This morning I had an encounter with a random guy at the gym and within an hour I had turned it into a reflection in my life. As my Mom would say, “of course you did honey.” Here’s how that rolled out.
I had just finished my workout and I decided to try a couple of handstands by the back wall. Not a headstand…a handstand. I usually bop up into one and then fall back down. Not the kind of fall where I hurt myself. You know, you go into a handstand and come right back down. At the gym I use the wall so I can go into the handstand and since I can’t stay up, I tip back into the wall and keep trying for a bit before I get tired. I have fun trying.
So this morning after a couple of times playing around with handstands this young (and yes he was super cute) guy comments, “Great form, you almost got it.”
Standing up I replied, “Really? Are you a gymnast?”
He said yes, so I asked him if there was something I could do differently to improve. His recommendation was that I keep my feet together. I tried his suggestion and after 3 attempts I was able to stay up for a bit with my feet tightly together.
It was AWESOME! He congratulated me and I was all giddy and excited for the rest of the day. What was an uneventful morning at the gym turned into learning something new and tasting success.
This is how I saw the reflections in my own life…
- Be Brave -Be willing to look ‘stupid’.
- Open up to help from others – I don’t have to do it all by myself.
- Embrace the Unknown – Quit trying to figure it all out.
If I would have been too embarrassed to try my pathetic handstand in public I would never have encountered someone willing to help me. I actually didn’t even know I was missing a piece of crucial advice. I thought I just needed to practice more. By asking someone with experience I was able to get from point A (not being able to stay in the handstand) to point B (awesome 10 second handstand). Amazing feeling!
If I want different results it doesn’t make sense to just keep doing the same thing and hope it works out. This is why I love coaching. I sometimes don’t even know what I don’t know and wouldn’t have thought to ask. Which is what happened this morning. I didn’t know there was a little secret…and now I have a shot at mastering a handstand (relatively speaking). When I stay open to trying new things and let go of my stupid fear and just let shit happen without trying to orchestrate it I grow so much. And I get to laugh at how easy it is.
This morning I was reminded not to be scared of looking bad, of asking dumb questions or even of falling down in front of others – literally. I can actually benefit from falling down in front of others and if I don’t let shame take over because I put myself in the position to learn and grow. If I would have felt embarrassed that this guy was watching my lame attempt at a handstand this might have happened instead:
“Great form, you almost got it.”
Embarrassed giggle, “oh thanks” head down, face blushing red. I feel stupid, embarrassed and ashamed that someone was watching.
Gymnast guy walks away and I continue to bop up and fall right back down and I never experience that awesome feeling of staying up in a handstand for a full 10 seconds!
Perhaps this is why confident people with a good dose of self-esteem succeed. Not because they have earned their confidence and are finally good at whatever…but because they are good at not being good at what they are doing. I would consider myself a fairly confident person with a healthy amount of self-esteem (thank you Mom). I am in a place in my life that appears stable, strong and worthy of all the confidence that I radiate. But that’s not what I experience all the time.
My world seems scary to me sometimes. I have big dreams. I feel a burning desire inside to trust the Universe in a way that doesn’t fit with the 10 year plan my Dad wants me to lay out for him. Not that he expects that (although we all know he would love it), but that is a reasonable thing to have – a 10 year plan – especially as a business woman that loves to plan. And I’ve always had one. But the whisper that is getting louder and louder says to drop the agenda, quit trying to figure it all out and just BE. Let go of the expectations, the ‘shoulds’, and be open to what will happen in those little moments when you meet a stranger and a door opens.
So today I threw away my 10 year plan. (slightly hyperventilating).
I am in love with what my life is today. Even when it feels scary to me. And the reality is, I don’t think I would have planned for my life to be as awesome as it has become. If I try and plan for 10 years from now I might shortchange myself or be so focused on what I think I want that I might miss an opportunity for where I can best serve. I am going to let go of the fears that appear as obstacles, I’m going to embrace the unknown.
I know that I’m going to fall down, look stupid and make mistakes because I’m going to try new things. Thankfully I am getting better at how that works as I get older. I will come up with new ideas and goals to pursue. If I want to do something, I’m going to do it – go after it with all that passion I have. If I change my mind (because my heart says so), I’m going to change my mind. I’m going to stay open and in alignment with my inner Sara. She is so reliable and is always there for me.
And hopefully I’ll continue doing handstands.