This year has been one of my best for sure. I’ve got great memories and lessons to carry me forward, but above all, when I look back, I will remember 2015 as being a transformative year. I write this today as a much stronger, more self assured, happier person than I was back in January. As we are wont to do at this time of year, I’ve been taking a look back at lessons learned and I thought I’d share mine here.
Take a step back
You know what my least favourite phrase is? ‘I’m busy’ (or variations thereof). And I’m not saying I’m not guilty of using it occasionally, but we’re all out here acting like we’re the CEO of Apple or something and it’s bullshit. Bottom line, if you wanna make time for something, you do.
I realised at the start of the year, I was trying to do too much. I was always ‘busy’ and if I wasn’t, I felt like I was failing. What I learned is to stop and take a step back. I took a hard look at everything I was trying to do, ranked them in terms of how important they actually are to me and re-prioritized. It meant I stopped doing some things altogether, some things took a back seat, but mainly, I allowed my time to go towards what truly mattered to me. I wouldn’t have been able to do that had I not taken a step back and been honest with myself.
Drop your ego
We all have an ego but I learned this year there’s a time and a place for it. Here’s what it took me a long while to understand; nobody owes you shit. Seriously. If you’re doing what you’re doing for acclaim, approval, likes, retweets, or general adoration, my advice is to get your head out of your ass and get the hell over yourself. In the long run, none of that matters.
Do you feel hard done by because you’ve been doing a certain thing for years and not getting the recognition you feel you deserve? Yup, there goes that ego again. I can speak openly about it because I had to check myself on it. I was way caught up in that the past few years. I felt like I’d toiled away and I’d built up this big social media following and I was owed, damnit!
When I took that step back, got in tune with what was really important and put my energy into that, I realised that really all there is to do is the work. And if I manage to make one person feel good through what I do? Well, that’s it right there. There are no back slaps or social media likes that equate to having genuinely played a part in helping someone better themselves.
Now I work my ass off for that, for the people I come into contact with every day. I’m not owed shit. And freeing myself of that ego and entitlement has made my life infinitely more satisfying than I could ever imagine.
Let it go
Someone hurt you? That argument still ringing around in your head? Didn’t get that promotion you went for? Well, boo hoo. There there. Now get over it.
You can have all the revenge fantasies you want, but I guarantee you, carrying that energy around with you on a daily basis is doing you more harm than good (and the person you’re aiming them towards gives not one solitary fuck either way). Whatever it is that you’re holding onto, you have to just get over it and let it go.
Take the lesson from it, whatever that may be, and move forward. And yes, that is easier said than done, but you have to actively be working on it every day. There literally is no other option.
I’m an introvert, meaning alone time is both vital and something I cherish. It’s taken me a long while to figure out that it shouldn’t mean I push people away or I can’t have friends. This year, I’m so lucky to have grown close to people who get me. They don’t get pissed at me if they don’t hear from me for a couple of weeks and they’re there for me, with no judgement, whenever I decide to reemerge.
Part of being an introvert is essentially being very selective about who you share your energy with and those who get you understand that you’re not doing it for snobby reasons, it’s just how we’re wired. There was a time in life where I genuinely thought I just wasn’t meant to have friends. I’m so grateful that I’ve come to a place this year where I’m comfortable with the people I have around me, and am growing more so by the day in being able to reach out to them and rely on them for support and encouragement. It’s pretty cool, this friendship thing!
Go with the flow
Linking this back to my first point of taking a step back and figuring out what you want, this year was all about going with the flow for me. When I stripped everything right back, took my ego out of it, I got it right down to what makes my heart beat harder, what gives me that fire in the belly, what makes me want to wake up every day and do better? I realised that teaching spin was bringing so much light into my life and I’d kinda been fighting against it by trying to do a zillion other things at the same time (not literally while spinning, you understand – that’d be a health and safety nightmare). I decided since that’s where my energy is naturally flowing, I would throw myself into that full throttle.
And friends, did that ever pay off! I spent all my time perfecting my craft. I didn’t want to just be good at it – the people who ride with me deserve more. I want to be GREAT at it. I want people to leave my classes feeling inspired, empowered and uplifted. I want them to trust that when they’re riding me with me, I have their back, I’m rooting for them, I want them to win. To give anything less than my very best when I’m on the bike, is to do my riders a disservice.
I went with that flow of energy and I haven’t looked back. I’m happier than I’ve been in ages. I have a sense of purpose. Getting sweaty hugs from my riders at the end of a class, seeing their beaming smiles, knowing that I made a positive impact on their day, that is everything to me.
So there you have it my friends, my 2015 in five lessons. I’m grateful to be ending this year on a high note and looking forward to continuing to ride this wave.
How was 2015 for you? What were your big lessons? Let me know in the comments!