I think about 95% of my life in terms of track meets and practices. All of the preparation, the hard work, the tears, the frustration, the anxiety, the rush of success, all of it. I haven’t ran competitively in years, but I still feel those feelings all of the time.
My coach used to say a lot ot things but one thing he used to say before our meets was, “The work has already been done, now it’s just time to perform”. And how very true is that quote? We trained for months, we trained for sometimes 7 hours a day, the work was done and now we really only needed to show up and perform, to show the world, and often times ourselves, just how great we really were.
Showing up and performing was often harder than we thought it would be. Especially when the mental toll and anxiety took over that made it feel like it was almost impossible to perform and showcase all of the long hours we had spent training.
But I often reflect on this quote and how incredibly true it is. I think about how I have done so much preparation before my presentations, that speaking has now become almost effortless. Every time I do a speech, I remind myself that this is my story, the work and practice has been done, and now it is time to perform and inspire others to share their stories. I think about my journey with self-love and how sometimes it has been frustrating and confusing, but I think about how I always know how to get back to loving myself, because I have already done the work, I now just have to choose to show up for myself and perform.
I think about how the anxiety and the desire to be perfect, held me back from being the best that I truly could be, despite all the work I had done to prepare. I am thankful for those experiences, even though they led me to struggle for years with not feeling good enough. I am thankful because those experiences now make me remember that I can show up and perform. I know how terrible it feels to not do what you had set out to do, but there is always a lesson in that. I don’t often see failure as failure, but more of an opportunity that teaches us to grow and improve.
You’ve done more work than you know. Whatever that is coming in the future that you might be anxious for, even if you feel like you aren’t prepared, you’ve done the work. You’ve gotten out of bed today, you are reading this blog post, you have studied, you have had tough conversations, you have done so much that’s gotten you ready for this moment. And now, all you really have to do, is to trust that inner voice that sometimes gets clouded, but is screaming to be heard. That inner voice that tells you that you ARE good enough and can accomplish this goal.
And even if you fall short of that goal, you can look back and appreciate the moment and appreciate the journey. Because you did so many things on this journey that helped you to grow, helped make you stronger or gave you more confidence. And maybe things didn’t go exactly as you planned, well that’s okay. Things often never go to plan. But if you prepared and if you showed up and gave it all that you had, you did exactly what you were supposed to. You showed up and performed. You listened to that inner voice.
Keep pushing towards that inner voice. Push out the negative ones that tell you that you can’t. Because the work has already been done, you have done everything you need to and have everything you need within you to succeed, now it’s just time to show up and perform, show up and shine as you were meant to, and the rest will fall into place.