From MBA Corporate Board Room ... to Group Fitness Instructor.
I can still hear what I said in my head years ago when I attended a total body class at FFC. I remember thinking that the instructor was totally ripped and being a bit envious of her body and this life she got to live - but at the same time found negative things to say in my head about her. "She can't really make much of a living doing this...." "I wonder if this is what she always wanted to do?" "I wonder if she has several other jobs in addition to this one?"
First of all, how unbelievably rude of me to think those things about a complete stranger. Second, I had no idea anything about the group instructor - how much she made, whether she loved what she did, etc. Third, I had no business thinking ANY of it.
But why was I thinking those things? Jealousy.
From a very young age I learned the best way to get my grandma's attention and love was to excel. My grandma was more of a mother to me than my own mother - so her approval, acceptance and love was the only thing I would seek. She never said these specific criteria but my interpretation of excellence in her eyes was getting a solid education - at minimum a bachelors degree and getting a steady, reliable, 'good' job. So I did just that. And guess what? I second guessed all of that white collar, corporate life.
Well, thanks to FB and 'On this day...' daily reminders of what you were doing 1, 2, 4, 7 years ago, etc.... I was reminded of this photo from my graduate school graduation day. Seven years ago I walked across the stage to receive my Masters of Business Administration with a focus in International Marketing and my grandma and I were bursting with pride. I did what she, society, and my friends were doing. I don't regret getting a graduate degree by any stretch of the imagination. It opened so many doors for me in my short, but successful corporate career. But what I do regret was jumping into the box that the world wanted to stuff me into in 2011 and more importantly, waiting so long to bust out of that box.
Last year I became a mother to the most precious little girl and my family decided that I would leave the corporate workforce to build my business in health and fitness and be home to raise our sweet baby. It was one of the BEST decisions of my whole life. I now instruct group fitness and will sit in a few short weeks for the certification exam for NASM Certified Personal Training.
I'm tired of stuffing myself into a box that I don't fit in and if I could see that group fitness instructor that I thought those things about so many years ago - I would apologize to her and ask for her advice. Often times we project our own problems onto others - and I am not free from this terrible thing. I projected my fears of going against the grain. I projected my jealousy of her lifestyle, her amazing body and her freedom. And I'm tired of projecting because I'm too scared to chase my dreams. I have big goals for this year in my health and fitness business and have no desires to stop or pump the brakes. My new success is defined on my terms. I encourage you to do the same. Jump out of the box you don't belong in and chase your dreams - whatever they may be.