Last weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in an advanced instructor training for instructors who teach the Les Mills fitness class BodyPump, a 60 minute weight training program. One of the trainers told me I was strong and was happy to see I put a lot of weight on the bar. While I knew I was stronger than the average American, I didn’t see myself as physically that strong. Instead, my focus was on, why am I not lifting more weight or why am I not stronger? But, after this training, I started to realize I am actually stronger than I had believed. In fact, the next time I taught a class, I felt fitter, stronger, and more confident than ever and had the best workout I had had in a long time. While it’s great to hear a positive comment from someone, I am more concerned about the fact that I didn’t recognize my own strength and as a result, I wasn’t working to my true full potential. And, if I am not recognizing it, then I am guessing you aren’t recognizing your own strength or full potential either.
When we don’t recognize our own strength, we miss out on opportunities. And, this isn’t just at the gym. This is in our career, our family, our church, and even with our friends. It’s failing to apply for a job for which we think we lack qualifications or not joining a committee at a church because you think others are more qualified. Or, perhaps you are whiz with numbers and budgeting, but your husband manages the finances in your household. We lose out, and the world loses out, when we don’t know and believe in our own strength.
So, what does it take to start believing in your personal strength? Simply start with being grateful for all that you do and have. Take a look at your life and look for the things you do well, the things that make you shine and create happiness. Notice I said look for the things for which you can be grateful. Sometimes they can be hard to see in the fog of what we perceive we are missing. When it comes to fitness, your strength may be the fact that you have the discipline to work out 3 times a week. Or, with your career, your strength may be the passion you have for your work and your willingness to continuously learn. Or, with your family, it might just be that on Monday, you cooked the most amazing meal, fueling your children with healthy and tasty food. Right now, I am in the early stages of setting up a new business and I am grateful for the daily discipline I exhibit including rising early, setting a schedule of work and sticking to it. It doesn’t always work out as planned and things do go wrong, but I am grateful for the discipline I have, as I know it will only bring more. Being grateful today allows us to continue on a journey in which we feel comfortable expanding our horizons, allowing more opportunities to come. And, what happens if you apply for a job and get turned down or don’t get the results at the gym as hoped? Be grateful! Be grateful that you took a risk. Be grateful that you were willing to push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Be grateful that your comfort zone just got a little bit bigger which means next time, you get to leap a little further.
We need to recognize that we are stronger than we might think. When we see our true strength, we open doors, see opportunity, and the world changes around us for the better. Be grateful for all those little things in your life, and your strength will come from within. So, when someone says you are strong, you can smile and say to yourself, “Yep, I know.”