It’s OK to be human…
I used to tell people I was bulletproof.
I’m not sure if I actually ever believed that, but I’m sure on some level I did. I took pride in the fact I’d gone something like 7 years without a day off work sick. I’d openly declare it to people — much to their amusement. I often wondered if my body could actually stop a bullet if it came to it.
Clearly it couldn’t — or could it? That’s the nature of a belief system. Whatever your belief system is has to be true to you. Maybe I watched the film Bulletproof Monk one too many times when I was younger and had started getting ideas above my station, and reality.
If there is one true fact that holds up above all else, it is that all good things come to an end. It’s also true that all bad things will come to an end as well. The great business philosopher, Jim Rohn likened business, and life, to the seasons. What is life but a cycle of the seasons?
As proud as I was of my 7 year streak — it came to an end in an abrupt manner. I went from summer to an autumn thunderstorm that knocked me off my feet in the space of a couple of hours. I firmly believe that the culprit was the fact that I stopped. I literally stopped working and took a couple of days off and did absolutely nothing. Sure I’d taken holidays in that seven year period — but not once had I switched my brain off and let my body truly recover from the stresses and strains of life.
Two weeks later my adrenal system decided that if I wasn’t going to take it easy, it would make me. To borrow from a popular TV show, winter had come!
At some point along the way, I’d stopped telling people I was bulletproof. I’d stopped believing it as well. I’d realised that I was human. And that’s OK.
Easy to say now, but at the time I hated it. It’s easy to forget the cyclical nature of life and get bogged down in that moment. Whether you feel up, down, left or right.
Sure enough however, spring followed winter and within a few weeks I was, metaphorically at least, reborn. I’d got a new job doing what I love (coaching), and vowed to learn the lesson of taking time for myself. Summer was a good one — building, creating and helping others. Autumn saw me harvest recognition and a promotion.
Sure enough winter has come again. Not physically but mentally — the sharpness of summer has been blunted, and the frustration that follows it is prominent. This time is different however. This time I know that spring is round the corner. I don’t know when exactly, but when it comes I’ll be ready. Ready to start again, build something, and then reap the rewards.
There lies the key to dealing with winter. Build, learn, grow, and prepare for spring, ready to burst forth and be great again.
Your winter might be a small setback — a ‘no’ from a customer you thought was a dead cert to close — or maybe something more — the death of a relative maybe. Whatever your winter is — please live in the confidence that spring ALWAYS follows winter!
Why am I sharing this rambling piece? Well firstly it was important to me to acknowledge where I’ve been and where I am now, and how the lessons I learned have helped me. In doing so I figured that this might benefit others.
We spend so much of our life being bombarded by highlights that we can forget what real life is. A recent study commissioned by the National Citizen Service in the UK (http://www.ncsyes.co.uk/themix/body-image-facts) found that nearly 50% of female respondents under 17 had tried losing weight due to the influence of social media. A photograph is just a snapshot in time — at the peak of summer no doubt. There is never, ever any mention — in words or pictures, of the winter that had to be endured to get the ‘perfect’ body.
Linkedin can be no better — in an environment that has increasingly become a shop front for people seeking employment or the next big thing, people take to express their highlights in all their glory — declaring what good deed they have done that day in order to garner attention. Is this bad? I’m not sure — it depends on your definition. I’m just championing the human condition and our undeniable ability to be resilient beyond belief even in the face of the greatest winter.
With that in mind, I want to remind you:
It’s OK to embrace winter
It’s OK to have a bad day
It’s OK to take time for yourself
It’s OK to be human
Originally published at medium.com