An empowering look in the mirror

A friend of mine asked me the other day how everything was going. He asked me if I was doing okay. I responded by saying: “I’m so wonderfully great. I’ve actually never been better. Things aren’t perfect, but they’re really effing good.”

That was the truth.

Zero bullshit.

I attribute 90 percent of that to self-love and self-care, which I really started putting an emphasis on back in February. From working out and reading to praying, writing and focusing on my affirmations … I have been healing and growing since early 2020. That’s physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Then came a global pandemic, and I turned up the knob.

During all the Covid-19 madness, I never let it rattle me. I never got down in the dumps or scared. There were a couple of days that I got pissed off – but it was short-lived. Those streaks of anger lasted about 12 hours, and a little self-love the following morning always gave that fury the middle finger.

I refused to feel sorry for myself. I refused to be a victim. I focused on me in the midst of the uncertainty. I focused on self-care to get me through homeschooling my two kids and living a through my own Groundhog Day. I focused on self-love to block out the negativity and the “sky is falling” bullshit being screamed on the TV and through social media.

One of the biggest parts of my self-kindness was reading and listening to audiobooks.

I was introduced to two incredible books: It Takes What It Takes by Trevor Moawad and Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. (Shout to my friend Dave Quinn for the recommendations.) They spoke to my soul, and they both had a lot of takeaways. There was one particular nugget from each book that I decided to adopt. I wanted to share how I incorporated these tools in my self-care repertoire.

Trevor Moawad, a renowned mental conditioning expert and strategic advisor to some of the world’s most elite athletes, shared about time he spent with four-time gold medalist Michael Johnson. Moawad wrote about the “mantra” that Johnson would say before every race.

It was simple. It was powerful. It carried Johnson to four gold medals and eight world championships.

Head down.

Pump your arms.

Explode.

I am a bullet.

Moawad’s narrative surrounding this “mantra” inspired me to come up with my own – something I could repeat to myself over the course of the day to help me be my best self and “perform” at maximum effort. (I’m definitely not comparing my daily life to the Olympics, but it is my own race.)

This is what I adopted:

Eyes on God.

Others first.

No excuses.

I am a warrior.

Each one has an explanation, but that’s for another blog post. (That’s called a tease.)

Now, welcome David Goggins to the story. I refuse to ruin his powerful book and his incredible story, so I’ll just say that David Goggins is a badass m-effer. He took the shitty cards he was dealt and single-handedly changed the trajectory of his life. Example: At one point, he weighed almost 300 pounds. Then, he worked his ass off to lose more than 100 pounds and live his lifelong dream of becoming a Navy Seal.

In his book, Can’t Hurt Me, Goggins offers challenges to his readers. One of those challenges was creating an Accountability Mirror. During a dark time in his life, he used a mirror and Post-it Notes to be honest with himself and hold himself accountable.

I accepted his challenge, writing my “Michael Johnson mantra” on the mirror in my “apartment.” (My apartment is simply that unfinished bonus room above our kitchen. My podcast studio is up there. I work out up there. I paint and write up there.)

I have to pass that mirror every time walk in and out of my “apartment.” My new “mantra” is in my face, reminding me what I need to do in order to be the best version of me.

In one of these two books – I honestly can’t remember which one – the author said: “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.”

Even though things are good right now in my life – real effing good – I refuse to stop. I refuse to be complacent. I want to continue to turn up the knob and keep getting better.

Editor’s Note: On previous blog posts – and even on my radio show/podcast – I would have given you a challenge at this point. (Example: “I challenge you to read these books” or “I challenge you to write something empowering on your mirror.”) I’m  not going to do that anymore. I’ve decided that shit turns people off. I’m simply going to share what has worked for me – what I do consistently to live my best life. If you want to jump on the train, and do something about your current circumstances, let’s ride! If you don’t, that is perfectly fine. But you have to do me a favor … stop bitching and moaning about your life. 

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