Burning the Boats
If you want to take the island, you’ve got to burn the boats – Tony Robbins
I burned the boats and taken the island. But 2.5 years ago, I found myself wanting to get off that island. I was no longer happy. I struggled with it; I found myself thinking about the risks I had taken, the things I had missed out on when I was building my business but I was holding on for the wrong reasons.
I had this idea of what it would look like.
But that’s not where it ended up.
I ended up running a straight up fitness business just like every other one out there… with a 96% fail rate. I was no different than anything else that was out there and I wanted to help people change forever not just for now! It was time to get off the island.
I spent the next 2 years working on programs and projects that helped people get inside of the mindset while changing their fitness and nutrition at the same time – all designed because of the things I saw missing from all the “solutions” out there.
I spent much of this time uncovering my own “stuff”. How had I created something that was so different than I wanted? Why had I let fear rule my business? Why had I made so many decisions that were best for everyone but bad for the business? Why was my worth so tied to the business and of course, my image that was tied to that.
As I uncovered my own deep rooted beliefs about my self and the world, I realized that everything had to happen exactly as it had. I had to have the experiences I did, I had to do it all wrong (or right depending on how you look at it!). I had to fall several times in order for me to look beyond the surface and see what was really lurking there. As I went deeper and deeper into my own darkness, I realized that we all have these limiting beliefs about ourselves, we all have needs that we are meeting in ways that might not be healthy but we’re meeting them and it’s hard to give that up unless we replace them with new needs and create a plan to change our patterns on a deep level.
Now it all made sense.
Once I had taken the leap and was now on my own, I didn’t want to rock the boat too much, I played it safe, I did what I knew would work, gave people what they wanted out of fear it not working out.
We all have inner conflicts that stops us from doing what we say we want. We declare we’re going to lose weight, we join a program, but something happens and we miss a day and then we think we’ve screwed it all up because we aim for perfection and if we can’t be perfect then we are failures and since we’re failures, we quit. Sound familiar?
Our biggest issue is our perception of ourselves and how we’re meeting our needs for certainty, uncertainty, significance, love and connection, growth and contribution outside of ourselves; we’re using unhealthy coping skills to meet our needs. We put ourselves last because society has taught us Good husbands, good wives… good daughters and son’s and mother’s and fathers… do this and not that.
We live in conflict with what we want and what we “should” do.
We live in conflict with putting ourselves first because then we’re selfish.
We live in conflict because how dare we want something that doesn’t include our husbands, wives, kids…
We live in conflict because who we are and what we want is in conflict with the way we’re living. Just because we say we’re important too, doesn’t mean we’re less than or not good enough or give us anything to feel guilty about.
Yet it does. We feel guilty doing things that are for us. We feel guilty taking time and money from the family to take care of ourselves. We are afraid if we lose weight, we’ll leave our partners. We’re afraid if we’re not home, they’ll leave us. We’re living in fear of everything, especially not being enough. So we change who we are, what we want to fit in, be accepted, pleasing.
There’s no need to wonder why we sit on the couch, binge watch TV and eat to feel better. We’re meeting our needs in ways that are “safe”, that keeps us doing what we “should” do – putting everyone before us and then “check out” mentally and emotionally because we’re not happy. And we feel guilty about that too!
My time in the gym with people, my own struggle with my weight, with my body image and watching so many people try so hard, blaming themselves, hating themselves even more for every failed attempt, when I could see clearly the inner conflicts that were happening.
Freedom is there. Inside those conflicts and that’s what I am here to help people with. The best nutrition and fitness plans in the world won’t work if you’re not ready for it!
That was where my own freedom was found. I struggled with my “failures” for a long time. Now I realize they weren’t failures at all. It was where I needed to be so I could ask the question… “what missing here? Why are so many people wanting it but not getting it?”… and the answer to that was exactly where I work now. But I couldn’t have gotten here unless I had been there.
I wasn’t failing. I was preparing for things to come. I couldn’t teach what I teach now if I hadn’t done that. I had to see it all and experience it all in order to help people the way I am helping them now.
Burning the boats 3 years ago looked like the biggest mistakes I had made. Now I realize it was the bravest thing I’ve ever done. Because it led me to exactly where I needed to be.
Success isn’t a straight line. We have ups and downs, life happens.
What happened to us isn’t the issue, the real question is what are you going to do about it?
What’s the right next move?
I could have hung onto it all. I could have stayed at the corporate job. I could have stayed in the business as it was. I could have kept forcing it until either I went bankrupt or ended up hospitalized. I had options that didn’t include walking away. I could have let the fear of what people think hold me in place – and it did for a long time – but I knew I couldn’t stay. I didn’t belong there anymore.
And here I am, again, on the cusp of making a life changing business decision. A little fear mixed with excitement as I fully embrace the next chapter. I’m scared to let go but I’m more scared not to try. If I’ve learned anything over these last few years of self reflection, it’s to try anyway, to feel the fear and do it anyway.
We’re all meant to grow and change. If we’re not evolving then we’re dying. I’m no longer the person I was 10 years ago, when I started this “fitness” journey. I’m no longer the same person who in desperation and wanting answers, finally asked a new question and got new answers. I’m no longer the person I was a year ago when I had a whisper of things to come, almost like a dream. I am no longer the person who forgot who I was and let the world tell me who to be.
We have to let go of what was and what no longer works in order to move forward. We’ve got to be willing to have faith that our intuition is leading us, it somehow knows the way.
My fear right now is strong but my faith in my intuition is stronger.
I know what the right next move is. Because I sat with it, I let it grow, I let it develop, I let it breathe.
So here I am… burning the boats once again…
Hope stares at the fire, faith leaps over it.
Here’s to a new chapter. Everything that led me here was a success not a failure because it was every single failure that made me ask a new question, to look inward, to change how I showed up in the world. Now it’s time to show up fully as I was meant to, and help others find their own footing too.
Weight loss won’t give you what you are seeking, but finding what you are seeking, will give you health and wellness and that will give you weight loss 😉
PS… I hope you can see from my own stories that failure isn’t really failure. It’s just preparing you for what’s to come 😉