I had been taught my whole life that if someone doesn’t agree with you or if someone no longer serves you a purpose- then f*** ‘em (and sometimes cut them off).
I didn’t realize until right now that I had actually done that to my former self.
The Fit2point0 Leadership Team is writing this week about times in our lives where we did something badass and surprised ourselves.
I thought back to a rope climb.
I could do about a pullup and a half and had NEVER climbed a rope in my entire life. But for some reason, that rope was calling my name. So I practiced every day. I figured out how to make the rope climb work for me. I worked it until one day I just kept going, didn’t look down and made it to the top.
Flashback to today. I wondered to myself if this was something I'd like to celebrate.
I immediately thought “No. That was during a time when I hated myself and over trained because I didn’t like my body.”
So why do I have so much disdain for my prior me?
I use this timeframe in my life as a basis of comparison to where I am now. It was 4 years ago to be exact. I will sometimes show “before” and “afters” of myself between that time and now to show that weight on the scale does not dictates ones health, strength or happiness because when I was at my smallest I was the most miserable me there ever was.
My initial feelings when I think about her or see pictures of her are largely based in pity. I feel bad for her. I know how hard she was struggling to love herself, or to just feel good, or to feel like she was enough.
Does the fact that when I look back at old pictures of myself and feel bad for that person invalidate a few of the awesome things that person did during that time?
Self love, appreciation and gratitude for me TODAY? I got that, it’s nailed down. But I guess I have some shame I haven’t yet dug up about 5 Years Ago Me.
Logically, this doesn’t make much sense to me. Everything that am able to do today- skill set, opportunities or otherwise- is obviously a direct result of my prior experiences.
And if I'm working hard to be a better person with each passing day, then why am I pissed off at prior me for not being what I am now?
This rope climbing experience was something I did that was really really cool at the time. Hell, I couldn’t do it now, that’s for sure. And I didn’t have any bad feelings about the rope climb in and of itself.
It was all good feels- things like “I’m going to get strong enough to do this” and not “If I don’t get strong enough to do this I am worthless”. This rope climb didn’t decide my self worth- it was just something cool I wanted to do. And I did it.
I have been re-examining a lot about myself lately and how I got to here. I have learned the hard way that like minded does not mean same minded- and that we can love, appreciate and respect individuals who don’t see eye to eye with us on 100% of all things.
To open myself up to others even though they don’t agree with me on some things is probably the hardest exercise I’ve ever taken on in my adult life thus far. It requires vulnerability and that’s pretty scary.
But I remember everything Brene Brown has said about vulnerability- how it’s the only catalyst for courage, how it’s the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. And she’s not just saying these pinterest-worthy quotes, she has real studied social scientific data to back up these claims.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation and change. It’s also the birthplace of joy, faith and connection. To create is to make something that has never existed before. There’s nothing more vulnerable than that.” - Dr. Brene Brown
Am I trying to innovate? Yup.
Am I working toward change? Absolutely.
Tools that’ll help get me there: creativity, joy, faith and connection.
It’s time for me to open up to my past self. To be vulnerable and to let her in. She was worthy, even if she didn’t know it at the time.
She will be my biggest challenge yet.
Here she is, climbing that rope: