To be, or not to be?

A lot of my thoughts lately have revolved around the growth I’ve had as a person. I often find myself comparing who I was in high school and in college to who I am today. To be perfectly honest, there are parts of who I used to be that make me cringe. I don’t mean that I cringe because I looked like I had a fried mop on my head, but some of the decisions I made and the way I chose to conduct myself in certain aspects of my life. I think it’s safe to say that if we all took a step back that there would be parts we wouldn’t be thrilled with either.

As with training, progress in life and as a human is never linear. Life is filled with ups, downs and plateaus. When I look back, for all the nonsense I did and all the headaches I gave my parents, I was able to learn from my mistakes and move forward. Now, this is not to say that I am the perfect person and that everyone should try to be like me. Because, I still f*** up all the time. There never has and never will be a pinnacle to one’s performance or to how good of a human you can be. It is a never ending process filled with learning and constant reflection. At no point will you wake up and think “there’s no possible way I could improve as a person.” And if you find yourself at that point, there’s an even bigger problem.

If you regularly read the blogs I post, I wrote a while back about finding your rhythm. Ditching the “work-life balance” mantra and instead finding a way to have harmony between all the various aspects of your life. No one thing should be pulling or detracting from another area. Building off of that, we have reflect as to who we are as a human. What sort of character do we have? How would someone describe you? Would you be happy with that description or would it make you cringe? It starts with being honest with yourself and identifying what your values are. They can be things that you are striving for and don’t quite have dialed in yet or they can be things that have been apart of who you are for as long as you can remember. The key here is to be as brutally honest as possible. I always think about the personality quizzes that you can find online. They are only useful if you answer the questions honestly, but what do most of us do? We tend to skew our answers to be what we wish we were, selecting the traits we aspire to have as opposed to identifying traits that are true to us.

Even though the answers might not be what we want to hear when we start truly breaking down who we are; they are the necessary building blocks to changing (growing) what we don’t like and becoming who we want to be. For me, my biggest weakness that I’ve been able to mask through the years is communication. I have always struggled to effectively communicate to people around me how I really feel. Often times I would keep my thoughts to myself to avoid upsetting someone. I would agree to something in order to avoid a difficult conversation. I would even know exactly what I was doing and that I should communicate better and I would still run from it out of fear. I’ve had friendships and relationships that weren’t in line with who I wanted to be and what my values were, but I was too scared to do anything about it. It is something that I am actively working on everyday and I still have a long way to go. It’s uncomfortable and unnatural for me, but the more I practice it, the better I will become at it.

There are other areas in my life that I need to improve on to be who I want to be, but one thing at a time. Mastering one specific part at a time will help me to attain sustainable habits in the long run. Often times we can be so overwhelmed with things that need attention, that we don’t even know where to start. I have chosen to put more of an emphasis on my communication because it will have a snowball effect into other parts of my life. The better and more effective I can be as a communicator, the better I can display my values to those around me. We each have something unique to us to work on and we can only ascertain what that is by having that difficult conversation internally. What is that I want? Who is it that I want to be? What parts of myself do I need to improve on in order to attain that? Answer those questions and get to work. It won’t be easy and you’ll never be done, but what’s the worst outcome? You become a better version of yourself?

- Coach Cam