Be the Catalyst

Get Dirty with Change
People say that is change is hard, and it can be. It is also inevitable, and it can be beautiful. It is important to embrace the changes happening in your life because they are coming either way so you might as well embrace it. If the change is unpleasant, the sooner you deal with it, the sooner it will change into something tolerable. If the change is good or long-term beneficial, then embrace the journey to get to the beautiful place on the other side. While paddling I came up with an expression, “on the other side of the mud is often a beauty hidden by the effort to get there.” It is the same with change.

courage-fear-do-it-anyway

The Push
Quite honestly, the catalyst in my growth in the stages of my business has come from outside sources. I do much better historically when helping other people. I am more focused, more determined, and it’s because I genuinely enjoy being a part of helping other people achieving their dream. It’s the part I play, and I play it well. However, it is time to grow out of that. I have written how that is really not enough, but for me it is how I have measured my worth by adding to a cause. As if I am not enough just being me. It’s not true. There are things I am privately passionate about and very important to me that deserves to be heard, known, and acknowledged. These are the ones that only a select few know about, and that scare me for people to know.beat-her

Sparking Your Catalyst
All of it is coming to a climax. Tony Robbins says “change happens when the pain of staying the same is bigger than the pain of change.”  Everyone has demons, and every person has at least one that likes to linger. A lingering whisper is the fear of not being worthy of the amazing friendships I have built in the last 4 and half years. Which is completely ridiculous, and thankfully doesn’t surface often anymore. It’s the old me popping up like a prairie dog, and the part of myself I deserve to beat whac-a-mole style. Its presence has lessened since I am coming out of a transition period that seems to be inevitably messy. The result is a new level of leadership being born. One that I am ready to take on because staying hidden behind some type of misplaced pride is becoming too uncomfortable to stay idle. It’s like a bug molting into a new shell because it’s outgrown its old one. It’s painful, it’s uncomfortable, and as it happens you are incredibly vulnerable while growing into a new stage of development and waiting for it to harden.   It is time to be the catalyst for change and become the adult we are all destined to be.

Self-Esteem and Hope

I have struggled with self-esteem for most of my life, and didn’t really realize it was an issue until about three years ago.  There are people in your life that will make you feel small.  It is often a reflection of themselves, and it has very little to do with you. They can be relentless with it at times, and hopefully, they don’t realize the damage they are doing throughout the years. The damage is there regardless of the intent, but you have to let go of it and realize they were doing the best they could with what they had.  The remedy?  Surround yourself with positive, like-minded, people who repel negativity and bring out the best in you.  Surround yourself with success.  You are the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with, and that is a fact.

Part of my paddling family down taken in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Part of my paddling family down taken in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Their struggle will become your struggle, if you let it.  Their need to make you feel less will resurface at times of struggle, stress, and/ or bad mood. When that happens, it is important to separate yourself from the situation, preferably physically, but if not at least mentally.  It is best to keep their energy separate from theirs, and don’t let them “infect” you with their negativity.  I ask the universe to separate my energy from theirs, and wish them the best, but their energy can no longer harm me.  I know how this reads, but it works. I’ve done it, at first skeptically, and then with conviction. This is where the science portion is revealed because when you actually feel their energy leaving your body and your soul, you will literally feel lighter and your mood will improve.

Surprisingly often, the culprit to make yourself feel small is YOU.  This is especially true if you’ve dealt with self-esteem and confidence issues for a long period of time.  This is where my friend says, “the devil is trying to keep you small.”  Don’t Let that Happen.  You deserve better than to be small.  Everyone in this world was born to achieve greatness, and often times that greatness gets beaten down to the size of a fingernail by the time we reach 18.  It’s just the way human beings seem to roll.  We get told enough times that we can’t do something, or it’s unrealistic, and we start to believe it.

anything you want copy 2

It’s a mindset, a belief, and a way of life to believe in yourself.  It takes practice and discipline to keep those demons banished.  If the devil wins, which may happen on occasion, PROVE IT WRONG.  Get your ass up, do what you intended to do, and don’t let yourself stay small again.  Pardon the cliché, it may have won the battle, but make sure you Win the war.  The war is on your own mind, and on the relationships around you that are toxic.  Be bigger than the devil, be bigger than your demons, and be the evidence for yourself. Once you believe that you CAN be all those things you thought you couldn’t be or do, magic starts to happen in every aspect of your life.

Once you realize you deserve greatness, to be your own person, to be happy, and to succeed in life, you will have beaten the devil.  It may come knocking, but once equipped, your job is to beat its ass down and say, “sorry, you have been evicted.”

Old Demons and Battling

Everyone has demons, even if you don’t acknowledge them.  I did this for a long time.  The reinforced concrete walls around my entire being kept me well insulated from any feeling I could have possibly had, with few exceptions.

Photograph taken by Pete Kreiger. A moment of quiet reflection.

Photograph taken by Pete Krieger.

Vulnerability, alcohol, food, or just self-destructive behavior in general (staying out too late, not exercising, etc.) are a short list of examples of demons.  Unfortunately, demons are often insidious in nature and rarely have a neon sign saying “demon alert”.  It sneaks up and gradually brings people down, and to where they fall back into old, self-destructive habits and thoughts.  A friend of mine says, “that is the devil trying to keep you small.  Don’t you DARE let him.”
personal style

I have worked very hard through personal growth to keep those demons at bay.  It has been a struggle to recognize them, and change my mental state into one where I believe I deserve to be successful and happy.  I have gotten good at realizing what I need to do to keep that positive mental state.  Occasionally, however, I slip.  I fall back into old habits, demons, and self-destructive behaviors and thoughts.

This was one of those months for me, and it happens to everyone.  The important thing is to self-evaluate, reflect, and kick yourself (or have someone else do it) in the ass to get back to your TRUE self.  Your true self DESERVES to be happy and successful.  The old story you have in your head that says you don’t and/or can’t is bullshit.  You are ENOUGH.