How to Be Radically Different

change picEveryone has an identity. Some people might see you as the person they go to for advice on fixing a car. Or, maybe you’re the pseudo-expert on getting children to behave. Me? My identity has always hinged on running in one facet or another.

That’s why I was slightly shocked and appalled when a friend of mine said this to me recently:

“When you used to marathon…”

…:insert screeching brakes here:…

“Used to?”

Having a baby 7 months ago has definitely changed things. No longer can I just pop right out of bed and go for a run. I’m lucky if I can even get out of bed on time most mornings or simply have enough time to care for the baby and my family, get myself ready and make it out the door to get to work as needed. BUT, (and I was clear to say this to my friend) I will ALWAYS be a marathon runner. A marathoner. I do marathons…you know what I mean.

However, in running, just as with life, if you want better results, you have to change. And, as you’re aware from my previous post, I’m ready for change.

So what does the word “change” actually mean? I came across one definition that said “To make radically different.”

Ya, I’ll take that.

But, how do you become radically different?

1) Evaluate & Reflect. I’m naturally a reflective person; I was the 8-year-old girl with the Little Mermaid diary with the lock on it who filled up pages upon pages every day. Sometimes it was about boys; sometimes it was about how “unfair” life was with my parents. Regardless, if you want to change, or become radically different, you have to sit, be quiet and do some self evaluation. What am I happiest with in my life? Who supports me, encourages me and also calls me to the carpet when I’m dead wrong? What do I want to achieve in my lifetime?

2) Seek Advice. Looking before you leap truly has its advantages. You can watch someone fall flat on their face and decide you aren’t going to follow in those footsteps. Or, if you don’t have the privilege of witnessing it, simply finding a mentor or a wise friend can be immensely helpful. Find the person you really trust and give them permission to speak into your life and be honest with you. Ask for their advice on what you need to work on if you’re having trouble pointing it out within yourself.

3) Identify Uses of Your Energy. We’ve all heard it: If you can’t take care of yourself; you can’t take care of anyone. I’ve also heard it said that we all have a finite amount of energy every day and WE choose how we’re going to spend it. So, if you begin every day with $500 worth of energy, what are you spending it on? Is your energy being used up propelling you forward toward achieving your dreams? Or, are you stuck in an energy-suck (read: parasitic relationship) with someone who is all about themselves and their needs? It has to be a give and take. That’s what healthy relationships are all about.

4) Take the Steps. Once you have identified what is unnecessarily taking up your time and energy, then it’s time to decide and take action on what DOES deserve your time and your energy. And, when you’re trying to achieve change, you’re not always going to be met with cheerleaders, encouragers or people who even understand what you’re doing. Hurt feelings and discomfort are simply in the cards. Why? Change is uncomfortable. If it weren’t, wouldn’t most of us look like super models or at least have a healthier body fat? If change wasn’t uncomfortable, then wouldn’t most of us be debt-free, anxiety-free and truly care-free?

I’m anticipating sore muscles with my increase in running. I’m anticipating stomach pains and grumblings from a body that will no longer get the excessive calories it’s been used to. I’m anticipating friends who won’t understand why I don’t splurge on treats; meet them somewhere late or simply don’t meet them at all. Change takes discipline and while discipline isn’t always fun, it produces results.

I’m ready to be radically different.

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4 comments

    1. Thanks, Jessica! It’s going to be an awesome year and you WILL achieve your goals, girl. Stick with your vision and keep knocking those doors down. I believe in you!

  1. “I will ALWAYS be a marathon runner”

    Love it. I found this inspiring now and when you said it to me earlier. I’m going to make two statements like it of my own: “I will ALWAYS be a kayaker. I will ALWAYS be a rock climber.” I admit I haven’t done either in a while, but I won’t resign to saying “used to” and I plan to be radically different this year. Also, I plan to do a better job at thinking before I speak. 🙂

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