“What if we resurrect the Champion in me and I don’t like her? I mean, I do believe that I was meant to do more…and be more. I mean, like… well…what if she’s a pain in the *ss?”
I had to chuckle because I understood more than I wish I did!
First, I went over the definition of ‘Champion’ with her because I hoped it would help.
I’ve been writing a lot lately about the Champion in each of us, and here’s what I mean when I say that:
Your Champion is the one you were born to be: a priceless, precious, innocent dreamer … buried beneath the pain, the shame, and messaging and beliefs about you and your life … installed on the hard-drive of your mind, heart, and spirit. Those things on your hard drive that appeared to have silenced the wonder of the Champion within.
There’s truly a Champion inside each of us and I’m here to help you RESURRECT that Champion in you…in its purest form. That my friend, is WHO you were meant to be!
Unless you see all the healthy self-worth and wonder listed in the definition above, shining forth consistently in your life, your Champion is tucked deeply away inside of you, buried under those shame based messages given and said to you, about who you are and what you’re capable of.
Trauma (at any age) will BURY and/or mute those pure heart intentions that are the essence of the Champion in us.
So, I spent the next number of weeks telling my client about the five things that all Champions have in common. Of course, each Champion is unique in their personalities, their gifts, and in their talents.
But there are some commonalities, and I would like to share those with you, just as I did with her.
1. THEY HAVE A DEEP DESIRE TO DO THE RIGHT THING.
The deep desire to do the right thing is within all of us.
When I write about this or share about it to an audience, I almost always get challenged theologically. I’m reminded that we all have sinned/made mistakes and have fallen short of what was expected of us, or of what we were capable of.
I do not disagree with that. But I believe there is a part of us that’s pure, precious, and purpose driven from the moment of conception; regardless of the circumstances surrounding the conception.
I believe that part of us is alive and well until it’s buried. Once again, as stated above, it can be buried by various things. By shame, by trauma, by regret, by messages given to us about who we are and what we’re capable of (and sad to say, often what we are not capable of).
My client shared with me that she might have a battle with her Champion at times…because there are moments when she just doesn’t want to do the right thing, even when she knows what the right thing is.
Then she explained: “Like sometimes I can hardly resist just giving horrible drivers the ‘Hawaiian good luck sign’.”
We both got a great laugh out of that, and I told her that I learned about the “Hawaiian good luck sign” from my mother.
You have to know that my mother was as pure as the driven snow! But when she read me the story about the old woman driver learning about the Hawaiian good luck sign…I’d never seen her laugh so hysterically in my whole life!
In case you’re not familiar with the story…You can read about it by clicking here.
Interestingly enough, the Hawaiian good luck sign is universal in every country and native tongue, in sign language.
I know this to be true because I’m certified in as an ASL interpreter for the deaf. There are three words and one phrase that are ‘universal’ in sign language, in every country and every language:
- The Hawaiian good luck sign
After a good laugh I told her that I truly understood about her battle within at times and that we all have to battle to do “the right thing” sometimes.
I shared with her a story from early in my career. My Champion was just beginning to emerge a bit. I was on my way to a speaking engagement, and I had run into the store to pick up a few things.
In the few moments I was in the store a thunderstorm, along with pouring rain, came blowing in. I used my bag to try to protect my hair as I ran to my car.
I saw a young mom just beyond me trying to get her child unbuckled from the cart and buckled into the car seat, and putting her wet bags of groceries in the back of her car.
I knew I should help; it was the right thing to do. However, I was more concerned with not looking like a drowned rat when I got introduced at my speaking engagement in less than half an hour.
I felt such tremendous shame about that. I’m still embarrassed to share it. But the more the Champion in me (over time) has come to life, the less moments I’ve had, where I did not choose the to do ‘right thing/things’.
As a matter fact, when I went to bed that evening, the Champion in me had a good talk with me.
I committed that from that moment forward, any time, I saw a mom with young children trying to get them in car seats and put groceries in their car that I would stop and help. In rain, in snow, in 100° weather!
I have kept that commitment. And I whisper a thank you to the Champion in me each time I do it. Because it’s “the right thing to do!”
Your struggle will be over to when you resurrect your Champion.
You will learn to and always do the next right thing!
2. THEY LONG TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
One of the things that my client said to me when she first came was: “I don’t really know what’s wrong with me. I have a great job (upper-level management), I get paid well, and many people would love to have my job. But I’m just counting the days until I can retire and do something that matters.”
I asked her if she’d read the recent research on job dissatisfaction?
I shared it with her.
The assumption was that they would learn that people who were dissatisfied with their jobs felt that way for things such as:
- Not getting paid enough
- Being overworked
- Demanding bosses
- Long commute
- Small cubes
- No windows
However, research revealed that from entry level positions (minimum wage earners) all the way up to C level executives, the number one reason for job dissatisfaction was: lack of meaning in their work.
She related and was not a bit surprised. Because she said that exact topic was often discussed in the break room.
The Champion in all of us longs to make a difference. People are always searching for something meaningful and may find it in various ways.
- Volunteering in the community or their place of worship
- Random acts of kindness
- Raising their children
- Mentoring someone
- And some actually do find meaning in their work (I am so blessed to have that be true in my life!)
The longing to make a difference is in every single Champion.
It’s interesting because we all have four basic needs that must be met to survive. But then there are three needs, that when met, cause us to thrive.
When I shared that with her, she said: “Oh my God! That’s it! I’m tired of just surviving, and I want to thrive. And I don’t want to wait until I retire to get started!”
You may be just surviving. Running to and fro…maybe even living paycheck to paycheck. You may even feel like you’re on a treadmill where you run all day long every day, going no where, only to fall in bed exhausted at night. Then to get up and mount the ‘hamster wheel’ day in and day out.
Your Champion will bring that longing to make a difference to fulfillment. And finding ways to do it will somehow rise-up in you, calling you.
At that point, you can kiss the “just surviving” life goodbye and welcome the “thriving” style of living to the mix!
It’ll make all the difference in the world!
3. THEY HATE WASTED TIME AND WANT TO MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME…THEY KNOW EVERY MOMENT COUNTS.
When I’m training & certifying Life Coaches, I begin this part of the training by proclaiming: “Your Champion is not on social media!” I always get a big laugh, along with many curious expressions.
Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not a hater of social media. I’m on social media.
But I can assure you that my Champion doesn’t allow more than about 15 minutes a day. And that’s usually spent posting what you’re reading right now!
Some people resist this idea because they think it means that the Champion will have us up at 5 AM … running 10 miles and chasing from one thing to the other all day long…with no fun and no rest.
Quite the contrary!
Your Champion believes and understands that we have a great need for fun and laughter. For times just to hang out and connect with our spouses, our families, our friends.
Your Champion knows that without adequate rest you cannot be effective. Nor can you enjoy an extraordinary life.
But you will not find your Champion vegging out in front of the TV for three or four hours a day. Nor will you find them wandering around aimlessly.
Prior to resurrecting my Champion, I struggled with managing my time, completing projects, staying organized, and getting commitments done.
So, I totally understood what my client was saying. But I shared with her that when my Champion arose, I did not need a time management course, or organization training.
That it all fell into place quite naturally.
I told her that when I have opportunity or reason to share my life’s story, I often get a very similar comment: “Surely you have lived more than one lifetime to have done all of that.”
I’ve learned to respond with something that usually gets a laugh: “Yes in my first life I was a big fat frog. I could not hop across the road fast enough and I was always getting run over. But in this life, I came back as the energizer bunny!”
(Actually, in my office I’m often called the energizer bunny on steroids!)
You too will find yourself using your time more wisely. Not because you must, but because you’ll have such a strong realization that every moment matters.
Making your moments matter creates a greatly fulfilled life!
And you deserve that!
4. THEY ARE NOT AFRAID OF NOR ASHAMED OF DREAMING BIG.
Yes! Your Champion has big dreams!
My Champion tried to dream big in my teen years but got buried beneath a load of shame.
We had had a great youth group meeting, and a young couple was there talking to us about making great plans for our life.
Afterwards, they were visiting with some of the kids, and I began cleaning up the room, which was my job.
Just as the last kid left, I had completed my job and was picking up my Bible, my journal, and my purse to walk out. I thanked them for coming as I headed out the door. He asked me if I had any big dreams.
I just nodded and continued to walk toward the door. His wife commented, “We would sure love to hear them!”
I began to deflect by saying I knew they were tired, and we appreciated them being there to share with us … but they insisted.
I leaned on the doorway and in probably less than three minutes, I shared a little bit of my dream with them.
They both nodded affirmatively, but then he said to me: “You know, that’s a great dream. You should just write it in the cover of your Bible…just in case it ever happens. But I’m not sure I would share that with anyone.”
I knew he meant well, but he buried the dreaming part of my Champion in his ‘second-guessing, shame-filled doubt’ remark.
I did write it in the cover of my Bible. But never spoke of it again.
I still have that Bible which is now quite tattered on a bookshelf in my office. Occasionally I pull it off the shelf to read what I wrote that night:
“I would love it if I could develop some kind of program, to help people find a real purpose for their lives. And to help them find the confidence to do it and make a difference! Hopefully, people from many placesl”
I forgot about it, but my Champion didn’t!
When my Champion was resurrected, I developed a program called “The Power of Purpose.” I shared these talks and truths all over the United States. As well as in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Germany, Taiwan, South Korea, Mexico, Fiji, Romania, Bulgaria, Canada, Sweden, Tanzania, and many other countries.
You may not see a way … but embrace the dream! Together-we can do this!
And never stop dreaming. In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, “Never ever ever ever GIVE UP!”
Your Champion dreams big.
5. THEY’RE DEEPLY GRATEFUL.
All Champions think, feel and express gratitude. Because they are deeply grateful!
There is an old proverb that many choose to live by: “In all things, be grateful or give thanks. “
Many people hear that and resist. Because they mistake giving thanks in all things, for giving thanks for all things.
I’m never suggesting that you give thanks for things that are difficult, disappointing, or heartbreaking.
Certainly, not for any trauma you’ve experienced.
My client had missed a couple of appointments because she had lost her brother. She’d gone to another state for the memorial service and to help manage some of his business affairs.
She’d sent me an email to let me know that she would be gone, but she asked for a zoom session about 10 days into her trip.
In the Zoom session, she explained that she was overwhelmed with the sadness of losing him and overwhelmed with the anxiety of trying to handle some of his business situations.
She asked in a pleading way: “Can you give me something that will help me?”
I began to explain what I’d like to share with you about gratitude.
I shared that I was deeply sorry for her loss, and we talked about the “grief process”.
Then I told her that finding time to spend in gratitude was the key.
Not being thankful that she’d lost him.
But being thankful and grateful for things such as:
- Special times they’d had together growing up
- Things he’d done for her that she would never forget
- How he’d always been protective
- That he’d trusted her so much that he made her his executor
- That he’d been a great mentor to her through the years
I did a little exercise with her where I had her just practice some gratitude by thinking of all those things.
- Remembering how it felt when they laughed together as kids.
- Remembering how she felt when he was protective of her.
- Remembering how she felt when he took responsibility for something she’d done so that he’d get the spanking instead of her.
After about 15 minutes of that, I helped her with a breathing exercise.
Afterwards, she whispered through her tears: “That was amazing. I’m still sad but it’s bearable. And I still have much to do, but the anxiety has gone down about 100 dB!”
I explained to her that in the practice of gratitude, it’s impossible for frustration, anger, sadness, anxiety to remain.
Those are natural reactions to things that happen in life. When upsetting things occur, our brain releases neurochemicals that create the unwelcomed feelings. Neurochemical such as cortisol, adrenaline, catecholamines.
But when we practice gratitude, for at least three minutes, our brain begins to release neurochemicals (such as oxytocin, endorphins, dopamine, serotonin) that actually wash away those stress neurochemicals. And when these “feel good” hormones wash over us, the negative feelings cannot remain.
Many people remain stuck in anger, frustration, depression, and anxiety. Prozac and Xanax are not the long-term answer. (I’m not saying that they cannot be helpful to balance our neurochemical system at times.)
But research clearly indicates they do not bring the results that gratitude can bring. And with an ongoing practice of gratitude, we’ll continue getting long-term results.
There is a Champion in you.
Although your Champion is unique and one of a kind, you’ll find that when your Champion is resurrected, all these five things will appear in your life.
And that’s not even all there is! There are tons of other benefits and wonderful things that accompany these five things. But those additional blessings are all wonderfully unique to each Champion.
My client said to me, “If all I get are these five benefits, let’s get out the golden shovel and start digging for my Champion!”
We did just that!
Today, her life is a shining example of the extraordinary life of a Champion!
You can have it too.
I want that for you!
You deserve it!
Hopefully you will be inspired to find your own golden shovel and begin digging for that amazing Champion in you.
Someone, maybe hundreds of “someone’s” or maybe the whole world needs what your Champion has to offer!