The Weight of the World is on My Shoulders, and I Put it There!

I feel like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I feel free for the first time in a while. What’s funny is I am the one who took all that weight on, it was my own stubborn hard head that brought on all that weight. What am I talking about? Read on to find out.
For the past several months I have basically abandoned my carpentry career in pursuit of making a living in the fitness business. I wanted to become a full time personal trainer. I put everything I had into this pursuit. I turned down carpentry work to really give it a go as a personal trainer. I turned down good paying jobs for basically little to no money. I figured if I put in enough time and energy things would be bound to work out the way “I” wanted. Maybe what “I” wanted was not based in reality, but on a fantasy I had conjured up in my head, about how I wanted my life to look.
That’s what got me into trouble, being so focused and fixated on a false sense of reality. I conjured up this pretend life that doesn’t exist, but I was searching and searching for it regardless.
I did enjoy some successes. I got the opportunity to work with some great people. I tried to help everybody I came in contact with.
At the same time there were many frustrations. People cancelling appointments, people not showing up to set meetings, working very early in the morning, and having to train people late in the evening.
I did not let any of that deter me. I was determined to make it work. I sucked it up and pushed hard for what I wanted. I fought every day for it. Perhaps I fought too hard, maybe I pushed too much. I think in hindsight I was trying to force something that was not meant to be for me at this time.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
Annoying cliché. Yes.
True statement. From where I stand now, yes.
Like anything in life there are good and bad qualities to EVERYTHING. There will always be ups and downs. Perfect doesn’t exist, at least not in my world. I guess I had forgotten that for a while. I thought I had an idea of how great life would be when I was done with carpentry and moved on to personal training. When reality set in, carpentry didn’t look so bad, and personal training wasn’t so shiny and pristine like I envisioned it would be.
So what am I getting at? This is not a story about quitting, or giving up. That’s not what I am doing. I am just backing off from my pursuits of personal training full time. I am allowing myself to grow into it gradually, naturally, not forcing it. When and if the time is right to make a shift I will know.
I have gained a lot of insight and perspective over the past few months into myself, and the way I think. I was so intently fixated on something I wanted I wouldn’t listen to reason, or any outside opinions. I was very stubborn in thinking that things had to be a certain way, or else it would never work. This could not be a more false way of thinking. In my opinion this is the definition of ignorance. When you are so hard headed and stuck on an idea you refuse to listen to anybody else. That’s not a place you want to be.
Listen to the people around you. Heed what they have to say, even if you don’t agree with it. Look at the other side of the coin. Ask yourself, why am I so against what they have to say? Is what they say valid? Am I being open to other possibilities, or am I stuck on only what I think? This can be extremely difficult to do in the moment. If you find yourself having a strong and immediate reaction to what somebody says to you, take a long hard look at that reaction.
It seems like I keep coming back to this over and over, but that’s where your mindfulness practice comes into play. Do you have the ability to take that step back, pause, and really see what’s going on? Do you have enough self-awareness to look and see who is driving the car, you, or your thoughts, your pre conceived notions about what something should be like?
You can apply this to anything in your life. Say you are in a store shopping and you see something you want, you feel an immediate pull to buy it, you HAVE to have it. This one thing is what I have always wanted, this is going to make all the difference! Now wait just a second, is that true? What would your life look like if you did buy it? How will this thing fit into your life? What would it look like if you didn’t buy it? Honestly will you be better off if you do or don’t buy that thing? The answers are not important. What is important is the ability to take that step back, pause, and look at things from another perspective. Rather than just indulge your urge right away.
The more you can get your head out of the way, and look at both sides objectively and impartially, the better off you will be.
With anything this is hard to put into action. It will take practice. You will win some and lose some. Learn from each and every experience. Don’t worry about the times you lose, don’t beat yourself up, and value those experiences even more than the wins. That is when you learn the most.
I wouldn’t change one thing from the past few months. I learned so much about myself, how I think, and what I need to be more mindful of and work on going forward. Those type of life lessons are invaluable, as long as they don’t go to waste!
So have your say about this. What do you think? Ever had a similar experience? What happened? I would love to hear about it.