“I hate who I’ve become since my divorce. I never dreamed he’d become such a venomous, unpredictable enemy. Or that I’d become so numb and lost at sea in the dark night of my soul.”
I hurt for her, as she paused to slowly and carefully choose her every word. I knew I could help her. She continued.
“This trauma left my emotions in a heap. I gained 15 pounds, lost nearly all my drive and energy. I’ve nearly given up on any passion for living.”
She shifted her position, as I watched a mother’s concern takeover her countenance. “I still have one son at home and he pretty much eats junk food…who wants to cook…right?” I smiled as she went on, “And he wastes the days and nights away on video games.” She shook her head, and looking down gasped, with a slight burst of emotion, “What the hell has happened to me?”
Very few of us are 100% proud of who we are 100% of the time. But when we go through difficult things in life and fall into the rhythm of the Groundhog Day on rewind, it’s then we find ourselves, at best, just settling.
Tony Robbins is famous for saying: “Life will give us what we’re willing to settle for!” Say it with me … TRUTH!
And although we too often find ourselves “settled in” there’s something in us that’ll never be satisfied in pretend mode. Playing a role that we think fits us “ok enough”. That role we’ve ‘settled’ for. But all the while, as we play the “settled for ok” role, our hearts and our souls are parked at the “ok meter” while life moves on … running up what it costs us deep within.
If this beautiful young woman had been satisfied with settling in life, she would’ve never made an appointment with me.
I leaned toward her as I said: “It sounds like this has been a truly a difficult time in your life. Yet something deep in you longs for the life you once had…And that’s your Champion calling underneath this grave of seemingly endless pain!”
She responded with a mix of sadness and longing to laugh, “It feels like whatever Champion there may’ve been in me … my ex got custody of it.”
I nodded, because I understood what she was saying, and I was deeply saddened for her.
I assured her: “No one has a right to your Champion other than you, so let’s get the Champion back!”
Whether you feel like your Champion within got stolen from you, never existed, or seems buried … you can always know it’s alive and well in you when you have that “longing to become again who you once were” … or perhaps to become a new version of you. Or the “you” you’ve never been able to step up to becoming, but have always felt the pulled towards.
It’s that “one thing” that you know, “one day” you just have to try. That “one thing” is Champion style stuff and your “one day” starts when you say: “NOW”!
I don’t know how God works (or whatever you prefer to call your pursuit of faith and dreams). All I know is … when we begin to move towards that one thing into the “unknown knowing” deep within … signs, confirming moments, unexplained opportunities:
JUST…BEGIN TO HAPPEN!
The Champion in us knows that when we risk pursuing this unknown knowing with currency of our giftedness … this journey, this path, this pursuit creates, shapes, and defines our uniqueness into the very person we’re meant to be.
The Champion in us, never quits calling us to become who we’re created to be. An ageless and timeless fulfillment waiting to happen in us, to us, for us. So, I began working with this wonderful young woman about “who” she really wanted to be.
Just like her, when we too dig beneath the disappointment (or the “just settling” surrender war) or when we dig beneath the belief that we could never become who we really want to be … We find our Champion always believing, always calling!
As my client was speaking, I thought of the lyrics to a song:
Who I am with you is who
I really wanna be
You’re so good for me
And when I’m holdin’ you
It feels like I’ve got
The world in my hands
Yeah, a better man
Is who I am with you!
All of us love to be in situations, where we feel like who we are in “that moment” is who we are at our very best! That’s Champion belief! Champion motivation!
That’s our Champion … calling us to a higher trust towards and into that “unknown knowing”!
One of the best ways to “connect” with the Champion in you, is to ask yourself these five questions that I’ll share below. I’d encourage you to just listen and take heart.
Because you’ll be tempted to shut it down with thoughts like:
- I could never do that
- Oh right, that’s impossible
- Good luck with that
- You do believe in miracles, don’t you?
Be careful about asking that one on miracles. Because the truth is, your Champion within is none less than the beginning version of yourself, born with gifts still waiting to light the world. And a uniqueness calling us to trust and follow.
Ask! Then let the Champion do what it does best … DREAM!
1. WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE IN YOUR HEALTH, WELL-BEING, AND ENERGY?
“Oh MY…what a gut punch!”
That was my client’s response as we moved on into the arena of who she really wanted to be in her health, well-being, and energy.
This is one that sets most of us back.
Some people have health challenges that are not necessarily “curable.” Our goal here is not to ignore those kinds of things. But to identify how we would like to live despite them (if all treatments and options have been exhausted).
When I asked her what she would truly want her health to be like, she was grateful that she had no major health challenges. However, she did note that with the worry and stress of the past year, her blood pressure had elevated significantly. She was aware that lifestyle changes could probably diminish her need for medication.
She also whispered, as if it was illegal, “I’ve used Xanax over the past year to help with the worrying and the anxiety.”
I assured her that the use of medication to get us through difficult moments in life is certainly not a crime. However, working with our healthcare providers to get on a health path that presents possibilities of reducing or eliminating medications is always ideal.
She said that who she really wanted to be was someone concerned enough about her health to make any lifestyle changes that could reduce or eliminate the need for medication.
I admired and honored that great idea from her Champion heart.
What about you?
How’s your health?
Have you exhausted all medical opportunities for improvement?
If so, have you exhausted all lifestyle changes that might improve your health conditions?
Remember the purpose of having this conversation with the Champion inside you, is not to shame you about where you are. But to remind you of who you can be! And to ignite that desire anew and to always renew who you really want to be.
The simple first call to action, as it regards health, well-being, fitness, and energy is to start to do “one thing” that will move you forward every day … just ONE!
Do it again the next day and the next and the next and then add something else and so on etc. Day by day!
First things first! Just add ONE THING for now that moves you forward every day towards changing your health…we can do this!
From there we began looking at her energy levels and who she wanted to be in that arena. She said something that was very telling,:
“It’s like a catch 22. I’m tired all the time. But the more time I spend in bed, it seems like the ‘tired-er’ I become?!”
Indeed, it is a catch 22 that we all get caught in at times. I’m certainly a big believer in getting adequate rest. We’re all individual in that, but most research indicates that we need between 7 to 9 hours of rest each evening.
Whether from illness, like Covid, the flu, or bronchitis, etc., (or from exhausting travel or other life circumstances) we all have periods of time when we’re more tired than normal.
Unless it’s a long-term effect from an illness or something medically advised, I encourage people to only allow themselves increased amounts of extra rest for about 72 hours.
Again, except for in medical conditions and as recommended by your health care provider, allowing yourself extra rest beyond the 72 hours actually begins to have the opposite effect. More sleep, requires more sleep, requires more sleep.
It’s why people struggling with depression often end up “taking to the bed.”
We set up a new schedule for my client, and she began making sure she had adequate rest. But also pressing herself more each day for time out of bed. Within a couple of weeks her energy began to return.
We also looked at eating habits and nutrition. And effective ways to increase energy without the use of stimulants like caffeine, energy drinks, or sugar. It’s certainly acceptable to consume some of those, but excessive use can create adrenal burnout.
In our last session, she said she wasn’t ready to compete with the “energizer bunny”… But she occasionally felt there was a bounce back in her step.
What about you? Don’t use age, stress, or other things as an excuse for lack of energy. Reduce carb intake, reduce sugar intake, and use mild to moderated exercise for an increase in energy. We all need to get up and move more!
What about you?
Is your energy what you’d like it to be? If not, find ways to get it back! Whether it’s to lose 10 pounds, do some strength training, cut back on sugar, carbohydrates, and alcohol (which are all energy thieves and dehydration-devils) … Do whatever it takes to get your energy back!
You can! And the Champion in you believes … and is continually tugging on your heart …
WE CAN DO THIS!
2. WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE IN YOUR INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP?
Of course, for my client, it was difficult to look at this one.
But I want to say to you what I said to her as we began to look at who she wants to be in intimate relationships (spouse, partner, etc.).
We only look back long enough to learn, not to dwell in the past.
(It’s also not to look back to figure out what the other person did, that caused us to do what we did, and what we’d like to change about them).
I asked her (and am asking you) to start with this question:
If I could start the perfect relationship today, what three things would I want to improve or step up my game on?
She noted the first thing she’d do … would be to do something about the undertow of anger she had constantly experienced in her marriage.
She explained that she was not a yeller or one who showed much anger. But that she knew, when looking back, it affected the relationship terribly.
She’d been the major income earner, working long hours. She would come home to piles of dirty laundry, messes everywhere, no sign of dinner being prepared, with him sitting in front of sports TV while perusing Facebook on his phone.
“I guess I should’ve just been cheerful and gotten busy doing all that needed to be done.”
She was making the same mistake that many of us make when we’re looking at who we really want to be.
At times, we all want to be some sort of superhuman, who’s perfect, and unaffected by life.
I assured her, “I am certain that over time that would have built a well of anger in most anyone. We’re not looking to turn you into some sort of superwoman. I think that it’s an opportunity for you to look at how you wish you could’ve handled those sorts of things in your relationship.”
That created a real “ah-ha” moment for her. When she understood that it wasn’t about being perfect but being who she would’ve really liked to have been … The conversation became less painful, and more productive.
“I think I get it! I wish I could be the kind of partner that would address things in a manner that brought resolution. I wish that early on I’d been able to remain cheerful, prepare the dinner, and have a great talk after dinner. A talk that would inspire him to want to work as great partners together.”
What an excellent response!
Secondly, she said, “Who I really want to be is someone who is very present with my partner, making the relationship a priority.”
“I think once we started having children, I wasn’t as present in the relationship. Even when we were together enjoying one another, I was thinking about the kids. I was thinking about my job. I was thinking about the ‘to do list’ that needed to be handled before I went to bed.”
“I could not ‘borrow time’ and energy from my job, from the kids’ needs … So, I borrowed it from the relationship.”
“After all, the piles of laundry will still be there tomorrow” …
We both laughed in agreement!
“Third, hmmm? I, want to be someone who does whatever it takes to work through difficult moments and use them for growth in the relationship and growth for me, personally.”
I smile as I nodded. “I don’t believe there could be a greater quality in any relationship. Becoming that kind of partner is difficult at times, but also rewarding to a greater extent than we can imagine. It’s the key to reaping the positive and it’ll happen … every time!”
She wondered: “But is it even possible?”
I assured her it was and that clearly the Champion within her believed it was. I told her we could equip her for that long before she’s ready for another relationship.
What about you? Who do you really want to be in your intimate relationships? How do you want to show up?
This is not to shame you for who you’ve been. The purpose is simply this: to listen to who you’d really like to be.
That’s the Champion in you! Using our past to create new visions of refocused strength, revived hope, realistic clarity, and a renewal for integrity to always be our light!
These virtues are the guideposts, the checkpoints, the stops, the starts for every step we’ll ever make as we move towards our soul goals and success targets!
The Champion in you knows that at your best, you are totally amazing. And the Champion in you simply desires to inspire you to become all of that and more.
Can you do that? Of course you can!
You may need a bit of help; you may need to do some growing. But it’s absolutely possible!
Not only will you feel better about yourself, but your relationship intimacy will skyrocket!
3. WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE IN YOUR CAREER OR BUSINESS?
Before I could even ask the first question regarding this category my client said: “The Champion in me wants me to get my work ethic back and work with a spirit of excellence … Which doesn’t include stealing time by spending time on YouTube and Facebook during work hours!?”
I laughed out loud and said, “It sounds like your Champion has already been talking to you about work.”
“Well once I got through the first two, I knew that my Champion was really on my side and wanted to help me. So, this morning as I parked my car at the office (and yes, I was five minutes early instead of 20 minutes late…) I said to myself, ‘Who do I really want to be at the office today?’”
Who do you want to be in your place of employment? Let your Champion speak to you.
I want to speak specifically here to entrepreneurs. Because I was born an entrepreneur. I have a special heart for those who desire to start their own business.
Whether you have a successful business you started, a fledging business that you started, or maybe you’re on your third business…I want to speak to you!
Even more of you may be dreaming of starting a business…
- When you win the lottery
- When you retire
- When you can figure out how to turn each day into 30-hour days
- When you have enough money
Whether you are entrepreneur secretly in your heart or whether you’re an entrepreneur with great wins or whether you’re an entrepreneur in over your head trying to get one off the ground…
Who do you really want to be?
Research shows something very interesting about the success and failure of new businesses.
Those that are founded on the desire to help people, entities, or organizations are those that are most likely to succeed.
Further research indicates that how the entrepreneur shows up to work on and in the business daily is another critical factor in the success or failure of the business.
Personally, I’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs.
Although I have found all those things that research indicates to be true, I’ve also learned that these are critical factors that determine success:
- Understanding that there are no failures. Only wins and learning opportunities.
- You’ll be about as successful as you believe you’ll be.
- Those you surround yourself with in the early days are critical.
- Tenacity and determination are two critical values you must hold dear to your heart
- Although excellent strategy is an absolute must, success comes from 80% mindset (psychology, beliefs, state, and faith) and 20% strategy.
Who do you want to be as an entrepreneur? Someone known for whining and complaining that it’s impossible?
Or someone determined, who sees delays, missteps, and disappointments as the way to learning, growing, and winning?
Whether you have a career, whether you are an entrepreneur, or whether you are retired, or a (CEM – Chief Executive Mom) …who do you desire to become in your role?
I hope you’re listening to your Champion…because they’ll cause you to show up your very best every day!
4. WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE IN YOUR EMOTIONAL MASTERY?
I asked my client this question and her response was one I hear often: “Well, if you mean that I don’t have any feelings and have them all under control…let’s just say…I’m the ‘biggest loser’ on the planet!”
As I did with her, I’d like to start with the definition of emotional mastery:
Emotional mastery is not about having no feelings. As a matter of fact, although we often commend people who seem to have no emotions, having none is just as unhealthy as emoting all over the place!
Emotional Mastery is the ability to maintain your values of who you want to be, regardless, of emotions.
I don’t think anyone desires to be depressed, angry, anxious, or ashamed.
My client referred back to something I’d said in my Power of Purpose workshop, where she had met me several years earlier.
She said “I never forgot what you said about thoughts, emotions, and how they play into our legacy. What’s that saying again?“
I repeated it for her:
Be mindful of your thoughts, for they become your emotions.
Be mindful of your emotions, for they become your actions.
Be mindful of your actions, for they become your habits.
Be mindful of your habits, for they become your character.
Be mindful of your character, for it determines whether or not
you live with a purpose for life and leave a legacy
All emotions are rich and loaded with great gifts.
- The gift of pain is personal growth, spiritual growth, and hope.
- The gift of fear is protection and wisdom.
- The gift of anger is power, strength, and motivation.
- The gift of shame is knowing that we need a connection to someone greater than ourselves who can and will restore our value.
But rather than experiencing the gifts, many of us just “do our emotions.”
We spend too much time in bed, we lash out with our anger, we allow fear to direct our lives, we allow shame to take away our value.
Who do you want to be in all those areas?
When my client came to an understanding of emotional mastery, she proclaimed:
“Here’s who the Champion in me wants me to be:
- Someone who feels their emotions
- Someone who processes their emotions before they react or respond
- Someone who uses the gift in emotions to make the world a better place
- Someone who knows and cares how my emotions affect others”
She wondered out loud: “Is that even possible from where I am?”
I assured her that it’s a journey, but it was more than possible.
What about you? Who do you want to be in the arena of emotional mastery?
Sometimes people find it easier to start with what they don’t want. What they don’t want is what they have heard about themselves from the perspectives of other people.
Recently I was having a conversation with a friend who made these statements:
- Some people think I’m unpredictable
- Some people think I’m angry or at least annoyed a lot of the time
- Some of my friends think that I am irritable
- Some people think I’m afraid to use my gifts because of my age.
When I asked him who he wanted to be in his emotional mastery, he first said he had no idea. But I asked him to reflect on the statements people had made to him. And to consider what he would rather them say?
After some reflection time, he commented he’d prefer them say:
- He’s as steady as a rock
- He’s cheerful and fun to be around
- He’s courageous in his endeavors to share his gifts
That was the Champion in him speaking.
Who do you want to be regarding your emotions? What do you hope people say about you and your emotional mastery?
What you wish they’d say IS your Champion telling you what is possible and calling you forward into it!
5. WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE IN YOUR VALUES?
What do I mean by values?
Values are the guard rails for our lives that we live between.
Most people don’t even know what their values are. And yet our values direct every moment and every decision of our lives.
Basically, our values are demonstrated by what the people close to us would say about how we live our lives.
Sometimes it’s easier to see other people’s values, then to access and assess our own.
Values leave evidence. Evidence of what we prioritize, what’s important to us, and who we are in our choices and decisions.
When my client and I were speaking about values, she asked an interesting question: “Do our values ever, change over time?”
My response: “They modify some over time, but since they were installed early in our lives, usually the only thing that makes dramatic changes to them are doing the work to become aware of them and to address them … Or trauma.”
Trauma-scrambled values are unpredictable responses that sometimes surface to fight for our surrender.
With tears in her eyes, I could see it was painful for her to share this:
“Before this past year I know what my values were because I’d done work on them:
With a bit of humor, but a lot of shame, she confessed:
“If you watched me now, you’d think my values were:
- Settling for survival”
I totally understood.
The trauma of her divorce had turned her values into “fruit basket turn-over” chaos.
Like so many of us, she was allowing a situation (which was indeed horrible, unfair, and heartbreaking) to identify and determine who she would be and become.
Now, it’s not as easy as “Shake It Off” as Taylor Swift would suggest! But it is something that we must do!
The Champion in you does not want to allow any person, any trauma, any unfortunate situation to direct your life, to determing who you are, or dictate your values!
I asked her if the Champion within her (that had directed her before she went into the office at her place of employment) was speaking to her in this moment … what values she thought the Champion would point her to.
After moments of silence, a tear drop fell from her eyes and splashed on the knee of her jeans. She whispered, almost painfully:
- Purposeful living
- Reaching out to women going thru divorce
When her eyes met mine, I smiled and nodded. “I think the summary of that is courage. Great courage.”
Your values are reflected each and every day. By:
- Your choices
- Your decisions
- Your behaviors
- Your attitudes
- Your way of-showing up
Who do you really want to be? In all areas of your life?
If you think: “I wish, I could be that …” It’s likely your Champion speaking to you. One hundred percent of the time, our Champion is calling us to and encouraging us toward our best selves.
You can be all those things! Yes … ALL of them!
Live the life of the Champion. The Champion in you! You’ll see yourself stepping up, raising your standards, and feeling completely fulfilled!
The world needs what the Champion in you has to offer!