples:
I chose to be a personal trainer and a fitness instructor both because I love the subject matter and because helping others and pushing them to achieve their best is something that resonates with me. Teaching classes is an incredible reminder of the power that each one of us has and that we can constantly grow and achieve new goals. I constantly repeat messages about working as hard as you can, learning to silence that negative voice, and that on any given day, you should be proud of the work you’re doing.
It’s not easy to add a regular exercise routine into an already busy adult life. It takes planning, dedication, and a desire to be better. Teaching students that come to a 5:15 am class is always an inspiring experience and both seeing those people and repeating those positive messages helps me realize why I choose to live the way I do.
This has been incredibly important for me to prioritize and understand. I went through many years bending to the will of others and acting in caretaking roles, which ultimately left me lacking a sense of identity. I didn’t know what I liked or didn’t like and I didn’t realize that I was important enough to put first.
With as much as I run around during the day, it can be easy to forget to put myself first. Some days I like to schedule a little extra time between clients so I can do things like treat myself to a delicious coffee or donut (or both). I try and get all my blog work done during the day so that I can spend time with Neil or even just myself and a good book. With repeated practice, I’ve come to view self-care as a necessity and not something selfish.
3. Progress not perfection
This one still gets me. I struggle between being too hard on myself and absolving myself of all responsibility as I try to find that imperfect balance. Life is a journey and it’s about trying to do your best each day. If you fall short, you can always start again. Perfection is an unreachable goal, but since it was a concept so ingrained in my thinking, it takes repeated messages to the contrary for me to finally hear them.
The days that I know I don’t have to be perfect are AMAZING. The days when I forget are stressful and disappointing. I’m much quicker to forgive myself for mistakes I make, but it’s continually a process that I’m not perfect at conceptualizing (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?).
4. Learning my worth
By not prioritizing myself, I made it easy to let others take advantage of me. I didn’t set boundaries at work or at home, and I found myself resenting many people and places despite the results being due to my own actions. I settled for less compensation than I deserved and I was afraid to ask for what I wanted.
If anyone were to come and ask me about work-life boundaries or how much they should be charging for sponsored posts/social media campaigns, I would have no problem offering my advice. When I flip the script, I’m often less confident about my own decisions. I’ve gotten much better at the boundary issue, but I still struggle with asking to be appropriately compensated for my time and my work. Baby steps.
Thanks to Amanda for letting me think out loud.
- Can you relate to any of these examples?
- Do you have any of your own?