I’ll be the first to admit: I’m far, far from perfect.
However, the funny thing about being on social media and in the public eye is people see the highlight reel.
They see the staged baby photos – not the $1,000 spent on credit card for the photographer, or the baby throwing a fit – just the happy, perfectly lighted photo with a bow on top.
They see the blogger on an island in the Caribbean – not the 1,000 panic attacks to get to this point or the thousands of doubters and trolls along the way – just the glowing business owner with a margarita in-hand next to a palm tree.
They see the female strength coach crushing it and living her purpose – not the daily social injustice she deals with because she’s immersed in a male dominated industry – just her with her protective wall up, yet managing to get her athletes better with elegance and poise.
They see the soccer coach winning games – not the threatening parent emails and fights they battle, and later, have to go home and be loving toward their wife and kids – just him holding in his fire like a volcano about to erupt, you know, so he can play the part of the calm, collected coach and husband.
They see the business owner with a 7-figure income – not his feelings of self doubt and misalignment with his life mission and reliance on drugs and alcohol – just the accumulating dollars in the bank account, yacht parties, and Versace suits.
They see the neighborhood mom who is fit, getting sh*t done in her career and at home with three kids – not the overwhelming demands placed on her, or endless expectations for her to show up at that cause her to break down into tears every night.
You see, things are not always what they seem. And to get deep on you, I have a famous quote from a J.R.R. Tolkien poem tattooed on my ribs because it reminds me of the complexities of the human condition:
All that is gold, does not glitter.
I got this because as glowing as things may seem from the outside, they’re not.
There’s always a story, a hustle, a pain that is endured to make the magic come to fruition.
If you didn’t read my first My Life Isn’t Perfect article, you missed out.
Let me recap the main points:
– I am doubted all the time. From coaching clients. Parent clients. Colleagues. And more. Just because I have years of experience under my belt and a massive body of work to rest on from hundreds of in-person and online clients, as well as articles on soccer performance training, I still get questioned.
– I have shortcomings, too. I fail every week. Whether this is letting a friend or family member down, I fall short at times. Life happens. I cancel on plans. I get in arguments. I forget birthdays. I hide under a blanket and close off.
– Life happens to me, too. A year ago, I started with a trip to the emergency room. And this year, also started with a trip to the emergency room. I was admitted the first time because of a life-threatening gastrointestinal virus, and this time around, due to severe dehydration and panic and faint spells from overworking myself. Still, I went into work after being discharged 24 hours after being in the ER, but it wasn’t easy. It was as hard as climbing Mount Everest.
– Not everyone vibes with my mission. I’m all about consistency when it comes to my training philosophy, as well as life philosophy. For anyone to get better at anything, there has to be a series of daily habits involved to get to the next level. But you know what? Some people don’t vibe with this and expect results overnight, whether these are parents, coaches, or players. There is nothing wrong with what they believe, but our relationship just won’t be a fit.
Of course, the list above isn’t to play the victim and exclaim to the world, “oh, woe is me!” and make people feel sorry for me.
This couldn’t be more far from the truth.
My imperfections and shortcomings, rather, are an invitation for you to accept yours, too. I urge you to find the beauty in simply being human.
In a sick way, I love failure. Just like a drop on the world’s largest rollercoaster, even though you’re falling, you get a rush of elation because you know the only way is back up to incredible heights.
But don’t get it twisted, yo.
None of this is to say get complacent. Rather, any time we fail, fall short, or disappoint someone in our lives, what lesson can be learned? How can we pivot and do better next time? How can rise up?
Personally, any time someone questions me on Twitter, I love it. It helps me to see a new perspective, as well as grow in my writing and better articulate what I want to say in my articles so I can be of service to more people.
Or any time I disagree with a colleague, I’m able to learn a new training method, or they’re able to learn from me, in fact, it’s a win-win for all.
Or any time someone treats me in a way that does not align with my values, or expects a reply to an email after 8pm on a week night, I learn how to set clear boundaries.
And to give a soccer metaphor, any time I have my players do my Circle of Death 1v1 drill, they’re terrified before it begins, yet they learn to be uncomfortable. In fact, nothing exposes a player more than a high intensity one-on-one scenario against a teammate. Worse yet, all eyes are on you.
Alas, I comfort my girls with, “there’s no right or wrong to this drill. It’s about showing up with your best effort and being vulnerable. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s how you improve.”
Life is a lot like this.
In fact, I think it’s a disservice to ourselves if we were perfect all the time. How would we grow? How would we evolve? How would we pursue creativity? How would we embark on new adventures?
It would be tough.
Another thing I tell my athletes is, “I would be concerned if you all were perfect.”
Funny enough, if they were, it would be similar to a Stepford Wives scenario where everyone was a boring clone of one another with no real personalities, strengths and weaknesses, or unique quirks. Just mechanical, mundane copies who stagnate on the conveyer belt of life.
So if your life mirrors what it’s like to be human – good, bag, ugly, glowing, dark, and gloomy – let me provide you comfort: this is all okay.
This bears repeating: my life isn’t perfect, and neither is yours.
I invite you to acknowledge your shortcomings. I invite you to be questioned. I invite you to fail. I invite you to be doubted.
I invite you to level up. I invite you to blossom. I invite you to enlighten. I invite you to live life’s richness.