"Is it ok if you don't do your best?"
He must have asked me that 6 or 7 times over the course of three different therapy sessions.
I wasn't getting it.
"No!" I said. "It's not ok to not do your best. You should always give 100% no matter what."
To be fair to myself, that's also true, but I wasn't catching what he was putting down. Finally he asked in a way that I could understand it.
"If you have the flu, is your best going to look different than if you're fully healthy?" He asked.
"Oh! No!" I said with immediate confidence. "Of course not! You have the flu, so it's impossible to do your best at that point."
"So I'll ask again, 'Is it ok if you don't do your best?'"
Ah... he got me. Now I understood what he was saying.
These therapy sessions happened about 6 years ago. I was reminded of this when I saw a post today that said, "On the days that you only have 40%, and you give 40% - you gave your 100%."
Yes. That is such a perfect illustration of the mindset that my therapist was trying to gift me with.
I often think about the woman that I was 6 years ago. I'm sure you can relate to this. You look back at her and think, wow... I've come a long ways from that moment.
I actually love to see her as a whole different person. This came about during a cord cutting ceremony I did with a Relationship Coach and Specialist, Bre Wolta (@lucid.living.with.bre). Follow her on Instagram, she's hilarious and has great info!
We did a ceremony of guided meditation with relaxing music in the background. She walks you through connecting with your old self. You know, the one that allowed you to get into the messes that you've been in lately.
You get to cut the cord connecting the two.
At first I thought this would be sad. Like I'm losing a part of myself, and I wasn't sure how I would respond. I wanted to love my past self, not get rid of her. But, I was also picturing her as weak and naive. Like a dumb, ditsy side of me that irritated me.
The result was so different than anything I had imagined.
As I went through this exercise, and I let her go... it was beyond anything I had ever experienced. She was not the weak and mild girl I had in mind.
She was a fighter. She was scared of making the wrong decision. She was frustrated, panicked, and always on guard. She trusted the wrong people because she wanted to help others. She fought for things that ended up hurting her. She couldn't see clearly through all of the fog.
I'll never forget the look on her face when I told her she was being released. I still tear up just telling you about it. She looked at me with complete and utter relief. It was like she had been imprisoned for years, and the chains had been cut. She stood up tall, gave me a huge hug, and through tears, she whispered, "Thank you."
She walked away with a joyful bounce of freedom, and didn't look back.
As I think back to the days when my 100% felt like 40%, I think of that version of me.
I fought with everything I had, but everything I had was not very much compared to what I knew I had been capable of in the past. I felt like a complete failure every day.
Now... wow. Can you imagine taking an hour and a half snapshot of your life today, and letting yourself 5 years ago watch it?
What would she think? What would she do?
Would she be proud? Relieved? Ashamed? Angry?
I know exactly what mine would do. She would fall to her knees in complete and utter relief.
She would cry massive rivers of tears in humble pride at what she is about to accomplish.
She would be slightly scared to endure what's coming, but seeing the outcome would give her a calming peace about the war and battles ahead.
It would make her armor seem a little lighter. It would encourage her to train a little harder. It would push her to speak a little louder, with intense confidence and conviction.
She wouldn't feel like she had to hide. She would stand tall in the face of adversity with her chin up, a bad-ass hair-do, and one of those scary confident grins on her face. You know the smile I'm talking about, where the hero is about to kick-ass when the villain thinks they've won.
Yeah... that smile!
This is one of my favorite exercises to coach people on. Have a conversation with a version of your past self that needs to hear that she will be ok. Or, let your past self ask you why you have slipped, and what you intend to do to reclaim her sparkle.
Those conversations can be life changing. And no matter where it goes, be sure to thank whichever version of you is calling you to something greater! And call Bre for a cord cutting... You can preview her on the Podcast Shattered to Unbreakable in the episodes on relationships. Her services are also part of my private coaching program, which you can find more information about on the website.
Stay Sparkly Sweet Sisters!
I love you.