Fear of Success and Codependence

 Codependence

I have steadily been moving towards independence, and took a big step towards it by finally moving into my own place. It is exhilarating, scary, and necessary. My whole life I have been enabled and codependent, mostly without me knowing it.   This has lead to some unhealthy and self-destructive habits that I have been slowly working my through to be the best version of myself. I have written about the personal growth aspect of the journey repeatedly.

The Battle

I have never shied away from it. The necessary pain of personal growth until recently. I didn’t know why until yesterday. The last vestiges of codependence are attempting to adhere a strangle hold on my road to greatness, and they are powerful, deeply entrenched, and are not going away without a fight. It is possibly my hardest personal growth battle to date. My will, grit, and determination are even greater.

decisions regret

I don’t think I have ever been more scared to continue on my path to greatness, to success. I will beat this. I will conquer the doubt, frustration, and little nagging voice that says “no you can’t”. I have to. It is past that, I deserve to.

It is bigger than me. It always has been. It is just more real now that it ever has been. The fear of success, and the lingering doubt has been crippling as of late. What if I am not good enough, what if I am not the leader everyone expects me to be, what if blah blah.

Belief

It’s all bullshit, of course. Some of the biggest leaders in Arbonne believe in me, and it’s been a long time since I have felt this uncertain about myself. This is how I know I am close to a breakthrough. The closer one gets to the breakthrough, the more the universe challenges you to see how much you want it. I deserve to get out of my own head not for the last time, but certainly one of the most important to date. I am at the critical junction where my fear of being noticed and success have come to a head. This is my pinnacle moment where I can aspire and reach greatness, or I can shirk into the background. The latter is not really an option. It would be so much easier, but I am never one to take the easy way out. Bring on the pain, I’ve got this. Finally. Yes, I realize I have said this numerous times. And every time it has been true in different aspects of my life’s journey.

Day 7, Gym 6

I wanted to see what bootcamp was like, so I went into a relatively new gym called Club Metro in Phillipsburg, NJ which I stumbled upon the other day.  The class is 45 minutes long, and when they say bootcamp, they aren’t messing around with that term.

The instructor was a bit older, but she could kick my ass into next week.  This is impressive, but also slightly embarrassing.  More so impressive, let me make that clear.  She really did “bark” out orders, and tell the class to do this and that very authoritatively.  It is called bootcamp for a reason, and I truly didn’t know what I was expecting.

I found the class very fast paced, not much in between time, and intense.  It was quite different than the class I had on Saturday with Ollie Thomas, which I personally prefer.  The classes were different, but not at the same time.  At this gym, it was less personal. For two reasons, there were a  lot less people in my class on Saturday, and just the style of teaching was different.  Saturday he really focused on my form and making sure I got the movement right.  Today, she said to do the form, but was not really instructing how except for a few times.  This could be because we were all doing it correctly, but I sincerely doubt that.  We were doing some not exactly intuitive moves and weight training in particular exercises.  There were a few times, I couldn’t see exactly what she was doing, and had to sit up to see.  This is not necessarily a criticism, just my personal observation, which is obviously subjective.

I personally don’t learn well by orders being barked at me, which while I’m sure well-intentioned and effective, are just not my preference.  The nice thing about this gym is there is a three day free pass, and the class was only $5.  I thought it was well worth the money.  I got a very effective, whole body, intense workout in under an hour.  The exercises were more intense than last Saturday, and I would prefer a hybrid of the two.   I don’t know yet.  As I continue doing this, and experiencing more gyms, I am narrowing down what I like and what I don’t.

Day 5, Gym 5

I missed my second allotted day due to weather conditions.  So yesterday I went to Round9 in Bethlehem, PA.  The workout was free, and it’s a 30-minute workout with 9 stations where you spend 3 minutes each, and you take a 30 second break in between.

There’s a trainer that walks you through each station, what’s next, etc.  I was pretty impressed by the efficiency of it, and liked the fast pace.  If you are in a time crunch, this is a great place.  It’s basically kickboxing workouts.  There’s no weights, cardio equipment, etc.  It’s strictly a 30 minute workout from what I understand, and there’s always a trainer there to help you with your workout.

The fee structure I thought was a little high for what it is, but not astronomically so.  If you want a quick, efficient workout that will tailored to your fitness level, this is your gym.  My heart rate definitely got elevated, and if you’d like to improve your hand-eye coordination this will probably help with that.  It is not a full-service gym, though.  Which is fine, it’s not labeled to be one.

Day 3, Gym 3

So today was an actual gym, bright and early at 8 AM and it kicked my ass in the best kind of way.  It’s called Nxt Level Performance in Easton, PA on 323 Pine Street. Ollie Thomas just started renting the space, and had been previously working for a different gym before this.  A couple of my friends have been going to his workouts for a few months now, and I had heard much about this man through a friend of mine Peggy.  It was finally nice to meet the man who has really affected her life and body in such a positive way.

ollie's gym

Ollie Thomas at his gym Nxt Level Performance

I can see why they continued with him.  He kicked my ass with a circuit training, which I had never really done before, that included a bit of everything.  Including a lot of cardio and a lot of core ab work.  I think every exercise we did involved some kind of core muscle involvement.  Today proved that my cardio endurance is in serious need of improvement, to say the least.  Ollie pushed me beyond where I thought I could go, but it wasn’t your typical aggressive trainer behavior.  It was more like nudging and overall encouragement.  He made sure I was always doing the correct form, and that was one of his focuses for me today.  He knows I’m doing this 20 gyms in 20 days thing, and he wants to me get the motion right now.  This is why I can see him being quite successful in his new business because he actually cares.  The cost of the class?  A whole five dollars.  Yes, that’s right a 50 minute, almost 1:1 personal training session due to small class size was five dollars.  It was hard, pushed my limits, and activities were quite varied.  A full body workout with cardio achieved in 50 minutes or so is damn efficient.

I’ll have another soreness report tomorrow.  I am utilizing my Arbonne Phytosport line to help heal my muscles, hydrate, and thereby preventing or reducing soreness.  So far it has worked splendidly, along with stretching throughout the day and before bed.   I do think my abs might be sore tomorrow because it really was a hell of a workout for my core.

Day 1, Gym 1

Updated for full review.

This is going to be short due to it being late, but my first day of this was pretty cool.  I took a Barre Fitness which is kind of like a bootcamp featuring yoga, all sorts of body movement, and a bit of dance that was a whole body workout.  It was an unique experience because I’ve never done a class outside of paddling and yoga, and it was intense and yet not.  I really liked the instructor who was a good blend of sass, technique, and encouragement.  One of my classmates, who has been doing it for awhile, called her .  I’m curious to see how sore I am tomorrow.  It was at Cornerstone Health and Fitness in New Hope, PA.  And the whole vibe of the place was laid-back, but very informative and not salesy (is that a word?) at all.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am looking forward to going back.

When I got an official tour of the place, membership services, etc.  The woman asked me if I was used to gyms because I didn’t have much trouble during the class.  Which I thought was both a compliment and an intriguing question, because I am not a gym person.  I have been a member infrequently, and not anytime recently.  It made me think that maybe Maria was onto something with this challenge and suggestion.  I will keep you guys posted.

Morning Soreness update:  Surprisingly not that sore.  Yay for Arbonne hydration, post workout shake, and stretching before bed.

 

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.

Ego and Quitting

I am not known to quit much of anything.  I am blind, stupid stubborn.  This was true in softball, college, and kayaking.  I take it as a challenge when I can’t do something and work to improve it, and even more so when someone tells me I can’t do it for XX bullshit reason.  I will prove you (or myself) wrong or be damned before I quit.

Rare people who don't quit.  stolen from the interwebs.

Rare people who don’t quit. stolen from the interwebs.

I would say the majority of people are not like this.  It’s so much easier to quit; we quit people, hobbies, sports, and jobs.  Why put up the hassle of doing a skill(s) and then possibly failing?  The reason is because if you don’t try, fail, and get your ass back up, you’d never get anywhere.  You also wouldn’t learn anything.  You wouldn’t learn that scrapes and ego heal.  Scrapes are easy, egos are a little bit more delicate.

So why persevere?  There is no greater feeling of achievement and pride than when you fought, learned, and achieved command of a skill you persevered to learn.  NONE.  It feels so good.  When that magical day happens, you have gone through the 4 stages of learning (disclaimer these are mine and my wacky brains’ alone):

1)  try- which leads to 2 options
a) conquer
b)  failure
2)  learn your mistakes
3)  practice your form
4)  Skill

The last step is worth all the aggravation of the other three.

Goals and Disappointment

When a person sets a goal (big or small), and fails to meet it by their deadline, how do they react?  It depends on their perspective.  I missed a big goal last month.  Was I slightly disappointed?  Yes.  Has it crippled me?  No.  I am still determined to get it done.  I was actually filled with so much gratitude because so many of my team members achieved their goals, and the energy that was created will continue into this month to fuel everyone’s business.

Be unstoppable in spite of fears and doubts. Taken from the interwebs.  Unsure of where.

Be unstoppable in spite of fears and doubts. Taken from the interwebs. Unsure of where.

I did not change the goal to fit the deadline.  I played full out until the end.  When you bring it until the end, even if you didn’t make the goal, you feel like you’ve won.  You have momentum that continues to build, and that is an AMAZING feeling.

If you stop before the deadline though, and then give up on achieving it at all?  The pain of regret is worse than the pain of failure, and can stop you in your tracks.  We’ve all been there, knowing that we could have done something more.  However, dwelling on the past and beating yourself up about it does not serve anyone.  Move on and decide to do it better.

Goals – Creating Your Own Definition

Goals. It’s a word that people throw around all time often without much meaning behind it. What does it mean, though? I always thought it had to be some grand, epic event that I was striving to get to. And it can be, absolutely. But it doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it matters to you. A goal is something that drives you every day towards a greater sense of self. Big or small, short or long-term.

Photograph taken by Alexis Krukovsky.  Taken in Lambertville along the Tow Path during the Spring.

Photograph taken by Alexis Krukovsky. Taken in Lambertville along the Tow Path during the Spring.

It could be going for a promotion, taking the perfect photograph, or doing something that is outside your comfort zone that will be a victory for only you to recognize.  The point is to tie your goal into whatever you are passionate about, and make it fun because then you will actually do it.

It may sound odd or even corny. But just wait until you start planning the goal, and writing down the plan to fulfill it. It changes your entire mindset. No matter how small that shift may be, and you will start to see a change in yourself. It was mind blowing for me. Then you will start to shine brighter than you ever thought possible.

And maybe even Dream again.

Personal Growth and Change

My life is enormously different than it was two years ago.  The reason?  Personal growth.  I have read so many personal growth books in that time, I could start a section at Barnes and Noble.  All of those books I thought were a bunch of new-age, feel-good b.s. (complete with me rolling my eyes at such things).  But, I was WRONG.  They have changed my life fundamentally.

Stolen from Facebook. I don't know who, but I love it.

Stolen from Facebook. I don’t know who, but I love it.

I am a scientist.  That is my background, and essentially my faith.  I love puzzles, I love questions, and I love figuring out how those two things intertwine.

When it comes to personal, emotional stuff though?  I was not so much about that.  I like cause and effect, clear and simple.  Human emotion is not about cause and effect.  It’s about experience and learning.  It’s about applying often the b.s. you’ve been through throughout your lifetime, and figuring out how to get past it to live a better life.

Does this sound familiar?  I have LIVED this life.  The life of hiding, oppressing, and down-right scared life.  Everyone’s life is different.  I certainly do not know your experiences, but I do know mine.  And I think being scared to be someone else, scared to live someone else’s story that you think should be yours, and scared to possibly grow out of that story is real for a lot of people.  It was for me.

Fast-forward to now.  I am happier than I have EVER been.  It was due to discipline, personal growth, and reliance on people close to me.  The last one was a big step for me.  The other two were easy.  Relying on other people, was not.  But it was perhaps the single biggest force in my metamorphosis into being a happy, content person.  Trust others; however hard it may be.

BE YOU.  Even when it is the scariest thing you might ever do.