I think this blog was inspired because yesterday I was feeling so frustrated with myself. In the middle of the night I just remember mulling everything over in my mind, and in the end my final response was, "WHATEVER," only when you read this word it needs to be read in a very flippant, defiant, teenager-like voice to get the full effect. And what I have learned about myself is that I do not do well with anyone telling me what I can and cannot do, and this includes my own internal voices.
The point in time when I figured this out about myself is when my friend Karrie asked me to do Ironman. My automatic response to her was, "I could never do that! Look at me...I can barely run a half-marathon." The more I thought about it, the madder I got at myself. How could I possibly know what I am capable of if I don't even try? Lack of belief in me brings out a stubborn "let me prove you wrong" side that moves me forward no matter how difficult the task is for me to achieve. My anger at having people, including myself, not believe in me changed my internal voice from "whatever" to "WHATEVER IT TAKES!"
It was at this point that I realized that the word/phrase "whatever" can have two completely opposite meanings. One meaning enables us to just throw it to the wind and allow chance to determine the outcome. The other meaning places us in a position of power to change even what seems to be an insurmountable challenge. In our district we are working on guiding the mindset of teachers, students and their families to have a stronger growth mindset. Basically what separates those that succeed from those that do not is a belief that talents and abilities can be developed with hard work and determination. This morning I came across a great article by Carol Dweck on the topic of mindset in sports. She states, "People with a growth mindset...think of talents and abilities as things they can develop—as potentials that come to fruition through effort, practice, and instruction. They don’t believe that everyone has the same potential or that anyone can be Michael Phelps, but they understand that even Michael Phelps wouldn’t be Michael Phelps without years of passionate and dedicated practice. In the growth mindset, talent is something you build on and develop, not something you simply display to the world and try to coast to success on." I had a fixed mindset about my ability to tackle and complete an Ironman length race. Once I switched to a growth mindset, not allowing anyone or anything to make me feel inadequate, I worked hard, trained hard, and in the end I did the "impossible"--I can now call myself an Ironman! See bottom of blog for full article
What I am trying to convey to you this week, and to myself in the process, is that if we just say "whatever," it means that external factors have more power over us than the things we do to make changes. This is a very powerless position. It's time that we take over and get back in the driver's seat when it comes to our health and other areas where we need to make change. Am I going to let the negative thoughts in my head prove me to be a failure, or am I going to get angry and use these thoughts to get me back on track to my growth mindset? I am done wallowing in my pool of misery over gaining some of my weight back. These negative thoughts are not moving me forward, and I need to remind myself that I am stronger than food, I am stronger than the will to sleep in, and I am stronger than the scale to determine what my next steps are. And the beauty of having so many of you behind me is that I know that we will all hold each other accountable to continue on the road to flabulous.