My fiance and I spent some time joking around trying to learn a salsa dance to a YouTube video and I told him how stiff he looked. I told him, “Don’t try too hard, because that’s when you mess up. Just have fun with it.” In that moment, I said, “wow, what a blog post”, and now here we are.
Well, it’s true. Every moment in my life that I have tried too hard, I messed up. The times that I allowed myself to just have fun, is when the magic happened. Every job interview that I went on that I was stressed about, the ones I studied for days and days and was overly nervous about, were the jobs that I never got. The job interviews that I was comfortable, allowed myself to be me and had fun (as much fun as you can have in an interview), were the times that I got the job!
I think about that in my life now. Some days, I spend hours perfecting my speeches. I practice them before my speech and practice it on the drive to the speech, just to be sure that I have it just right. And then I sometimes stress myself out to the point where I will forget what comes next in my presentation. But most times, I try to remind myself to, simply have fun. Because this is my passion and what I was called to do. There were so many track meets that my mom told me to just have fun, but I couldn’t, because my entire world was wrapped around being perfect and running a certain time. But I do wonder how things would have gone differently for me if I had just let myself have fun.
My goals for me now come so much easier when I just allow myself to be Ivy, let my personality shine and remember my purpose. The two standing ovations I had in my speaking career, came when I just fully let loose, the crowd fed off of my confident energy and an impact was made.
It isn’t always easy to let go and enjoy the journey. It isn’t always easy to just have fun on what might be a stressful activity. I know how difficult that can be from spending years being stressed and full of anxiety during my athletic career, rather than fully soaking in the joy of the moment. Whatever it is you are doing, try not to try so hard. Of course you should always try your best, but allow yourself to have fun on your journey. Because if you don’t, this experience will pass you by and you might miss one of the most extraordinary events of your life.
Take a moment to soak in all that is around you. No matter what stress you might feel in this current moment, allow yourself to feel joy for what you have, no matter how big or how small. Allow yourself to just be who you are, and let your personality shine. When you let loose, have fun, and be yourself, there is no other option than for things to fall into place.
My mom has given me some of the best advice my entire life. I wish I took the advice to “just have fun”, a lot earlier. But even though it took me some time, and it may have taken you even longer, let’s vow to go after our dreams, but allow ourselves to have fun during the process and on the journey.
Because life will pass us by if not. We could have all the medals, awards and money in the world, but I hope you can look back and proudly answer the question “But did you have fun, did you truly enjoy yourself?” with the answer, “100% without a doubt”.
Cheers to having a whole lot more fun. We deserve it.