The sun hasn’t even appeared and Hazel already believes the day is ruined. She lives in Apt 8J at Vita Reali and is up and at it. She’s finishing her workout and instead of bringing on her usual dose of happy, courtesy of the exercise induced release of endorphins, she’s sad. She transitions easily into mad. Then right on time, she’s feeling like a failure.
Hazel has just completed her certification for Personal Training. It was a wonderful experience. She was in her element because biology always came so easy to her. The coursework, which was self-study, never troubled her and she was disciplined in pacing her days for reading and understanding the new material. Hazel even went as far to create note cards she could take with her on the go and study if she was at a long stop light or sitting in a waiting room. She was committed and fully absorbed in pursuing her passion.
To outsiders, no one would expect Hazel to be struggling but she was not only in such a negative place, she was living on an all-day diet of self-doubt.
It started a few weeks after she finished her course certification. Hazel was so excited and optimistic to start working, she expected to quickly transition into a comfortable client load that would fill her days. She worried more about “how” to juggle all of her clients with her other life responsibilities than the challenge of getting new clients.
See, the course itself didn’t prove a challenge for Hazel and it wasn’t a big deal to pass. It came so naturally for her. The big deal to her was to be a successful, booked personal trainer on her way to becoming the most-sought after and respected trainer. Hazel brushed off the accomplishment of her certification because it wasn’t as important becoming the new “it” girl for personal training.
Hazel had secured one new client from her gym who had known her from gym days prior to the trainer certification. Instead of considering this as an accomplishment, she felt like it is a charity case. Her new client, Mrs. Anderson, felt pity for Hazel and wanted to help her. Instead of letting this pump her up and feel good, Hazel squelched this benchmark because it’s so far from her ideal of being a smash hit.
Evan, Hazel’s boyfriend, runs interference with this self-sabotaging talk and reminds Hazel of her talent as a trainer and that her ability is what prompted Mrs. Anderson to hire her. She knows Hazel is good at what she does and not only wants to work with someone so knowledgeable, she knows Hazel will improve her overall health and to Mrs. Anderson that is priceless. Hazel doesn’t listen to Evan since in her mind, he’s biased and only trying to make her feel better.
This isn’t an uncommon scenario. What comes easy to us is easily dismissed as no big deal. We set such lofty goals that when we finally reach them, only then, we’ll be successful. Until then, we’re wanna-bes, posing as a successful professional and not worthy of respect of praise from others and most definitely not from ourselves.
This is unsurprising behavior from high achievers, and without a doubt, completely and absolutely ridiculous!
There is no overnight success. Everyone has a humble beginning and goes through predictable stages of growth. What appears to us to be spontaneous fame is years of hard work, exhausting days and ups and downs and it happened when we weren’t paying attention. Because that was when they were still one of many! Average at their craft.
No-one is born an expert or an out-of-this world phenom. It is an evolution of living through the processes of challenge and applying the knowledge we gain into delivering exceptional performance and creating our success. It’s days, weeks and months of self-doubt, self-criticism and unrealistic expectations we need to go through to understand no career is flawless or without failure and mistakes.
We are forged into experts with experience and errors because we learn and grow from them and gain a new respect for our service. Through these practical trials, we establish the performance criteria we come to expect from ourselves.
Let’s stop being so cruel to ourselves! Let’s stop holding off celebrating the little successes along the way to our dreams. They’re a bigger deal than we give them credit. They’re evidence of our growth!
Let’s honor these tiny steps that appear to be minutiae because they help build the feeling of competence and boost our self-image. Celebrating feeds optimism, reinforces dedicated planning and goal setting and raises our confidence that indeed we are doing what we love. And we’re darn good at!
Keep it Simple,