I had an epiphany today (a really deep, lightbulb moment).
Guess what? Commitment exists outside your comfort zone.
Those who believe they can see their quality of life increase will commit to a growth process – period. And, they will see the fruit of their belief come to pass, because they believed, acted, and committed faithfully to the journey, no matter how long, how arduous, how peculiar it may be.
It was the day before #DearWednesday, and I had a big concern. I did not want to go to physical therapy. I lacked desire, drive, and patience, and I was honest with myself. My feelings wanted me to quit. They taunted me. But my belief that physical therapy was a part of a larger journey toward finishing what I started was much stronger than my wayward feelings of irritation, impatience and daydreams of quitting just short of the finish line.
Immediately following physical therapy (yes I went), which was one of the most challenging I’ve had in a while, I was hit with a message by a man I greatly admire – John Eckhardt - about commitment. Commitment is deeper than simple action. It’s a lifestyle. (Read more on my journey here).
Let me expose a nugget I’ve received this year.
We tend to be more committed to what serves us, not what challenges us.
Here’s an example: Many people wake up and go to jobs they simply tolerate every day. Why? Because the bills are due, the hair must get done, the vacation must be planned, and gifts must be purchased. Going to a job financially serves us, and our society’s collective debt is the fruit of the comfort zone of jobs. What we can not afford from our paycheck, we extend into debt because we believe we can count on a paycheck to get us out of the debt by and by. The job is the comfort zone that we commit to because we count on it to provide the money to survive and the hiding place from dealing with real life, family conflict and relational dysfunction.
Here’s the flipside: When we are challenged by people, environments, and assignments, our commitment is tested. Our confidence is tested. Our courage is tested. Many people do not want a real challenge. They desire the comfort zone, not the challenge zone. They desire easy street and lazy lane. They avoid challenges and therefore their commitment game is weak. If you are not stepping into the challenges, even reluctantly, you will have no idea of the range of your commitment or level of achievement. Commitment is not refined in your comfort zone.
Last week, I killed physical therapy. I was prepared, motivated, and ready. I committed 60 minutes and sweated it out. Today’s session made me feel I was back in grade level zero. It was difficult to hold positions. My muscles began to tremble.I felt challenged mentally and physically, and the root of it began prior to arriving to the session. I did not want to be there, and when I arrived, I did not want to stay there. I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth, and committed to seeing the session through. Instead of the usual, my therapist gave me new exercises and increased challenge in my movement. My mental game folded, and I simply said to him, “it’s like I’m starting all over again.” However, the overcomer belief I developed over mountains of challenges in my life created space for me today.
I remembered all of the challenges I faced and won, and I utilized those memories to fuel me forward.
What is fueling you today? Perhaps your fuel is complaint, worry and anxiety and that is why you refuse to engage in situations and opportunities that challenge you. Perhaps that’s why you’re afraid to check your bank account or to step into entrepreneurship. Perhaps your fuel is purpose, passion, health, which is how you continue to raise the bar in your life so much that you shock yourself.
While my feelings urged me to shut down, my commitment to the process helped me stretch out those leg muscles, hip muscles, core muscles, even though my effort was not the best it has been. Still, I committed. Still, I did not fold. Still, I made it through the session. I had to push a little harder mentally and physically. I also had to admit begrudgingly that I was not at my best.
Commitment begins with belief – that you will endure, that you will focus, that you will not walk away, that you will fight your way through the wayward emotions. When you expose that part of you that wants to quit and you resolve to keep going anyhow, you’ve already won.
But you can not confront what you will not expose, and what you do not expose will block your forward movement.
I completed my challenging session because I committed and acted in the belief that I would make it. My feelings wanted the comfort of a safe space with minimal investment, but my commitment went deeper and helped me win today.
Therefore, as I add another layer to September’s theme – Exposed – please grasp that challenge coliseum is where you learn commitment and uncover courage. Not lazy lane, not complaint corner. While your feelings may try to betray you or slay you into doing nothing, your desire to go higher must be greater than your temporary feelings. This is something we must desire to work on daily, no matter how much we want to give up the course, the relationship, or the challenge.
We must keep believing, keep going, and confidently connect to that deeper self that desires to go the distance.
You can do this.
Question for further thought and journaling: Name the areas in your life that you have not fully committed to and why?
Until next time, Be good to yourself and others!
Evaluate your relationships!
Check your thought life!
And, invest in opportunities that increase your quality of life.
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DWL Lifestyle Strategists Weekly Favs
Ashley’s favorite product this week is the Korean sheet masks. Whether you need a lift, tightening, brightening or you just want to pamper yourself and be extra... these sheet masks are perfect for your needs. Not to mention you and get high quality masks for 3-4 dollars. So make your way to a good online store/subscription service such as “Facetory” and grab some of these masks!!
Joy shaved her head bald back in July, which she loves tremendously. To keep her scalp clean and bump free, she is lover of all things Tea Tree. Tea Tree Oil is a natural astringent, great for the skin, and the epitome of calm after the storm of the razor. One drop goes a long way in stimulating and cleansing her scalp after a wash. It's also great for wounds, acne, psoriasis, mosquito bites and other skin issues. Mix some with unrefined coconut oil, or a nice salve for a skin refresh.
Patrice has gotten into a habit of using Dr Teal's Pure Epsom Salt Soothe & Sleep Lavender Foaming Bath about 2-3 times a week. It helps ease muscle stress and pains as well as calm the senses for a good night's sleep. The bubbles even last through the entire bath experience, which is important if you like to soak for at least 30 minutes. Try it!
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This Dear Wednesday Letter was hand-crafted by Dr. Joy. Dr. Joy Well, mental health clinician, confidence catalyst, professor, and avid researcher is one of the quintessential experts on the connection between the mind, body, and immune system. Her doctoral work explored the experiences of women of color living with autoimmune diseases and how they function and experience the medical community and beyond. Once a shy, small-town girl with big dreams, Joy has found peace and purpose working with women of all ages to develop a fierce, faith-filled identity, personally and professionally. She is a clinician and entrepreneur in mental health private practice, seeing all ages, backgrounds, and genders. In her spare time, she enjoys music, movies and getting into mischief with friends. You can find Dr. Joy on social media @captivatingjoy.